Take every opportunity you can to ask people about their career path. "What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?" is a good starter.

What do you get when you combine four talented performers, a cappella arrangements of television theme songs, and talking toys? For me, the result was a face that ached from smiling plus a serious case
of stuck-in-my-brain-itis featuring
“Hey Ya!” (Shake it like a Polaroid!)

Thanks to ASUPS, the source of my face ache arrived on campus last week. The Blanks–also known as Ted’s Band from “Scrubs”–dropped by KUPS on Thursday to promote their Friday night show. My CES colleague, Scott Dunham, and I got the chance to pop in during the interview to ask the quartet if they had any career advice to share with Puget Sound students.

Known not only for their vocal talent, but also for their comedic antics, Sam Lloyd, Philip McNiven, George Miserlis, and Paul Perry latched on to Scott’s question “What was your worst job and what did you learn?” Not surprisingly, the answers were entertaining, and primarily tongue-in-cheek. “Stay in your bed with your covers over your head and just keeping playing Xbox. That’s what we believe you kids should do.”

[audio:http://userweb.pugetsound.edu/ces/media/CES_The_Blanks_Interview.mp3|titles=CES- The Blanks Interview]

Use the player above or download an mp3 for the full 6 minutes of silliness.

During a (slightly) more somber moment, Philip responded to a couple of questions about his career:

CES: What was your first (or an early) job that made an impact on you? What did you learn from that experience/how did it direct your career path?

Phillip: I once worked for a television show runner who was a workaholic with no friends but many Emmys. I answered phones and picked up groceries, was on call 24/7, and if my personal life ever intruded I heard “Don’t waste my time.” Things deteriorated when I borrowed one of the cars only to have it stolen from in front of my house.

If I had to do it again I would have been a little more aggressive in cultivating industry contacts, and a little more overt when it came to expressing my ambitions, and asking for advice.

Moral? Network, network, network.

CES: What advice do you have for college students about how to pursue their passion?

Phillip: I keep being told, “Do what you love, and the money will come.” I have been playing Xbox for a while now, and am still waiting for the cash to start rolling in.

(Seriously, though) I take pride in the fact that we are a hybrid group, not just comedians, not just singers, not just classically trained ballet dancers. We do something unique, which is good.

Also, I work with good people. I have had the most fun on this journey with the Blanks team, because the guys are all great friends. I trust them, and know they have my back, and that we all want the best for each other.

Moral? Xbox aside, finding work you can be proud of, that makes the most of your talents, and allows you to work with peers you respect is true career harmony.

Need networking and information interviewing tips, or want to talk to someone about discovering and pursuing your own passions? CES can help!

© 2010 Career and Employment Services, University of Puget Sound
Photo: Serni Solidarios.