5 Lessons Vanderpump Rules Can Teach You About Career Etiquette

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I’m not sure if you love Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules as much as I do, but if you do, you know that it’s set in Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant, Sur, and is chock-full of workplace drama. Although it makes for extremely entertaining television, the actions of the staff/cast are not things we should be imitating our own lives. That’s why I’ve decided to write about five career “don’ts” shown on Vanderpump Rules and what you should do instead.

The entirety of the staff/cast commits their fair share of office don’ts,  but for this post I’m just going to focus on everyone’s favorite dysfunctional couple, Kristen Doute and Tom Sandoval.

So, without further ado, I present to you the five things you shouldn’t do at the workplace or during your job search as seen on Vanderpump Rules.

1. DON’T Lie on Your Résumé

After Kristen angers her boss, Lisa Vanderpump, AND destroys her friendship with every single other employee at Sur, she realizes that she might have to spruce up that résumé of hers. She turns to Tom and asks, “Is it still okay if I put that I work well with others and am punctual?” She laughs after she asks this because she knows neither of these traits are reflected in her work history.

What to Do Instead: Resist the temptation to lie on your résumé. Think you have to lie because you don’t have enough experience? Don’t. Take this advice from Ask A Manager. Also, you might be more qualified than you think. Here’s what our managers have to say about finding the experience you DO have and what employers are really looking for in entry-level candidates. Also, learn how you can avoid this common Catch-22 before it happens.

Tempted to lie because you were fired? In Alison Doyle’s post “Job Interview Answer: Why Were You Fired?” she gives career expert Joyce Lain Kennedy’s top 12 suggestions for how to answer that question.

2. DON’T Show up Late

Heartbroken over the possibility of Kristen cheating on him with his best friend, Jax, Tom just “can’t get himself out of bed” and shows up to the Sur photoshoot 45 minutes late. Though Lisa allows him to be in the group photo, he is excluded from the “boys” shoot. In a world where the more exposure you can get, the better, missing this photo could really put a damper on his modeling bartending career.

What to Do Instead: Always be prepared. If you’re going in for an interview, you should map out your route and time it a couple of days ahead. Then, on the day of, plan on arriving 5–10 minutes early.

Want more interview tips? Here’s our list of interview wins and fails.

When you’re going to work, time yourself to see how long it takes you to get ready in the morning, then set your alarm to account for that time.

3. DON’T Talk Back to Your Boss

At her friend’s party, Lisa Vanderpump is well aware of the tumultuous relationship between Kristen and Tom. Hoping to avoid a scene (we’ll get to the point about bringing personal drama into the workplace soon) she asks Kristen to bartend away from Tom. Here’s how the conversation goes:

Lisa: Kristen, please bartend outside.

Kristen: I’m 30 years old! Whatever! I do what I want!

Lisa: So… what do you want?

Kristen: To go back to Sur for the night.

Lisa: Okay. Then you may.

Kristen: Puck you! (except she doesn’t say “puck.” She says something else, which we’re sure you can use your imagination to figure out.)

Lisa: Ken, maybe we should start actually making those reference calls before putting them on the payroll?

Okay, people. If this wasn’t for a Bravo TV show, Kristen would have DEFINITELY been fired after this tantrum. Not only that, but I’m pretty sure her boss would not be giving any recommendations to future employers.

What to Do Instead: Let me just say that you should never talk to your boss like this, ever. That doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything that she or he has to say. In the post, “How to Disagree with Your Boss – and Thrive,” by Susan M. Heathfield, she talks about ways to disagree with your boss that will keep the relationship positive.

But, what if something at work consistently bothers you? US News has great advice from Ask A Manager’s Alison Green about “How to Handle Uncomfortable Situations at Work.”

4. DON’T Bring in Your Own Personal Drama

Kristen and Tom are constantly bringing the drama of their relationship in to work. Many times during the show, they end up either screaming at each other or at a coworker during restaurant hours.

What to Do Instead: If you’re dealing with a personal crisis, it can be difficult (maybe even impossible) to just forget about it when you get to work. Jacquelyn Smith has some great advice for how to deal with a personal crisis in a professional way in her article for Forbes, “How to Handle a Personal Crisis at Work.”

5. DON’T Try to Make Something Work When it Just Doesn’t

Since the premiere of the show we’ve seen how dysfunctional Kristen and Tom’s relationship is. They fight all the time, are both unfaithful to each other, and during the reunion episode everyone (including themselves) admits that they should have broken up a long time ago. Still, throughout both seasons, they keep trying to “make it work.” The result? Lots of anger and tears.

What to Do Instead: You may not be trying to make a bad relationship work, but are you forcing a job match that just isn’t right? We know it’s a tough world out there, but that still doesn’t mean you should be applying to jobs that don’t match you. Instead, spend some time Exploring your job options, conducting research, and discovering what’s right for you. Also, be sure you know how to read the job descriptions correctly. To help you decipher what a job post is really asking for, we wrote the post, “3 Reasons You’re Not Getting Anywhere in Your Job Search.”

Surprised about how much valuable career advice you gained from Vanderpump Rules? I was, too. Now you don’t have to feel guilty about binge-watching this reality television show on Hulu+. Just be careful not to let it get in the way of going to work or starting that job search.

Homework time! Before you head to the office or start the next phase of your job search, be sure that you’re putting your best foot forward. Check out the tips and tricks section of the AfterCollege Blog for more advice on how to be your best self at work and while job seeking.

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