If you’ve ever watched The Office you know one thing…they don’t get too much work done. It is glaringly obvious, and Jim even points it out using a well-formed pie chart, that Michael (the boss) spends most of his time procrastinating, distracting others, and last but (definitely) least critical thinking. Although the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch isn’t the epitome of efficiency, they can teach a Young Professional some extremely valuable lessons about the workplace.
Absolutely Love What You Do
Something that The Office preaches through tear-jerking humor is to have an undying love for what you do. Michael Scott, the fun-loving manager of the office, has an unbridled passion for the company. He worked at Dunder Mifflin for over 15 years, not something every YoPro just out of school can fathom, but there is something to be said for loyalty to a company. Michael proved a love for an unconventional industry. Selling paper is not sexy, but he was okay with that. He loved paper, his job, and his Dunder Mifflin family.
Jim Halpert, the goofy yet seemingly most rational officemate, expressed his passion for the job differently. His passion was not always pronounced, but it was always present. If you take away the fact that he met the love of his life in the office, it might not seem there was much fire under Jim. He had moments where he questioned his passions, and ultimately ended up leaving Dunder Mifflin, but it was clear that Jim was passionate about the company. He had an extensive and ongoing prank war with Dwight, transferred branches and then back again, fell in love with the receptionist, but cared a heck of a lot about all the people. His experience was unique but passion was present. To work in the office was to become a part of the family and you had to be all in.
You’re never going to love every second of every day no matter what your profession, but you can pursue your passions. You will produce better work when you care about what you are doing, and the people of The Office show us just that.
You WILL Encounter Different Managing Styles
Through 9 seasons of The Office, we saw 10 characters as managers. And when I say characters, I don’t just mean characters in the show, I mean true characters in life. Some managers donned the title for years, like Michael Scott, and some for only minutes, like the dim-witted accountant, Kevin Malone – but they all left quite an impression.
The King of Goof: Michael Scott
Michael Scott is hands down the most unconventional manager in Dunder Mifflin history, and on TV. His ways may have been unique, but his priority was always the happiness of his employees. A lot of people in the office did not always appreciate his managing style, but everyone knew he had a large heart. He valued humor and atmosphere, knowing that happy employees made for a happy workplace. Work was never the highest priority, but he often was running the most successful branch in the company. Stanley Hudson, a well-tenured company employee definitely had bouts of disagreement with Michael. He didn’t agree with his style, but overcame his disagreements with Michael and got to a point of mutual respect.
From Farmer to Manager: Dwight Schrute
Then there were managers like Dwight, who held a tight rein on the office. Dwight took the role of Regional Manager extremely seriously. He was previously appointed “assistant TO the regional manager” desperately trying to become the right-hand man to Michael. This was a fake position created for Dwight, but he carried it out with honor. Dwight took a more traditional approach to management, something that the office was not used to, but something that the employees took in stride. Dwight and Michael could not have been farther than different in terms of managing styles, both had extremes ups and downs in their rule, but were successful in their own ways.
The lesson to be learned is you won’t always love your manager. Their style might not mesh perfectly with yours, but that is OK. You need to develop the skills to work under people that are similar and different from you. You will learn from these people, and you will become a better person, and employee, because of it.
You will learn from good managers, but you learn the most from bad managers. They will show you how you will want to act (and how you won’t) in a leadership role.
The people of the office could identify what they respected and didn’t with each manager, and that helped them better develop a communication method with each individual.
Gotta Love The Office
When you start a new job, you never know what your experience is going to be. As a young professional, the general philosophy is to take what you get. But, as you work in different roles and for different companies, you must learn from every experience – positive or negative. You will face obstacles: co-workers you disagree with, managers that (kind of inappropriately) poke fun at you, high employee turnover and tenure – but add in some humor and you may just have the time of your life.
All Photos Credited to NBC