You’re watching TV with your roommates. They all have laptops, but you’re that kid who thought it was a good idea to bring a desktop to college. They IM (probably each other about how you don’t do the dishes), YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Google, all while watching TV. They’re reading online episode guides to get caught up with the series that you’re watching. When a company has a great commercial with a web address, they’ll probably type it in. What’s on TV has become a driving force in online activity. This might sound like a marketer’s wet dream, but Google Trends shows just how much what is on TV drives online search.
With that said, I decided it would be interesting to see how college students can get job search ideas from watching TV. Now, leaving a permanent impression of your butt on the couch cushion while you eat Hot Cheetos is not a legitimate job searching tactic. However if you’re going to watch the tele anyway, you might as well make the most of it. Here are tips on how to find jobs while watching TV.
Most of the employment related commercials that you see on TV are ads for job boards or vocational programs, neither of which is useful for a fresh college grad. There aren’t too many companies that use television as an employment branding or recruitment medium, but that doesn’t mean that commercials aren’t a valuable tool in your job search. Think about which commercials speak to you or at least make you look up for a second. If you love a company’s products, messages or marketing, there’s a decent chance that you’ll also like working for them. Commercials are targeted to the audience that watches a given show, so by watching what you like, you should find employers that will be a good fit.
You can also use commercials as an introduction to new companies or industries. Many times you’ll see a commercial for a company, and you’ll have no idea what the company does. Why not take it as an opportunity to find out? They could be a big employer in the area you’re getting your degree in. Other times it will be an ad for an entire industry, like the dairy industry. By going to the industry’s association website, you can find all types of career opportunities, since many industry associations and representations have their own career openings as well.
Don’t forget about the political ads that might bring attention to a social condition that you’d like to see changed. Why not research entry level non-profit jobs that address those issues? Also local commercials might you give some good ideas if you’re hoping to stay in the same immediate vicinity.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to fast forward through the commercials if you have a DVR, just pay attention as they fly by! It’s not the content of the commercial that’s usually important, it’s about identifying potential employers and using your TV watching as a jumping off point for researching companies.
The news is filled with job ideas. Every day they report on companies, new technologies, declining or thriving industries and other economic conditions. One newscast can give an unfocused job searcher (if that’s not a bad thing) enough ideas to keep him or her busy with research for hours. There’s nothing in particular that you need to keep a lookout for. Just watch what’s happening in the world and think about how that affects your career plans. And while you’re watching, don’t forget to keep an eye on a potential employer’s financial results, because that will have a lot to do with whether they are hiring and what the work climate will probably be like if you get hired.
If you’re a news junkie, this probably won’t help you much, but if you feel like you’re in a bubble when you’re at college, watching the news for 10 minutes a day can get you ready to find a job and perform well in an interview. Don’t forget to watch local news either. It offers all the same types of ideas that a national news broadcaster will, but on a smaller more approachable scale.
They are a ton of reality TV shows that are focused on people’s professions. They may not be accurate portrayals of what life is like in the jobs that they feature but they will give you a look at the extremes that you might face in a given profession. Here are some examples of employment based reality shows and the professions they cover: Top Chef (Chef), Top Design (Interior Decorator), Workout Cars (Car Dealer). I don’t recommend marching out and signing up for your local reality show, but who knows? If you’re gutsy enough, it might just work out for you!
There is another kind of reality show which is much less sensationalized. Documentaries can be a great resource for ideas about what you want to do with the rest of your life. Scan the TV listings for documentaries that match up with your interest and you might just find a new idea for a job.
There are plenty of other shows that will help you build ideas for your job search. Talk shows cover the news in a much more digestible format, which you might appreciate. They also spotlight successful entrepreneurs. That will definitely get you thinking about how can find a successful career, although it may tempt you to start your own business instead of looking for a job (go for it!)
Jobs in Television
Lastly, how can you ignore the obvious? There are plenty of entry level jobs in Television. So if watching TV makes you want to work in TV why not apply for a job? All major TV networks post their job openings and vacancies on their websites.
Is watching TV going to find you a job? Probably not. But if you approach watching TV as well as everything else that you do in life, with the perspective of a job seeker, you’re going to be much more likely to find what you’re looking for (even if you don’t know what it is). You’ll also be extremely well prepared for interviews, because you’ve used your TV watching habit as a way to become knowledgeable about the company or industry that you’d like to be employed in.
So what do you next? As you find ideas, do research and make lists of the companies and industries that interest you- and I assure you, something interesting is bound to come up soon!