“Plenty of talented people don’t have the careers they want. Plenty of untalented people make millions and make movies. There is a difference between determination and talent. Hard work doesn’t always matter.”
Amy Poehler has some unconventional wisdom about careers (and life) that we could all use from time to time. Our favourite lessons from Amy Poehler to learn from at Career Girl Daily Are…
Treat your career like a bad boyfriend
Perhaps our favourite concept from Yes Please is the unconventional career advice that Poehler introduces:
“Here’s the thing. Your career won’t take care of you. It won’t call you back or introduce you to its parents. Your career will openly flirt with other people while you are around. It will forget your birthday and wreck your car. It’s never going to leave its wife. Your career is fucking other people and everyone knows but you.”
Wiser words were never spoken—don’t depend on something undependable to bring you happiness. Make sure that there are other things in your life that fulfill you besides your career.
Live up to your promises
The end of Poehler’s book (no spoilers!) is almost verbatim a long thank-you note to the airport employee who found her laptop with all the book’s work on it. In it, she details how the entire book would have been lost without this agent, and how when it was found, Poehler said that she would thank her in the book. Done and done.
Own your mistakes
Amy Poehler owns her mistakes, to those she’s wronged as well as her audience. She’s detailed long accounts in her books of her wrongdoings—including one that took her years to apologize for. Her message is clear: own your mistakes. Apologize for what you’ve done if you’re sorry about it.
Build yourself a community by giving back
One of the things I love about Amy Poehler is the way she gives back. Not just to the wealthy and famous (her friendship with Tina Fey will give me #lifegoals forever) but to those who look up to her. Her group “Smart Girls At The Party” (later changed to “Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls”) is dedicated to helping young people cultivate their authentic selves. With their motto of “Change the world by being yourself,” Poehler is living the values of giving back, and uniting those like her, in an effort to make the world a better place.
You will never feel “done”
One of my favourite quotes from Yes Please explains that you may never feel like a neat bow has been tied on your career. “You will never climb Career Mountain and get to the top and shout, ‘I made it!’ You will rarely feel done or complete or even successful. Most people I know struggle with that complicated soup of feeling slighted on one hand and like a total fraud on the other.” Yes Please is available here.