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4 career lessons from celebrities

Rachel Farrell, Special to

Ah, celebrities. We love to love you, we love to hate you and we love to watch you make silly career mistakes that we can all learn from.

While some of these mishaps were more public, old or recent than others — they were major blunders all the same.

Here are four career faux pas we can learn from celebrities.

1. Don’t do drugs

In September 2010, singer-songwriter Bruno Mars was arrested in the bathroom of the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for possession of cocaine. He reportedly admitted to the police officer that his mistake was foolish and that he had never used drugs before. Mars eventually pled guilty to felony drug possession and as a result, the drug charges will be erased from his criminal record as long as he pays a $2,000 fine, does 200 hours of community service and completes a drug-counselling course. (Source: and MTV News UK)

And then there’s pop singer T.I., who was released from jail earlier this year after doing about seven months’ time on a federal weapons charge. After his release, T.I. was set to make a career comeback in music and movies — until he and his wife were arrested for alleged possession of a controlled substance. Back to square one, T.I.! (Source: MTV News)

2. Don’t meltdown at work

On a recent interview with “Good Morning America,” to promote his new album, Chris Brown got angry with interviewer Robin Roberts for asking questions regarding his ex, Rihanna. (Rewind back to 2008 when Brown was charged with felony assault.)

According to reports, Roberts asked about legal issues stemming from the assault and Brown went a little … crazy. Brown allegedly stormed into his dressing room, screaming so loudly that security was called. Reports said that Brown smashed a window, ripped off his shirt and left the building before giving a scheduled performance. So far, there have been no legal ramifications from this incident. But after working hard to restore his image (and career) following the assault, Brown just took a few steps back. (Source: New York Daily News)

3. Don’t talk badly about your boss

After several years of drug and alcohol abuse, and alleged domestic abuse, Charlie Sheen appears to have officially gone off the deep end.

It started in January 2011 when Sheen began an in-home substance abuse program and “Two and a Half Men,” the sitcom in which he starred, went on hiatus. Sheen went on to make derogatory comments about Chuck Lorre, the show’s creator, and demanded a 50 percent raise, which ultimately contributed to Sheen’s termination from the TV show.

Sheen has since taken his career in a different direction on a nationwide tour and as partner in a line of electronic cigarettes called “NicoSheen.” Winning? No. (Sources: New York Times, People, Hollywood Reporter and The Guardian)

4. Don’t be a liability

Oh, Lilo. The mistakes she’s made in her career are never-ending — and most likely, career ending.

It all started in 2006, when a studio executive called Lohan “irresponsible and unprofessional” for various late arrivals and absences from a movie set, citing her heavy partying as the cause.

In May 2007, Lohan was arrested for DUI and entered rehab — only to be arrested for second DUI in July 2007, with a felony possession of cocaine and driving with a suspended license charges to boot. Her party girl ways quickly earned her a reputation in the acting industry. Hollywood executives and industry insiders commented that it would be difficult for Lohan to find employment until she could prove she was sober and reliable, citing possible issues with securing insurance.

Lohan’s mistakes go on, including but not limited to multiple probation violations, stints in rehab and jail time rendezvous. Most recently, she was charged with felony grand theft of a $2,500 necklace from a jewellery store. (Sources: CNN, Us Weekly magazine, Associated Press)

So, what can we all learn from these riotous Hollywood icons? That the workplace — no matter if it’s a recording studio, a movie set or dressing room — is not the place for your antics. Employers in any industry expect you to show up to work and while you’re there, to do your best work. Anything less could cost you your career.

Rachel Farrell researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for Follow @CareerBuilder on Twitter.

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