What Job Seekers can Learn from Miley Cyrus and Sinead O'ConnorA week ago, the 20-year old American pop star Miley Cyrus started a public fight with the 46-year old Irish singer and all-time rebel Sinead O’Connor.


O’Connor publicly expressed her concerns about Cyrus’ new bad girl image and Cyrus replied by making a fool of O’Connor and her ‘motherly advice’. The saga has since unfolded into a nasty public battle between Cyrus, O’Connor and a few other hot shots in the music industry.

3 Lessons job seekers can learn from the Cyrus – O’Connor dispute

Sad as this media battle between Miley Cyrus and Sinead O’Connor may be, this story has at least 3 lessons job seekers may take to heart: 1) always be yourself 2) stay courteous and 3) consider every advice you get.

1. Always be yourself (to some extent)

Miley Cyrus recently traded her clean Disney image for a new and explicit bad girl image. In an open letter O’Connor called on Cyrus to tone down her new sexualized image, since « I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way ‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. » With this statement, O’Connor referred to Cyrus’ latest explicit « Wrecking Ball » music video.

The lesson here is that, tempting as it may be to put on a show during job interviews, it may be better to show who you really are and to communicate your honest wishes and ambitions. In the end your true colors will always shine through. And if your true colors don’t match with the image you painted during your job interview(s), your new job will probably never offer what you had expected from it.

2. Stay courteous

Wrecking Ball - What Job Seekers can learn from Miley Cyrus and Sinead OConnorNo matter how tiring job hunting may be and no matter how difficult rejections may be to accept, always stay courteous. Try to avoid the Miley Cyrus way of responding to advice. Cyrus responded to O’Connor’s free ‘motherly advice’ by publicly mocking the advice and by questioning the mental stability of the 46-year old pop icon.

Never let disillusionment and negative vibes tempt you into negative reactions that may haunt you in the future. You never know who you are dealing with and you never know who how far your outburst will be heard. The young Cyrus is now publicly condemned for making fun of O’Connor. O’Connor, despite her strong ideas, still takes the high road (or so it seems). This asks for maturity, and it earns respect.

3. Consider every advice you get

When you’re looking for a new job, when you are preparing for your next interview or when you are recovering from your previous interview, you will definitely get unsolicited advice from family, friends and others who have nothing but the best of intentions. However, unsolicited advice can be hard to accept, especially in stressful situations (as Cyrus showed).

Try to consider every piece of advice you get. If the advice is off-topic or if it is meant to destabilize you, simply ignore it. If the advice does not apply to you (if it doens’t match your personality or the context of your job hunt), gracefully ignore it. If the advice can make you stronger, thank the other person for sharing the advice with you and do what you can to improve your chances of success.

Questions or suggestions?

How do you feel about this public dispute and the ‘lessons’ described above? We look forward to reading your ideas through the contact form below.

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