Career Advice from The Bachelor

Posted January 7, 2013 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five

Nearly everyone in the country has an opinion about The Bachelor and Bachelorette franchise on ABC. And whether you love it, hate it, or love to hate it, millions of Americans have watched as 16 bachelors and 8 bachelorettes have asked repeatedly, “Will you accept this rose?” Tonight, another season of the bachelor begins with Texas hottie Sean Lowe handing out roses.

After years of watching the Bachelor and the Bachelorette, I have to ask myself, “What can we learn from years of this show?” (Because, seriously, if I can’t take anything away that’s useful, it’s just a lot of wasted Monday nights!)

So here you have it, the best compiled career advice from the Bachelor and Bachelorette franchises:

  • Everything is public. Over the years, contestants on the Bachelor have been dragged through the mud by tabloids and their lives publicized both on the show and off. If this teaches professionals anything, it’s that anyone can find out what happened in your past — especially if you blast it all over Facebook or Twitter. Your life, especially your online life, is public. Control your online reputation.
  • Value experiences. The Bachelor doesn’t value time when building relationships — the engaged couples at the end of the show have known each other all of six weeks. What the shows do value are experiences, which is why I still watch them. Is it possible that two people learn more about one another on one exhilarating bungee jump or bridge climb than they do in five or six boring dinner dates? Could be. I think the same applies to all experiences in life and in career. Place more value on important experiences in your career than on tenure in a job. Place more value on phenomenal opportunity rather than the day-to-day activities in your job.
  • Nice girls finish last. Every season, the magic of editing makes us all love the person the Bachelor or Bachelorette doesn’t pick. There’s a reason Sean Lowe is the bachelor this season! He got dumped and everyone loved him last season. It’s never the “villain” who gets to be the next star. Why? Because the so-called villains don’t waste their time trying to win over the other contestants. Instead, they focus on the Bachelor/Bachelorette. Those who remain focused on their love interest aren’t always the most popular, but they’re usually the winners. The same can be said in career. We all have coworkers who “everybody likes”, but somehow they’re never in the “employee of the month” club. Don’t spend so much time making everyone like you that you lose sight of your goals.
  • Take risks — they might pay off. Take former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky, for instance. She famously left Jake’s season of the Bachelor to return to her job at Facebook, only to eventually quit that job to become the Bachelorette. At some point, it’s certain that Ali thought about staying in her job, secure, happy, and not taking the risk of being the Bachelorette. But she did it. And today, she’s hosting a hot new show on NBC. Most career girls, myself included, would’ve screamed, “Stay at Facebook, fool!” But taking risks paid off for her. And taking risks in your career will pay off for you, too.

Whether you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, just getting a kick out of the drunk girls on the first night, or even if you’ve never seen an episode, I think we can all (surprisingly) learn something about managing our careers from the Bachelor and the Bachelorette….believe it or not.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."