1. Make sure you’re not going for a dud job or dodgy qualification
In a recent episode, both Jeremy and Mark fell into traps of dealing with dodgy businesses. Jeremy signed up to a life coach course, promptly slept with his tutor, offended her, then didn’t become a life coach. Mark also gave a man in a ramshackle shed £2,000 for the pleasure of having his ‘book’ ‘printed’.
So, what can we learn from the El Dude Brothers in this instance? Well, you need to be careful because although you might be desperate to get a job and the idea of getting a job sounds totally legit, not all jobs are legit.
Some companies are dodgy and some just have dodgy practices, but to be safe, do your research. If a company’s been running for decades, and everyone has heard of it, it’s more likely to be legitimate than the start-up run by a bloke in a crusty hoody who interviews you over two bottles of wine at an All Bar One.
The media world is a lot more relaxed than, say, investment banking, but trust your gut on whether you think a company is right for you. Also, read every part of a contract before you sign it.
2. Don’t have too much fun
As a society, we’ve become used to a certain level of informality and it can be difficult to adjust to a professional atmosphere. So we’re not sure what Mark Corrigan’s excuse is – apart from being led astray by his shiny new colleague, Daryl. Once he’s all excited, Mark does the sorts of things that no sane, sober person would do, including stapling a sausage to his German co-worker’s door. You don’t need us to tell you that this specific thing should never be done, ever. But from a broader perspective, be careful about getting the giggles too much. If everyone is giggling, then it’s fine. But if you’re chuckling at your desk all day while the rest of your co-workers are stony-faced, stressed and hard at work, you should probably lay off the LOLs and do a bit more work.
3. Be presentable at an interview
Although Jeremy’s deliberately trying to throw the interview so he can stay at home in his dressing gown all day, there’s much to be learned from his obvious attempt at not getting a job. We could write reams about what to wear to a job interview, but we all know what the score is there. More specifically, Jeremy’s nursing some sort of drink throughout the interview. Though it’s tempting to have a coffee or a bottle of water, it could just be another distraction/disaster waiting to happen. Having experienced sudden, spluttering coughing fits in interviews as well as actually spitting onto an interviewer – it’s best to be conservative with drink choices. Have a bottle (of water!) on-hand during in an interview, or accept one if the interviewer offers. But try not to clutch it or use it as a prop. And whatever you do, don’t drink and talk at the same time!
4. Learn to let go of that creative dream. Well, just a little bit
We all like to think that we’ve got the X Factor needed to succeed in whatever we do. But in reality, success is down to a mixture of things – luck, hard work and experience. And though success is measured in lots of different ways, if you want to be a world-famous superstar, you need luck more than anything else. And you can’t just find that on any old street corner. Try to fulfil your creative potential in an allocated timeslot each week while you’re jobhunting, because although you could happily while away hours painting/singing/dancing/playing Xbox, it might not help you to get a job, and when you discover it’s been distracting you from making an actual living, you might actually end up regretting what was quite a fun hobby.
5. Don’t let yourself get into too much trouble
In perhaps the most grotesque scene of Peep Show we’ve seen – no, not the one where Jeremy wets himself in a church – the one where Jeremy ends up eating a dog’s leg because he desperately needs to prove to some strangers that he hasn’t killed their dog. We don’t think you’ll ever need to eat a dog at work – unless you’re doing a travel piece in a dodgy Chinese hotel – but bad stuff does happen at work. And maybe you could avoid getting into trouble if you just owned up to the issues that have got you into the sticky situation you’re in. If you’re embarrassed about a mistake you have made, tell as few people as possible – and tell them as soon as possible.