Last month, just after Vice-Presidential candidate and former Governor Sarah Palin, resigned, I wrote a column suggesting her next career move. As a headhunter, I had suggested that Barbara Walters hire Palin as a "temp" co-host to replace Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who is about to take a maternity leave.
Remember how your first job out of college was being a "temp"? Well, in today's economy, temping no longer means you're just a "guy (or gal) Friday". I strongly recommend that anyone at any level, consider a temp assignment, because even a temporary job can lead to a full-time career.
My prediction remains that Walters, who, along with ABC, produces The View, and together are shrewd enough TV executives to notice what Palin did for NBC's ratings on SNL and will want the "Palin Pudding" to help bolster The View's own ratings. Here is a continuation to that Palin column -- I start by receiving my imaginary phone call from Sarah Palin:
The person on the other end of the line says "Stephen Viscusi? This is Sarah Palin. I just finished reading your book Bulletproof Your Job and I am calling you for some career advice."
I immediately think it's my other imaginary celebrity friend, Tina Fey, playing a joke on me.
"Tina, I know that's you, what's up? Still trying to get more dough from NBC?" "No, this really is Sarah Palin. I just resigned from office as Governor of Alaska, and I read your column in the Huffington Post about Barbara Walters calling me to temporarily replace Elisabeth Hasselbeck, on ABC's The View. How did you know?"
I suddenly realize that it's not Tina Fey, but it is really the former governor.
I remark that while most American's are losing their jobs and worse yet, can't even find new ones, how lucky she must be to be able to afford to quit a job without having another.
"Your husband must make more money than I thought as a fisherman," I say. I explain to former Governor Palin that I am Catholic and that Jesus was a fisherman, and he never seemed that wealthy.
I ask former Governor Palin, "What do you know that Jesus didn't?"
I push the former governor about quitting a job at a time when so many Americans are desperate for work. She tells me that she feels bad for those who are unemployed and that she hopes President Obama gets "the Department of Work" on the problem right away. Hmmm...
Back to the point of Palin's call to me...the former governor tells me her goal is to get her own T.V. show, something like The Rachel Ray Show. You know, some kind of talk show, but Palin wants to have her show indoors and outdoors, maybe have some fishing segments, talk about being a hockey mom, and just be Sarah.
I tell Palin what I everyone today. Take what you can today. A "temp" job is better than no job at all. I feel a sense of irony in explaining this to a woman who just quit a perfectly great job (with great benefits) to become a temp. I instruct her to, "Go in as a temp. Be cooperative with your coworkers -- in this case the three comedians and Barbara Walters -- and then, just see what happens."
I then say to Palin, "Look, if you don't take the temp job, I bet Walters will hire former Miss California, Carrie Prejean, to fill in for Hasselbeck. Sarah, I'm still not convinced that catching fish will pay all your legal bills or your mortgage. After all, Jesus never seemed to make a decent living that way."
Everyone should know "temping" or working on a per-project basis, is the best way to get your foot in the door, which can lead to a permanent job.
Finally, Palin tells me that Walters offers to even make a baby corner in Palin's dressing room for her newest baby, Trig Paxson Van Palin, and will even put a new hockey stick on the wall. (What kind of baby name is that btw?)
Sarah remembers out loud about another temping gig in showbiz that she did recently, when she appeared on NBC's Saturday Night Live. She figures if she can handle Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels that night, than the other three co-hosts would be a piece of cake.
Our conversation concludes with me asking, "Sarah, does this help?" I can almost see that famous wink over the phone, and she oh-so charismatically replies, "Yes, and stay tuned!"
I have some imagination...right?
You're always welcome to write me with your career dilemmas, and I'll answer you on this column.
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Disclaimer: The scenarios and events portrayed in this article are products of the author's imagination.
© Stephen Viscusi. All rights reserved. Article can be duplicated in part of full without author's permission.
Stephen Viscusi is the author of two books about jobs and the workplace. Charles Gibson from ABC's World News calls Viscusi, "America's Workplace Guru".
Viscusi is a TV broadcast journalist on jobs, a headhunter and resume spin doctor. His latest book, Bulletproof Your Job: 4 Simple Strategies to Ride Out the Rough Times and Come Out On Top at Work (HarperCollins) has been published around the globe in at least 9 languages including Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese.
Viscusi is also the founder of www.BulletproofYourResume.com.
Viscusi's headhunting and workplace advice is usually considered counter-intuitive to the conventional wisdom. Viscusi is not a career or life coach. To the contrary, his current book, Bulletproof Your Job has been described as the New Millennium's The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, and that's how Viscusi sees the workplace. He's your workplace General.
Each week, in the Huffington Post, Stephen Viscusi volunteers his headhunting career advice to the world. Some, like in this week's column aren't even asking and in other week, some have.
His disciples can be celebrities, politico, world leaders, heads of industry, and some are just ordinary people who write him for advice. It's like Tony Robbins advising Al Gore or Deepak Chopra advising Michael Jackson (wait, scratch that one).
Even you can get your own advice by writing to Stephen at firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook him or Twitter him at WorkplaceGuru.