Hannah, don't quit your job! A teaching moment from Girls.
Posted In: First Jobs
Posted On: 1/27/2013
Okay, let's have a critical discussion: when is it a good time to quit your job? Well, for starters, it's definitely not when you have no money and your parents have just told you they can't support you and you've just graduated from college and you don't havereal work experience. Which brings me to Lena Dunham's character, Hannah, who quit her job before she found another one. Okay, the “job” was a non-paying internship, but it was a real job with real responsibility. And I just wanted to crawl through the television and explain to her that she really could have leveraged that job when she was trying to secure another (paying) job. Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with Hannah. She’s real. She’s not a size zero. She’s not wearing some designer that scares me. And things don’t necessarily come super easily for her. But what I loved most as I watched the first episode of Girls was this: she is teaching us how not to do things. Employers like people who aren’t afraid of work and from a boss’ point of view, that internship would have looked great on her resume. A potential employer doesn’t even have to know she wasn’t getting paid. But bigger than how the potential employer looks at you when you don’t have a job, is how you look at yourself. Being unemployed and job-hunting really screws with your personal confidence. And confidence is what you need more than anything when you are searching for a job. About a hundred years ago, I quit a major company in a huff. I’d been the super star and then my star fell and I was being demoted to some horrible job in marketing. Instead of taking the horrible job and secretly looking for other jobs on the sly, I thought I would make a statement and quit. So there! OMG I wish someone had said, “Hold on, Tiger.” Because the only person I made a statement to was me. And in my job search I spent more time explaining why I quit then why I was looking for a better opportunity. I was on the defensive rather being on the offensive. So, we love you Lena. And thanks for showing us what not to do. Keep the job, even if it is an internship, and keep sending resumes out on the sly. You’ll be glad you did.