Some of the best job advice comes from movies you already know and love. Maybe you can’t (or ethically, shouldn’t) use the Force to get ahead in your career. However, much of our favorite bits of career wisdom come from classic pop culture moments. From Star Wars to Game of Thrones, here are five famous quotes that you’d do well to remember in your tech job.
“Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.”
Game of Thrones
Oftentimes, there’s more than one way to approach a problem. Yes, you may be familiar with solving things your way, but there could be many different paths that lead to the same outcome. Stay flexible and explore your possibilities when you’re solving a problem. Learn a new skill that could help you get there faster. Try determining a new approach with your team. When you rely on using the same old solution, you may be missing out on a faster or better approach.
“Live together, die alone.”
Today’s developers don’t operate in a vacuum. You’ll need to be able to play nicely with folks from operations, marketing and more. Even within your team, you may have a plethora of different types of programmers. Remember, you’re all in this together. Especially if you’re a contractor, it’s important to remember that you’re a piece of a bigger puzzle. Make sure you’re ready to play nicely with the group.
“All this has happened before and all this will happen again.”
That tricky problem that you’re facing? It’s probably already been solved before. Even if the whole solution isn’t sitting online, pieces of it are. When you’re up against a wall and you feel like you can’t solve the problem laid out in front of you, look for a similar problem that’s already been solved. Whether you search online or look at previous products from your company, you may find that somebody else has already laid down tracks. Be a good steward of the future and document your processes whenever possible, to help out people down the road.
“I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer.”
Bones’ catchphrase may have been fun, but it’s also dumb career advice for technology professionals. If you want to get a job in IT, sometimes you’ll have to be a bricklayer. Sometimes, you’ll be an escalator. There are many different hats you’ll wear as a programmer – so don’t deign to put them on. In many cases, especially at small companies, you’ll be asked to perform multiple functions. Don’t be like Bones – be ready to do whatever is needed of you.
“He certainly has courage.” “…Yeah, but what good is that if he gets himself killed?”
It’s great to have courage, or be smart, or have a willingness to work super late hours. But what good is that if you get yourself killed? Of course, you’re not facing Darth Vader and you’re not likely to actually get killed. But at the end of the day, it’s what you do that matters – not your secondary skills. Remember what Yoda said: “Do or do not, there is no try.”
IT jobs require more than just a burning knowledge of pop culture quotes, but as long as you’re stuffing your brain with movies and TV shows, you might as well pick up some career advice along the way.