Blame the crappy economy, the lack of job security or curiosity about what it takes to succeed in the business world, but business is a hot topic on TV right now. CBS just launched a show called The Job in which aspiring job seekers compete for jobs at desirable businesses such as a high end restaurant or a major fashion magazine. The Job is not a cheap knockoff of Donald Trump's Apprentice series. For one thing both the job candidates and the business professionals looking to hire conduct themselves with class. The candidates experience an on the job trial, highlights of which are shown during the show. One candidate is eliminated based on their performance while the remaining candidates compete in a question and answer session of topics that relate to the job they are competing for. The show focuses on one company per episode which allows viewers to enjoy a behind the scenes look at not only that particular business but also that industry as well. This Friday The Job features a major fashion magazine looking to hire so that is definitely a must see episode for this fashion loving Diva. The Job lacks the drama of other business reality shows like Kitchen Nightmares or the Apprentice, but what is lacks in drama it makes up for in substance. The business experts even include tips on getting hired throughout the show! I expect The Job to do well as long as they continue to focus on glamour businesses such as high end restaurants and fashion magazines. As soon as they start featuring sanitation plants or fast food businesses I'm changing the chanel.
Other business TV shows worth watching are Shark Tank and Undercover Boss. Shark Tank features aspiring entrepreneurs that present their idea to a panel of outspoken "sharks" and try to get an investment for their business. The sharks sometimes compete for a business they want to invest in or offer scathing commentary about why they don't want to invest in a certain business. Some of the drama feels contrived, one minute a shark is accusing another shark of being the devil and then 5 minutes later that shark is asking the "devil" to partner with them on a business deal. Contrived TV drama aside, the business experts (sharks) on Shark Tank provide some valuable insights as to why a certain business is likely to succeed or fail.
Undercover Boss takes a more personal approach to business as usual. A high level boss at a certain company goes under cover taking on a series of low level positions at the company they work for. The experience is often an eye opener for the boss who had no idea what issues and concerns his employees are facing. Inevitably the show inludes touchy feely segments with the undercover boss learning about the personal and professional struggles the employees he is working with. The show ends on a touching note (often involving crying and hugging) with the boss revealing his or her true identity to the individual employees they worked with, often giving them lots of cash to payoff debt or pursue a meaningful goal such as paying for their children's education.