6 Career Tips From ‘Friends’

What is the link between a soap actor, a masseuse, a cook, a palaeontologist, an executive in the fashion industry and an IT procurement manager? Each has a quality you could learn from while job hunting.

Even twelve years after the last episode aired, our beloved Friends characters are not yet outdated when it comes to lessons they can teach us.

When it is time to finally step up into the big graduates’ pool, sit back, have a coffee and let your friends help you.


Take risks if you want to land your dream job

Rachel never took career risks until the day she shouted “I quit!” to a miserable Gunther. She had no plan, no other job but one objective in mind: start a career in the fashion industry.

Now, don’t rush into the office/bar/coffee shop tomorrow morning, with the intention of quitting abruptly and with no notice. There is no need for such a risk in a city as expensive as London.

However, don’t be afraid to do something out of your everyday life. Take a leap of faith. Create your own art association. Send applications to jobs you dare to only dream of. Why not even create your own online shop or magazine?


Don’t be afraid to take detours

When Monica dreamed of being a renowned cook, she certainly didn’t think she would be a roller-skating waitress, dressed with a blond wig and fake breasts at the Moondance Diner.

You probably won’t find you dream job during your first week of applying. In which case, don’t hesitate to take on another one to pay the bills. Just keep in mind what really drives you.

In the future, you might experience setbacks or question yourself about the path you chose. In this case, there is no shame in taking a step back, getting a day job and taking time to think about yourself.


Do what you love

Phoebe has always been happy with being a masseuse, even though it meant not having a lot of money compared to her friends.

Being successful in life doesn’t necessarily equate with earning tons of money. Yes: financial security can help people relax – even plan a future. But don’t make it the primary goal when job hunting.

Unless your career objective is to make lots of money. If it makes you happy, what’s the problem?


Don’t hesitate to show others your passion for what you want to do

Ross’ love for dinosaurs is a renowned boring subject among the six friends. That never stopped him bringing it up whenever he had the chance, no matter how many times the others faked sleeping.

And it shouldn’t stop you either. If you are passionate about a field, whether it is social media, biology, astrophysics or sales, don’t let others distract you from it. On the contrary, unleash your passion and you’ll drag them along with you.

There is nothing more engaging than someone talking about their love for a subject. It might be the spark in their eyes, their illuminated face or nice, big smile. So go on, embrace your true quirkiness and let the world see it. That’s what makes you, you.


Always believe in yourself and what you do

There must be no actor more proud of their work or more driven by confidence than our very own Joey. Everything he does is a success in his eyes. Yes, even the Mac & Cheese TV series.

Nobody, except your parents maybe, will be massively proud of you for something you accomplished. Your friends will be happy for you, but your manager will take the achievement for granted. You are your own motivator. You are the sole possessor of your strength. No one else will write your CV or your cover letter and do your job as well as you.

So gain some confidence, learn to recognise your victories, and be proud of them!


Don’t make your day job your life job because of fear

Chandler once worked as an IT procurement manager, specialising in statistical analysis and data reconfiguration. Boring, you say? It sure was for him. But he didn’t quit until season 9, meaning he spent years and years doing a job he hated.

There is no shame in having a day job that you don’t enjoy. But don’t spend half of your life stuck there. The fear of starting something new, whether an internship or a graduate job, shouldn’t induce a state of permanent laziness. It should push you to do better.

So relax, take a deep breath and start applying today.


Alice Clochet recently graduated from the London School of Journalism and is currently contributing to the Inspiring Interns blog. Give her a shout on LinkedIn.

Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internship and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs London, visit our website.