Sometimes, the best professional advice can come from the most interesting places. These sources run the gambit from belly-laugh-in-a-public-place outrageous, to crazy smart, to utterly life changing. Some of today’s most popular comedians have published some amazing books that, in addition to providing a few chuckles, are a source for sincerely spectacular career and personal advice. So, unbutton your suit jacket and get ready to laugh your way to professional development.
Tina Fey, Bossypants
Tina Fey seems like an inhuman tornado of sheer will and glasses. Yet, she even emphasizes that everyone has to understand their limits. You only have so much time, energy, and sanity in a day. Yet, the show or job has to go on. Put your best effort into making whatever you do the best it can be. Invest everything you got and then let go. Realize there will be flaws, mistakes, and missed opportunities. Nothing is perfect. So do not stop yourself because you are afraid of making mistakes, looking stupid, or lacking experience. Always take the opportunity. Let go of your worries and see what you can achieve.
Amy Poehler, Yes, Please
Reading Amy Poehler’s book is a manic, life changing experience that is overflowing with laugh-out moments and heartfelt, eye-opening advice. To summarize: Don’t care what other people think of you and just be your own wonderful, crazy self. It will be so easy to compare yourself to others and define yourself by how others view you. Don’t do it. It is a toxic, dead-end behavior and will not get you anywhere. There will always be another person to compare yourself to, another person to impress, and another thing to accomplish. Focus on what makes you feel creative and inspired. Do things that fill you with passion and make you wake up in the morning. Do things that make you feel good and make you proud. The rest will come with time. Stop thinking and worrying, start doing and see where you go.
Mindy Kaling, Is Everybody Hanging out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Besides her pithy insight that sometimes you just have to put on lipgloss and pretend to be psyched, Mindy Kaling also understands the importance of names. Your network is the greatest resource for your professional development. Not remembering peoples’ names is just rude. Make no excuses. Make a commitment to really remember and internalize names. To excel in business, you need to work to go beyond rude, you need to reach out. Go the extra mile and check in with your contacts every now and then, remember key personal details, ask them out to coffee, or write thank you notes. Putting in the effort will make the person more than just a name. You give them the opportunity to become a friend, mentor, and resource for your future.
Lena Dunham, Not that Kind of Girl
Lena Dunham isn’t just lightweight musing about the the concerns of New York hipsters, she is here to tell you how to direct your career. Lena would tell you start on your path, start making steps towards something bigger. Steer your career towards personal value. Think of what you want in the future and what you want to be respected for. Find a mission and commit to small actions to achieve it. Build a network of people who are doing what you want to do and will support you in achieving your goals. It is not going to easy, you are going to make mistakes, but starting early and giving yourself the time and focus to commit to your path will make the difference.