'The Hunger Games': 7 Strangely Smart Career Lessons
In the dystopian book-turned-sure-to-be-blockbuster-movie, "The Hunger Games," 24 children are placed in a remote wilderness and forced to kill each other until only one remains, while millions watch on live TV. It's a game of strength, skill, endurance, courage, emotional manipulation and copious amounts of blood. As you watch each teen flounder one by one, we couldn't help but think, there must be a few career lessons here! We've compiled the top seven:
1. Don't run with the crowd.
In The Hunger Games, if you run with the crowd, you will almost certainly get butchered to a pulp. Stay away from the crowd. Like, really run fast and far away, with every ounce of might in your post-apocalyptic soul. Metaphorically, of course. So take risks on that assignment, like how about using social media?
2. Have a skill others don't have.
Can you shoot an arrow into the eye of a squirrel? Can you snap someone's neck with your bare hands? Can you hop from tree to tree? Get a skill most other people in your field don't have, and you're bound to beat out the competition. Or at least survive a day or two.
3.Volunteer for the assignment.
Katniss Everdeen is the first person in the history of The Hunger Games to volunteer herself, and she (spoiler alert) wins gloriously, sparing her 12-year-old sister Primrose from near certain death. So put your name forward for that next project! You might not save a preteen from a brutal demise, but you might learn something new!
4. Don't offend your competition; they may be allies later.
If you try to undermine co-workers, or hack them to bloody scraps to advance yourself, it may end up backfiring. What if you need to work with them on a project later, a project like hacking your other co-workers to bloody scraps? They might backstab you in the future if, in the past, you've tried to stab them in the face.
5. Expect the rules to change.
Sometimes the rules of the workplace change in ways you don't like. Maybe you have to work overtime, or fill in extra paperwork, or you thought you and a co-worker were both allowed to survive. But then you're told that only one of you can. If you think the old system is better, don't just complain; help make your employer realize it, too. (Threatening to commit suicide, however, might be a little severe.)
6. Be patient with your mentor.
Sometimes a mentor figure will appear in your life -- someone who was once in your same position and moved up. Your potential mentor might be a real character, old and rambling, reserved and distant, or surly and constantly drunk. But if you're patient and prove your worthiness, you may reap some priceless pearls of wisdom, and a couple lifesaving favors.
7. Old, festering wounds are the real (career) killer.
If something was to end up killing your career, you might think it would be a single devastating mistake or a round of mass layoffs. But most careers aren't killed by something so dramatic. Injuries caused by past stumbles -- dropping out of college, a bad reference, a cameo in a low-budget adult film in the '80s -- can, if neglected, accumulate and turn out to be fatal. So try to heal them while you can!
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin. Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at email@example.com. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.more...