‘Game of Thrones’ has everything: sword fights, dragons, crazy wigs, and a 7,000-foot wall. But did you also know buried behind the dragons, dark story arcs, and interesting familial *cough* relations, you can also find some pretty sound career advice?
Warning: I’ve read all the books, so there will be some minor spoilers ahead. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Let’s dive in, shall we?
1. Your network is the best way to land a job (and a title!)
Tyrion has proven this many times; his network was related, but he landed a prime job as Hand of the King and as Master of Coin due to his Lannister ties. Granted, he didn’t want the second job, but he wouldn’t have gotten it without a little help from his dad.
But he’s not the only one who has used connections to get ahead. Littlefinger used his connections at court to get sent to the Vale (and also get a few titles to his name), and he doesn’t have any blood ties to speak of. His ability to help and be useful to people opened doors to a lordship, a new rich wife, and more support for whatever end game he has in mind. Rule number 1 of networking: Help people!
Lesson: Your network matters, whether they are related to you or not.
2. Burning your network is always a terrible idea (unless it’s literal).
Let’s revisit the Lannisters again, shall we? Cersei ends up running the country for a time, and wow, does she become paranoid quickly! Her tendency to cut people off and shut them out doesn’t win her any points, but does win her a ticket to a small cell and some amazing bread and water.
Lesson: Don’t annoy your network…unless you plan on killing them before they get to you.
3. Mentors can help you find new abilities, especially magic ones!
Bran can’t walk…but he can fly. And run. How did a lad who couldn’t walk figure all of this out? Mentorship. Bran actually ends up with a couple of mentors who help him progress. First Jojen, and then someone whose name is [redacted to protect the TV watchers]. If you don’t have a mentor, it’s time for you to consider finding one. Though not all of them have future visions, some of them could have a future vision for you.
Lesson: Having someone on your side to help you see things about yourself and your skills that you cannot is priceless.
4. When in leadership, assemble a good team (that’s not out to kill you).
Daenarys struggles with how to lead and which decisions to make at times. Sure she’s got Ser Jorah, but what is his end game? Daario has a little bit of an ego problem (his own), and Ser Barristan is loyal, but whose advice should she follow? It’s important that you have a team you can trust, not one where you are constantly questioning who is going to betray you for gold – or for love – next.
Lesson: Trust matters in leadership.
5. At some point, only you know best.
Listening to the advice of others can only get you so far. At some point, you’ve got to trust your gut on what is right and step off the beaten path. For Daenarys, that look liked tricking a slaver into taking her dragon for his army, and then, you know, burning him to a crisp. Just a standard bait and switch! For you, that might look like trying out a new career that previously everyone told you was absolutely crazy. Note: You may want to skip out on the burning, just to make a few more friends.
Lesson: There comes a point when only you can decide what is best for you.
Featured photo credit: HBO Game of Thronges via 365thingsaustin.com