It may be a sitcom, dated back from 1995, but every one of these lessons apply to us, whether we’re graduates or those who want to take a step forward in their career.
Season 1: Rachel swallows her pride and oozes out independence:
It isn’t easy taking your first steps into your career, but the best things in life are a challenge, which makes it all the more satisfying when that challenge is completed. Prior to Season 1, Rachel never had a boss, or served coffee, but she took that step with the support of her friends and this resulted in her becoming a more responsible, independent woman that could fend for herself in the real world.
Season 2: Passion is a key ingredient to finding success
Passion is also an important asset to have when expressing an interest in a job. There are two ways to project your passion in whatever field you want to work in through the application process. One way is to show it through your cover letter and the other is to provide evidence of all your skills if you get to the interview stage. Ross and Phoebe’s debate over whether Evolution is fact or fiction brings out Ross’ passion about his views on the subject and his job. We all need to retain our compassion no matter how many people try to steer us away from our goals.
Phoebe was shocked when Ross gave up: “I can’t believe you caved… You just abandoned your whole belief system! I mean before I didn’t agree with you but at least I respected you. How are you gonna go to work tomorrow?! How are you gonna face the other science guys?! How are you gonna face yourself?!”
Season 3: When Rachel gets ‘The Fear’ by quitting her job
Joey and Chandler have certainly got the overall concept down. In order to progress further in your career or to take those first steps to achieve your dreams, you must take risks and grab at any opportunity. I think the scarier you feel about taking that step, the more likely it will open doors for you in the future.
You won’t get anywhere if you don’t take a risk once in a while. Whatever the outcome you get from these risks, you will gain valuable experience in the long run and this will then prepare you for the journey ahead. You should never turn down any opportunity that falls onto your lap, you never know where it may lead.
Season 4: A catering business is born when Phoebe and Monica become… Hard-ass and Wuss!
Sometimes a BIG accomplishment can come from a small idea. It’s no use just sitting in front of your computer applying and applying, researching and researching. Sometimes you have to use that smart brain of yours to be creative. The most successful careers came from a creative mind.
“Hard-ass and Wuss… we could fight crime!”
Season 5: You may have to fall in order to rise above any challenge
Sometimes you have to do something you hate in order to get ahead in your career, and sometimes good news can result from a negative situation. In season 5 Rachel was demoted to being a personal shopper, which she was initially upset about… until she met Josh-ua. Sometimes a bad situation can lead to good news.
“The most adorable man came over today and I got to dress him up all day!”
Season 6: Mac meets C.H.E.E.S.E
For some very lucky people their dreams could come true earlier than they expected. Instead of questioning it, just enjoy the ride and work hard to progress further. This important lesson is implied in the sixth season of Friends when Joey lands the main role in his new TV Show: Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E.
“The lead in my own TV series? I’ve been dreaming about this for years! I don’t know if I’m good enough!”
Season 7: Get practicing your ‘gracious loser faces’, fellow graduates!
Rachel taught us all in Season 7 that when times get tough and we don’t achieve our dreams, we must all put on a ‘gracious loser face’ and move on. Unfortunately, most graduates starting out in their career will inevitably be gracious losers in the beginning, but the long wait will finally be worth it and the achievement will feel that much more satisfying.
“One day you will win an award for real, and that one will mean something!”
Season 8: “Your soup is abysmal.” “Smug b******”
Sometimes starting from the bottom can put you to the ‘top of the class’. Monica was feeling down when she read negative reviews of her cooking in a few newspapers, but instead of feeling sorry for herself, she walked straight up to the man who was responsible for the review and tried to prove herself. She ended up taking an ‘Introductory to Cooking’ session. “Want to feel good about yourself?” Then swallow that pride and chase your dreams.
Season 9: To get in, you need to get out
You need to know when to get out of a job and you need to know how to get back into your job. Small paces can lead to big results. You can’t move forward without taking the first step. When Chandler first started working at the internship in season 9, he was intimidated by the young students working alongside him. But look where he ended up! He became a Junior Copywriter after just a few months. “Really? The guy who just said butt cracks?!”
Rachel saw a man worm his way into her job and replace her, she didn’t just bow out, she fought hard to get back in after her maternity leave. “They said if I don’t start right now they’ll fire me!”
Season 10: A bitter-sweet farewell. But don’t get off that plane!
Sometimes you are offered such a big opportunity that it scares you and makes you doubt yourself. It might be that the role is challenging, exciting and full of responsibilities, or that the change comes from the location. Whatever the reason, opportunities like these don’t come around very often, so when you get it, grab onto it! It’ll be worth it in the end. In the final season of Friends, when Rachel was offered a job in Paris, the mere thought of leaving everything behind terrified her, but her ultimate decision came from knowing that it was too good of an offer to pass up.
Overall we are reminded that anyone can work their way up from nothing. We just have to want it enough.
Good luck, graduates!