5 Careers Lessons from Pride and Prejudice
- Events are opportunities
Would Lizzie and Jane ever have found rich and eligible gentlemen to marry if they’d stayed at home rather than attending balls and accepting invitations to tea? No, in all likelihood they’d have remained spinsters, or been forced to accept proposals from the likes of the detestable Mr Collins in order to avoid destitution.
Take a leaf out of their book, and take every opportunity to network. Attending company and industry events might be your chance to connect with a new contact, find new business, or talk to someone who could help you land your dream job.
- Take a break
Whether you’re in work or on the job hunt, holidays and rest are very important. You need time away from the daily grind, to recharge your batteries and boost your spirits. If you burn the candle at both ends and don’t take time for yourself, you might lose all your energy and motivation.
Remember, good things come to those who accept they need a break every now and then – if Lizzie hadn’t taken some time away from the strains of gossip and needlework to go hiking in the Peak District, she would never have stumbled upon the beautiful grounds of Pemberly, and might never have realised Mr Darcy (and his house) was perfect for her.
- Consider the consequences of your actions
Putting something ill-advised on social media, losing your temper at work, leaving all your friends and throwing yourself into the power of Mr Wickham… Acting without a thought for the consequences can have serious ramifications. Always take the time to think an action through, to double-check your work, and if you’re still unsure about something, to ask for a second opinion.
- Be an empathetic worker
The clue is in the title: don’t let your own ego trip you up in the workplace. There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your work, but acting arrogantly will cause tension in your working relationships.
You should also work to break down any unconscious biases you have. Employers are on the lookout for graduates who can collaborate with people from a variety of backgrounds, and who can navigate potentially sensitive issues with aplomb.
- Work on your communications skills
Think how much quicker things might have been resolved if everyone had just managed to say what they really meant, in a constructive way. From Jane’s inability to let Mr Bingley know her true feelings, to Mr Darcy’s shockingly unflattering marriage proposal, there are a lot of failures to communicate.
When you’re communicating as work, make sure you express your points clearly and concisely, and listen carefully to what the other person has to say so you can respond appropriately and reach a meaningful conclusion.
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