December 12, 2013

5 TV Shows That Can Actually Help Your Career

Have your parents ever told you you spend too much time watching TV (or maybe Netflix rather)? You could be so much more productive if you just spent less time tweeting about Pretty Little Liars and more on your homework, right? Well, what if you could be productive and learn something while watching TV? Sounds like a win!

1) Shark Tank

This is a top recommendation for anyone who has any interest in business in general. Shark Tank gives people the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to real investors in order to, ideally, get a deal on the spot. Businesses include everything from restaurants to novelties and even the occasional music-oriented business. Watching is entertaining, but it will also teach you a lot over time about what it takes to run a successful business, what investors look for in a business, and how to give a good business presentation. Rule #1: Always know your numbers. It's on ABC on Friday nights and it's definitely a must-see if you want to learn about business.

2) Behind the Music
This Vh1 classic airs regularly (seriously there are reruns on every week) and gives you an inside look at what made your favorite musicians famous. It will tell you about their childhood, their path to getting discovered, their struggles, and their successes. It's a fantastic way to learn more about how to build a musicians career and the kind of work that goes into being successful as an artist. Plus, the show features interviews with the artists themselves as well as close friends, family, and members of their business team (such as their manager), so it's about as close to the real story as you can get.

3) The Apprentice
Admittedly, this show is quite as helpful as it once was before it became about the celebrities. However, back when the competition was people with business degrees and years of experience it was an especially good way to learn about marketing, sales, product development, advertising, and more as they tried to complete each task. In fact, one year a contestant had to run and promote a Jessica Simpson concert at a casino. Still, even without all the MBAs, the competition still features some pretty interesting business tasks like the ones you might encounter at work, so it's worth a watch. The show airs on NBC.

4) Warped Roadies
This reality show follows the people who travel on the road with Warped Tour and make the show possible. It airs on Fuse on Wednesday nights. It's a great way to learn about life on the road in a tour bus and what it takes to produce a major festival and deal with things like interpersonal relationships on the road, weather, crowd management, and everything else. Definitely worth checking out if you have an interesting in touring or concert promotion.

5) Making the Band
The show that brought us O-Town and Danity Kane might be a bit vintage, but it was actually one of the original music business shows and one of the first mainstream reality shows in general (the ABC version, before it was moved to MTV). This show follows the artist development process as a brand new band is formed and their album is developed. It's a great way to see behind the scenes of rehearsals, recording, songwriting, choreography, and meetings with people like managers and record label executives. It will also show you what music executives are looking for in successful musicians and help you learn about A&R. The show isn't on at the moment, but you may have some luck finder older seasons on Netflix or online.

Do you have anything to add to the list? Is there a business-oriented show that has taught you something? 
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