With the release of Season 7 of Game of Thrones this weekend we've decided to think about the career lessons you can take from it.
So maybe climbing the career ladder isn’t exactly like being Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms/King of the Andals and the First Men/Protector of the Realm.
BUT getting your foot in the door of your dream company and getting into the job you really want could involve a few battles and facing some dragons of your own!
So here are a few lessons we can all take from the most and least successful social climbers in Westeros and beyond! (Please be aware there are some spoilers if you aren't up to date)
Now I’m the first to say I don’t think much of Littlefinger, but he is pretty clever at using his network to help him climb. After all, his connections got him sent to the Vale and a title or two. It was his ability to help people that made him these friends, some of which owed him favours for that help. Maybe you know someone who knows someone? The lesson to be learnt here is, help your connections. They may not have something you need now, but they could in the future so help where you can!
As much as it is admirable to hold onto a company, project or person you care about, if it isn’t working knowing when to stop is almost as important as fighting onwards. This doesn’t have to mean the end of your pet project; it may just mean coming back to it at a later date. It’s like the struggle of Ser Jorah Mormont. Though I feel for him and respect his determination to get back into the good books of the woman he obviously loves, it is quite clear he should be channelling his efforts into others things (like finding the cure for greyscale and not dying!). I’m not saying abandon every difficult project, but definitely learn to prioritise.
The most important thing to remember is trust matters. Trust is not a common commodity in the Seven Kingdoms but it could make all the difference for some of the most beloved characters. Take Daenarys and her team of advisers for example. Daario is all about the ego, Jorah was too in love with her to make a rational decision especially if it came down to her safety or the safety of her people, and though Barristan seems loyal, who can she really trust? If you are constantly questioning if someone is using you to climb, or suggesting things for their own gain, then maybe it’s time to find a different team.
Although I recommended assembling a team that you can trust in the previous point, make sure you don’t do a Cersei. When she ends up running the country, she soon becomes paranoid and cuts off people that could be valuable allies, even if they have not given her a reason not to be trusted. This does nothing for her and she’s soon out of favour and into a cell! Instead of constantly questioning motives without cause, make sure to cultivate your network and provide value to your connections. This could be in the form of industry news, introducing connections to one another or writing articles about topics that could be of interest.
You never know when you could run into someone who could give you an opportunity or offer you the chance you have been waiting for. As Tyrion (who I’m pretty sure has had more close encounters with death than any other character on the show) has proved, talking someone into believing you’re worth keeping alive (or hiring!) can really be life changing. Always try to have a pitch prepared to talk your way into that dream job and don’t forget it’s ok to sing your own praises once in a while.
Can you think of any lessons you could take from Game of Thrones that might relate to your career?