5 Life Lessons from Tina Fey

We mined the actress’s appearance on ‘David Letterman’ for the best nuggets of advice.

Being a working woman is never easy, but if you happen to juggle motherhood, a demanding job, and the pressure to be “on” at all times, then at least you have the benefit of Tina Fey to guide you.

The actor/producer/comedian sat down with late-night legend David Letterman to discuss being awarded The Hollywood Reporter’s Sherry Lansing Leadership Award. And amidst the topics of Trump’s feud with Alec Baldwin and the anxiety of parenting, we mined some inspiring career advice from the funny woman.

Here are 5 life lessons from Tina Fey that’ll inspire you throughout the workweek:

1. Juggling the demands of work-life balance can be crappy but it’s worth it.

“[Children] augment your life and your perspective. And they wear you out. There’s a Stephen Sondheim song, ‘Being Alive.’ It’s about how people you love just wear you out and irritate you and sit in your chair and make you lose sleep. But it’s what life is.”

2. Praise and recognition can be uncomfortable and necessary.

“This one makes me a little nervous. Have I really done enough to warrant this? Sometimes I tell myself, ‘Well, what would a guy do? He’d take it.’ They wanted to give me that Mark Twain Prize [for humor] in 2009, and I said, ‘I don’t think this is appropriate.’ And Lorne Michaels said to me, ‘Just take it while your parents are alive,’ which is very smart.”

3. Find a mentor you can discuss the major life (and career) questions with.

Fey not only has worked for SNL creator Lorne Michaels, she also calls him to contemplate life.“[I ask him] big-picture things of how should I live my life, how to handle this person, jobs to take or not take, ways of managing people.”

4. You need a sisterhood or a brotherhood to call when the chips are down.

“I have a group of women that I worked with at SNL — Maya Rudolph, Emily Spivey, Paula Pell, Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer, Rachel Dratch — and we talk as a group through the computer every single day. Dozens of times a day. And it’s very nice. It’s something we’ve come to in our 40s. It was easy when we worked at SNL: You’re on top of each other 60 hours a week. So it’s nice that we are maintaining this friendship.”

5. Failure is unavoidable and not easy to get over. So what?! It’s O.K.

During the interview, Letterman asked Fey, “Did you ever participate on SNL when something just bombed?” Instead of playing it cool, Fey was honest. “Oh, for sure. I was in a couple of sketches that were pretty bad. If I was in a sketch, that was already a red flag. But that can almost be fun in its own way. Rachel Dratch and I have that relationship, going back to Second City, of just locking eyes while bombing — and it’s as close as I’ll get to feeling what it’s like to jump out of a plane. Just that free-fall of, ‘Well, this is terrible. But the parachute will probably come out.’”

Fey continues, “I don’t know about you, but I find any little thing I do, if it doesn’t go well, I just carry that bomb juice on me for days. I had to do something the other night at a charity thing, and I was promised I didn’t have to write any jokes, and every year I forget that when I introduce the band, it takes them two-and-a-half minutes to bring the banjos out and stuff. And so it was like, ‘I’m here. I have nothing.’ And I’m dying. And I don’t even have the wherewithal to improvise anymore. I just stood there. And then for three days, I was in a bad mood because I bombed.”

TELL US: What are the life lessons you’ve learned in your job or career? Advice for others? Share on Facebook @Glassdoor

TagsCareer AdviceHollywood ReporterNewsTina Fey

Categories Career Advice, Watercooler

Originally published at www.glassdoor.com on December 8, 2016.

Originally published at medium.com

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Mark Davis / Staff / Getty Images / 	Gallo Images / Contributor / Getty Images / Taylor Hill / Contributor / Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and More Powerful People Share the Inspiring Lessons They Learned From Their Friendships

by Jane Burnett

5 Celebrity Moms Who Have Opened Up About the Stress of Parenthood

by Rebecca Muller

“Set aside time each day to focus on long range goals — don’t get caught putting out fires daily and lose focus/consideration of long range planning.” with MaryEllen Reider and Fotis Georgiadis

by Fotis Georgiadis

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.