When the first episode of Star Wars appeared in theaters in 1977, it cast a spell over an entire generation. Decades later, we still turn to these movies to forget our own petty troubles and be drawn away into a world of adventure, heroism, poetic justice, laser blasters, and happy endings. And somewhere deep in this rich commercial tapestry of cosmic swashbuckling and life lessons, there are also plenty of things that Star Wars can teach us about work. Specifically, how to navigate a successful day in the office—and how to build a successful career beyond that. Here are a few workplace and career management tips brought to us by George Lucas and company.
Use the force! (But don’t stop there).
The force is the word Jedis use to describe a kind of energy that runs through the universe. And as most of us realize at some point in our lives, the force is a real thing. We can’t use it to move objects around a room (we aren’t Jedi masters) but we CAN use it to channel our power, change the outcome of events around us, and control our emotions. The force lies in all of us, and we can use it for both good and evil. But at work, the force has limits. And when the force alone isn’t enough, we need to roll up our sleeves. All the Jedi mind tricks in the world won’t get you that promotion or a raise you need. For that, you’ll have to use your voice and ask.
Teamwork matters (even if your team counts two strange robots and a hairy Wookiee among them).
When we work alone, we can accomplish lots. But when we work together, we can accomplish anything. If you place your trust in those around you and allow them to place their trust in you, ten of you can accomplish infinitely more than ten individuals could accomplish on their own. There’s just one catch: As a team, you have to know what you’re doing and you have to know how to do it. Boundless energy and enthusiasm are important, but you’ll also need focus, communication, and shared goals.
Choose your side.
When you’re forced to choose between peace/wisdom/order and anger/fear/aggression, the choice is always your own. Many times in the workplace, it’s hard to believe this. If the company does something wrong and we’re asked to participate, we feel like we have only one option. But this is not the case. When it comes to our own actions, we always have control, and we’re always responsible for the things we decide to do. You may work for someone or something (a person more evil than the Emperor, a Sith-like boss, a small company, a giant corporation), but that person or entity doesn’t decide what you’re worth, what you do, or who you are. You do.
Mentors are valuable.
Where would the rebel alliance be without Yoda? Behind every amazing hero, there’s an amazing mentor. We all draw our strength from those who encourage and coach us, and we draw our knowledge from those who have gone before us and are willing to show us the way. When you think you know everything, check yourself. You always have more to learn, and everyone around you can be a potential resource. — When you’re searching for a new job, your most powerful resource lies within you. But your second most powerful resource lies right here at MyPerfectResume! Visit the site for resume and cover letter tools that can help you on your journey.