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Game of Thrones' 4 Lessons for the Civilian Workforce

George RR Martin
Picture from https://www.flickr.com/photos/khoffman/albums/72157645872054681

The Game of Thrones books and television series certainly provides entertainment, but there is a lot to be learned from the story about jobs in the civilian world. Let's call this the "Game of Jobs," and look at some of these lessons learned.

NOTE: This may contain spoilers in regards to the Game of Thrones show (and your future civilian career).

Power Can be Fickle

In the Game of Jobs, people come and go faster than you may be used to from your days in the military. Here you may have a boss for six months who is then suddenly fired, or decides the company simply isn't a good fit. The execs might have full faith in your boss one day, then turn on her the next, refusing to allow her into meetings or to communicate with her in any way.

On the plus side of this, you may suddenly find yourself promoted or given a lot of power, like Jon Snow was with the Night's Watch. Just be careful that your decisions don't upset the wrong people and kill your career, in the same way Jon's led to him being murdered.

The good news is that in the civilian world, there is not much of a permanent record, so even if your career is destroyed, you may be able to make a comeback (and won't need the help of the Lord of Light). This is highly dependent on your career field and how much everyone talks.

It's Often Political

Much like in the Game of Thrones' world, in the Game of Jobs you have to play your relationships carefully. You may have a group of colleagues who all think your work is amazing, and suddenly they are shipped off to the Wall (they quit, are fired, or moved to another team).

If you don't want to be the only one left, surrounded by enemies, focus on building good relationships with all your colleagues. While this may be impossible in the Game of Thrones, it is much more likely in the Game of Jobs, so do your best to be friendly and professional.

You Need a Champion

Much like Cersei Lannister has the apparently-undead Gregor Clegane as her champion, Daenerys at times has her Dragons, and Tyrion had Bron before Bron abandoned him, in the Game of Jobs it pays to have a champion. Let's reword that and say a mentor, to keep this crazy analogy simpler. You want someone who can give you advice along the way and help you plan your career. If you have the right mentor, all of this will be much easier to navigate.

Sometimes Hard Work Pays Off

As with Arya Stark and her determination to be one of the followers of the Faceless God (leading to her training and regaining her eyesight), we can find jobs that are not all backstabbing and politics. Do your research, put in the energy to know the culture of a company, and work to keep your relationships strong.

You too may find that you are able to block a stick in those moments when you are blind (AKA roll with the punches) and regain your eyesight (find a strong vision for your career).

Lucky for you, Game of Thrones will be there to remind you of these lessons whenever you forget. And of course you'll have the veteran network to help you along the way, and we will not betray you. This is something very few of the players  in the Game of Thrones universe can claim – so I guess you could say we win.

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