Careers? Levelled up.


Cleo favourite and iconic millennial money guru The Penny Pal talks us through the learnings form the TV show everyone's latched onto. Including us.


Lockdown has influenced a lot of changes in the last six months, one them being the amount of reality TV we consume. I don’t know about you but I have pretty much watched the whole of Netflix. So, unless you've been living under a rock (or actually had social life via tech) you will probably be aware that season three of Selling Sunset landed on our screen last Friday.

If you aren’t aware of the phenomenon, try to imagine a cross between Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, switch the mundane term ‘estate agent’ for ‘real estate broker’ and you've nailed it - Convinced you latecomers yet?

The current state of the world is enough to explain the success of the glossy reality show. It serves up just the right amount of aspiration to trigger our brains into “dreamer mode” and think about how the hell we are going to achieve the same success. Trash TV at it’s finest. My weekend was dedicated to all eight episodes of season three and I binge watched all of them unapologetically (I mean - If you can’t allow a show to help you lose grip of reality during a pandemic then when can you?).

As Chrishell Stause (the shows protagonist) takes us us on another tour of her latest Calabasas house with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms (yes - the bedroom to bathroom ratio confuses me too), 17ft pool and 360 degree view of LA, the multi-million dollar price tag starts to make a bit more sense. Despite the ridiculousness of this show, you can’t help but reflect on your own career and ask yourself “how can I become a money making machine like these ladies?”.

Listen and watch carefully enough and you can. Here’s how Selling Sunset inspires us to level up our careers:

1. Do not doubt your abilities even when the odds seem against you

This season we get to follow newbie interior designer turned real estate agent Amanza as she struggles to solidify her place in the office. With the Oppenheim Group being ranked the #1 real estate agency on the west coast in its third year of business, Amanza really threw herself in the deep end. Her first property ends up causing a wave of emotions as it sits on the market only garnering a rental offer (this is like putting a dollar in the vending machine and getting the wrong flavour crisps - it’s fine, because it’s a snack but it’s not really what you wanted). But the struggle doesn’t end there - a couple days later the rental offer is pulled and Amanza is left with no offers (this is like spilling the crisps on the floor that you didn’t even want in the first place).

Imagine this was you, at this point you’d feel a little disheartened, demotivated and maybe even close to giving up, we’ve all been there at some point right? But Amanza puts her big girl pants on and gets out there and eventually sells the house. When it comes to your personal career journey, I won’t promise that things will always go your way but I can promise that you have a better chance of it going your way if you just keep pushing through and are confident in your abilities.

2. Don’t compare your successes to your colleagues

Whether the reasons are justified or not, there is always an office favourite. In this case, it was Mary. In episode 4, a few of the team members are filmed gossiping about the fact that Mary get’s given multiple listings by her boss, Jason. If you are wondering what the big deal is here...real estate is all about putting yourself out there and maintaining relationships with previous clients so they come back to you to use your services again. With Mary getting handed real estate to sell on a regular basis, half of her job is being done for her causing an understandable rift within the team. However, where the lesson lies here is that you are only in control of your career path, you cannot control the actions of others (no matter how much you want to) so don’t waste your time or energy on it. Stay focused and you will reap the rewards in one way or another.

3. Learn to take the lead (without being a total douche)

Christine is the character that you love to hate as she frequently pushes for direct and upfront conversations that quickly turn into feuds. In episode 2 we see Christine partner up with an external real estate agent, Monika. Now, if you had watched the previous seasons of Selling Sunset, you would have been able to predict that Christine would completely take the reins on this project and politely sweep Monika's ideas to the curb. The lesson here? If you are truly ready for success, you already have the knowledge and experience to make it - but you need to make yourself heard. Be confident in your decisions and know when you have to take charge and do so with integrity!

4. Learn to work professionally with people you may not get on with socially

And if that wasn’t a home truth, I don’t know what is. In episode 6 we see Amanza and Heather (sworn arch enemies) come together to renovate a home. Despite their differences and initial hesitations, they come together and successfully complete the project. It is said that one of the reasons 85% of people hate their jobs is because of their colleagues and this does not serve your career well whatsoever; the resentment you feel towards your colleagues will have ripple effect on your performance and mood at work - therefore making it more and more unlikely that you will succeed in that role. Moral of the story, separate your professional needs from your personal needs.

5. Make your ask

So, Maya is one of the viewers favourites, being known for her no-nonsense approach to business. She works between LA and Miami and in episode 5 Maya approaches Jason (her boss) with a proposition about potentially opening up an office in Miami. Now, you may be sitting there thinking “well, they are never going to do that” and if you are, you are missing the point entirely! What Maya teaches us here is that you should never assume that people know the next step that you want to make in your career or the kind of opportunities you are interested in. You have to put yourself out there without fear of rejection (scary, I know!). I am by no means suggesting that you go into work tomorrow and ask your boss to open an entirely new office for your benefit but there are probably things you want that you are too afraid to ask and I am hereby giving you permission (and the confidence) to make your ask. If you are wondering...Jason didn’t actually give Maya an answer but hey - they have to leave some stones unturned to keep us engaged right?

And that’s that - it’s fair to say that I have a careful ear and eye when it comes to reality TV and although the show may be decorated for our entertainment the career lessons are all real.