Peggy Olson, Booze, and Makeup: Cosmopolitan’s Working Lady Advice



Photo credit: AMC

All over the world, Cosmopolitan is presented as the quintessential women’s magazine; a handbook for women who shop, lust and earn. For some, the magazine represents everything wrong with the modern woman (e.g. being child free/sexually active/career concerned) and it was banned in Singapore for 28 years. For others, it’s an authority on modern womanhood and (hetero)sexual bedroom tips. Given that most of Cosmo’s readers have a degree and a job, it’s interesting to see what sort of career advice is given to their audience of 20 million women.

Channel Your Inner Peggy Olson: How To Drink With Your Male Bosses (US Cosmopolitan)
This article has tips for drinking with boys including: “Don’t Order Like You’re On a Caribbean Cruise”, “Stay Away From Talking About Politics, Religion, and Sex” (spoiler: because it makes conversations akward).  Also, ladies should take care to avoid talking about:

Judd Apatow movies
Breaking Bad
Flying (Don’t you just hate it?, etc)

Who knew there were so many rules about work drinks? Do men also have to not talk about Breaking Bad? Why? Perhaps Cosmopolitan is looking at the long game for pushing its radical political agenda. Who needs a drink?

How to Completely Change Careers Without Losing Your Mind (US Cosmopolitan)
This article is a guide about making a career change, and includes tips on finance (save before you take the plunge) and the social psychology of networking:

“People love to talk about themselves,” says Nicole Williams [LinkedIn’s Career Expert and published author]. “Find them on LinkedIn and through people you know, and consult with them.”
Williams suggests asking those in similar fields questions like, “I wonder if you’d speak to me about your day-to-day life; What do you love most about the work that you do; What do you wish you would have known going into this career?”

“Those kind of questions are going to give you the information you need and will help you know the people you are going to need to know,” she adds.

Overall, the article is easy to read and helpful for readers in the early stages of a career change. Williams’ advice about networking is useful and realistic, provided that you are able to make your ambitions known as well as politely asking questions.

Create a Killer Professional Pic (Aussie Cosmopolitan)
This how-to article gives tips on how to present yourself in a professional profile picture by breaking advice into 3 sections:

FB versus LinkedIn
Here’s the scenario, you’ve got a pretty damn cute profile pic on Facebook of you at a friend’s party looking pretty holding a glass of bubbly, so you decide to make it your LinkedIn profile pic. […] You don’t want a potential employer to think you’re a trashbag do you?

We all want to look our best when we’re going for a new position, right? So the makeup you wear in your professional pic is super important.  […] Keep your hair simple and along the lines of how you’d normally wear it. That crazy elaborate updo? It might scream “trying too hard” to an employer.

Look like you
Sounds pretty obvious, huh? But ensuring that you look how you normally do (but maybe a little more profesh) is a great way to get the attention of an employer. So if you’ve normally got super curly hair, don’t put up a pic of you with dead straight locks because you think it looks better.

How often do working women actually put up pictures of themselves drinking? And what is actually the problem with changing hairstyles? If you need an approximation of what a professional/natural profile picture looks like, Cosmo presents this:

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