Career Lessons from Rebecca Black

By Lin Yuan (C’2013)

By now, I’m sure you are all familiar with the musical sensation that is Rebecca Black and her enthusiasm for Fridays. (If you haven’t seen it, here is the infamous video )

Whether you love her or hate her though, you do have to admit one thing: at least she’s trying, right? If the 13-year-old wants to be a famous singer, she’s well on her way to becoming famous, at least. Black’s original YouTube video has over 43 million views and her song is also now a top-downloaded song on iTunes! Furthermore, her 15 minutes of fame could already be generating enviable profits for her.

But, all this from a song stating the day after Friday is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards? It doesn’t seem like Rebecca Black has much innate talent for songwriting… Sure, we should give her credit for putting herself out there, but maybe she would be better off channeling her efforts elsewhere. A singing career may not be in the cards for Rebecca Black and that’s okay. Everyone has something they’re good at – Rebecca Black just needs to figure out what that might be for her and work towards her strengths.

So, here are the career lessons we can learn from Rebecca Black:

1)      Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there – Taking a risk every once in a while could pay off! Even if you feel it could be a long shot, it never hurts to try. If you’re really enthusiastic about a job or internship, but aren’t sure how competitive you are for the position, consider sending in an application anyway. An employer just might like what he sees. Also, take advantage of online networking platforms to further get your name out there. They can be a great way to share your ideas and gain more notoriety for yourself. (Check out our tips for networking using social media )

2)      …But make sure you do it right – You don’t want to generate buzz for yourself for all the wrong reasons. Be honest with yourself about what you’re really good at and not so good at. Inventory your skills and know what your unique skill set is.

Bottom line: Know what you want, know what you’re good at, then don’t be afraid to go for it! (Who knows? It could be fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.)

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