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4 Career Lessons From Psych


As the USA show Psych draws to its conclusion, those of us who have followed the show for years will look back on the adventures that Shawn Spencer and Burton “Gus” Guster had while solving cases for the Santa Barbara Police Department. For those who have not seen the show, Shawn Spencer possesses an eidetic memory. He has been trained by his father to pay attention to details and he must pretend to be a psychic to avoid going to jail. As the series progresses, Shawn is continuously hired by the SBPD to help solve cases by using his “psychic powers.” Hilarity ensues.

Regardless of your attachment to the show, we can all take the time to sit back and reflect upon the lessons it taught us. These lessons translate especially well in the work field. Even if you’re not pretending to be a psychic, you can still use the lessons from Psych to help you succeed in your career.                                                                                   

Think Outside the Box

Shawn is the least orthodox person you could ever work with. He attempted to attack a man with a gun by throwing a cordless phone at him, he sneaked in to a rehab center to solve a mystery and he used half of a fake beard as a disguise. Amazingly, all of these techniques worked — although the beard was hit or miss at times.

While doing the expected comes with less risks, experimenting often leads to better results. If you’re having difficulty solving a problem, it’s better to try a new approach instead of staying with the same method you’ve been using.

The Small Details Add Up

While you always want to focus on the big picture as your end goal, the little details are what make up that picture. Shawn literally made his career by paying attention to the small details. By looking at the body language of a man on a TV news interview, he could figure out his guilt. He’s solved mysteries by taking the small details and adding them up.

Paying attention to the small details can make a difference with your work. An assignment you are working on could have the potential to be great, however, if you have one typo in every other paragraph, the results are less than desirable.

Teamwork is the Key to Success

Shawn Spencer is great at what he does — finding the small details and using them to solve the case. However, much of the information that he gathers comes from other people. Where would he be without Gus at his side with his pharmaceutical knowledge, Juliet’s keen detective skills or Lassiter’s grumpy determination?

You are going to have to work with others to achieve the best results. It’s ridiculous to expect one person to master everything — which is why you turn to your co-workers when you’re stuck.

There Is Always Time for a Snack

You should not be working 100% of the time. Breaks are essential for overall productivity. While Detective Lassiter may find Shawn and Gus’ constant snack breaks frustrating, they have the right idea of taking time to refuel.

Rather than pushing yourself for your entire work day, spread out the work load and plan to have a small break every hour or so. Taking the time to stop and relax will help you maintain control over your workload.

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