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6 Reality TV Skills That Will Get You A Promotion

You won’t find this in any Warren Buffett book on how to become a billionaire, but from the Suzanne Boyd file – learning how to be successful at your career is as easy as studying one of the most mind-numbing reality shows.

 

“Big Brother” is the CBS guilty pleasure that puts strangers in a house without TV, internet or any connection to the outside world. They live there for up to 3 months, voting each other out and the last man (or woman) standing gets a $500,000 prize. All you have to do is watch the characters on the show to realize: what wins Big Brother also wins in real life and could land you that promotion you’ve been hoping for.

Make Yourself Valuable

In the Big Brother house, the person who cooks and cleans usually stays longer than the slob who expects everyone to clean up after him. Same at work. Learn how to do as much as you can. There’s nothing a boss wants to hear less than “that’s not my job!”. Be the first one there and the last one to leave. When your boss gives you an opportunity – jump at it.

Create Alliances

This is one of the most important aspects of winning the Big Brother show. Those who create alliances – no matter how strange – go further in the game. That holds true at the office. Find out who can help you at work and create an alliance with them. I have my go-to photographers, assignment editors, producers and managers at CBS 12 – the people who have my back and vice versa. Even the receptionist – who holds the keys to the coffee and the front door – calls me her “sister from another mister” because we’re always looking out for each other.

Fake It Til You Make It

Your boss asks you to do something, but you’re not really sure how. Don’t say you’re clueless! Ask someone. Get it done. You think anyone in the Big Brother house really knows how to “play the game”? They don’t! They figure it out as they go along.

Play the “Social” Game

Be funny. Be nice. Lighten the mood when things get too serious. Listen to someone when they have a problem. Notice people when they aren’t being noticed. Compliment them. These are all social traits that work well when you’re competing on a reality TV show *and* when you’re competing for a promotion at work. Bottom line – bosses want to keep people around who are positive and make the office a happier place.

Don’t Cause Drama

Don’t let your personal issues spill into the workplace. It’s okay if you have a bad day once in a while, but leave the drama at home. Reality show producers love those who create drama because they make good TV, but they don’t make good employees and they rarely win the game or a promotion.

When You Leave, Go Graciously

This is HUGE! You’re probably thinking – I’m leaving, so who cares if I say nasty things? Well, on Big Brother – one housemate who gets kicked out wins $25,000 based on America’s vote. Those who are gracious almost always win that prize.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years – no matter the profession – you will see and deal with some of the same people over and over and over again. NEVER burn a bridge.

Shiloh the Magic Pony and Me

I’m not sure if Shiloh the Magic Pony is a he or a she, but I do know *it* is one good looking pony. Shiloh has a perfect tan, deep blue eyes and a silky blonde mane. We have a lot in common, too. We both love live music, especially the Dave Matthews Band. And we both like to tweet (me: @SuzanneBoyd; Shiloh: @ShilohthePony).

Shiloh on the set with me

Shiloh the Magic Pony is like the Flat Stanley of the music world — traveling around the country in women’s purses and men’s fanny packs to attend concerts, take pictures and then move on. I’ve been begging Shiloh’s owner to send the pony my way ever since I took a picture with him/her this summer at the Dave Matthews Band Caravan shows in Chicago. I think he (Shiloh’s elusive owner) was nervous about sending the pony to a non-music venue.

But finally this week — Shiloh arrived in West Palm Beach from Seattle in a small box. And ever since it got here — I have been showing the pony the time of his/her life. Shiloh has watched me write stories, learned about the weather from our meteorologist, John Matthews and was on set for a few newscasts. Shiloh has stayed at my house, hung with my children, been to Delray Beach – it even went to bikram yoga with me.

I get your skepticism. You say, “Why is a grown woman so excited over a tiny toy pony?” Many of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers who aren’t familiar with Shiloh the Magic Pony are wondering if I’ve gone off the deep end or they say I have too much time on my hands. Neither is the case.

Imagine being Shiloh: strangers allowing you access to their lives, their jobs, their fun. There’s no awkwardness, no threat, no feeling that you’re overstaying your welcome.  Shiloh is very different from me — the pony can pack up and go whenever it wants, wherever it wants. No strings, no job, no children. That intrigues me.

But – as I said – we have a lot in common, too. I don’t take life too seriously. And neither does Shiloh. It’s been fun hanging with a plastic pony for a week. Maybe you should try it.

 

 

Wonder Woman

I am obsessed with Wonder Woman.

As a child, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up — I would tell you Wonder Woman. I never missed an episode of the TV series with Linda Carter (I have the entire collection on DVD).   And I used to lasso my younger brother in the back yard with my magic rope while dressed in a leotard, boots and tin foil wrapped around my wrist. Yes, I also had Wonder Woman underoos. But who didn’t?

My Idol

When I was about 7 or 8,  we had a fall festival at my small school and it included a costume contest. Guess what my costume was? It wasn’t very impressive. It was one of those plastic jumpsuit-looking things from Kmart that had the Wonder Woman look painted on the front. But I thought I was Wonder Woman! I was so excited for everyone to see me.

And then it happened. She showed up. I can’t even remember her name, but she was a year younger than me and she looked just like Linda Carter. Long, black hair. Perfect skin. And the costume? Her mom sewed her the exact replica of Wonder Woman’s outfit: the bustier, the starry bloomers, she even had the perfect boots. I couldn’t compete. I was devastated.

 I’ll never forget that day when I realized I wasn’t Wonder Woman.  It ranks up there as one of the most disappointing days of my life. But, as a mom, I realize it’s okay for your children to be disappointed. They need to learn that life doesn’t always turn out the way you want it. Sometimes there’s a better Wonder Woman out there.

But if you work hard and set your mind to it  — you can have it one day. I’ll give you one guess about what’s hanging in my closet right now. The best damn Wonder Woman costume you’ve ever seen.