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5 Career Lessons From The Hunger Games

Here we have yet another example of a series of novels / movie franchise meant for teenagers yet resonating with an audience of all ages. The dystopian world created by Suzanne Collins with all of its sickening violence and oppression remains a huge hit. So, I’m probably not giving any spoilers away by saying that in the first installment of The Hunger Games our beloved heroine comes out on top – or stays alive at least. Now I’m not urging you to head to the local arms dealer and get yourself a bow and arrow, but we can take a few tips from Katniss Everdeen and her begrudgingly savage pals. Here’s how to keep your career alive in the arena that is the workplace:

1 It’s all a matter of luck… or is it?

Each year the freakishly dazzling Effie visits District 12 to decide the fate of two unwilling competitors for the annual Hunger Games using a simple lot. Every child in the district has their name in the pot at least once, with many increasing their chances of being entered into the games by having their name in multiple times depending on how unfortunate their circumstances are.

If we think of this in terms of the job pool, then your chances of being employed by a particular company increases with the number of times your name comes to their attention. If you make the effort to inquire prospectively about potential vacancies, then it is likely that you’ll be remembered when they happen to have an opening.

2 Using your training

Our strong and resourceful protagonist Katniss Everdeen was forced to provide for her family due to the absence of her father and the acute poverty she faced. The hours she spent training in the woods with her father or friend/love interest Gale were of great assistance to her time in the arena. Add this to her formal training and she was bound to be a winner.

Everything you have learnt over the years, no matter how minor you think it is, can be beneficial to your career. Skills that you acquired through university, work placements or even your dreadful time at school can be applied at work. Like Katniss, abilities you may never thought you would’ve needed might just pay off.

3 The benefits of self-promotion

Katniss and Peeta’s escorts know the benefits of self-promotion better than anyone; in a sense they are very smart marketing executives. Both Effie and Haymitch (when he’d put the whiskey down of course) encouraged the young bedraggled tributes to turn themselves into polished competitors with a unique angle i.e. ‘The Girl On Fire’ and ‘The Guy Crushing On The Girl On Fire’. They also must have people take an interest in them in order to get donors, hence the awkward interviews with the well-coiffed Caesar Flickerman.

Never before has it been more important to stand out from the sea of hopeful jobseekers. For this reason, many candidates have been creating outrageously creative CVs that set them apart from the crowd. You could become ‘The Girl With The CV On Fire’, or minus the pyrotechnics, ‘The Guy With The Talking Resume’ or ‘The Guy With The Computer Game for a Resume’.

4 Strategy

Well thought out game plans are a key component throughout our tributes’ Hunger Games experience. From training to their time in the arena, Katniss and Peeta had strategems in place to help them succeed. The most obvious instance of this is when Katniss and little Rue plan to destroy the Careers’ supplies and put them at a severe disadvantage. This doesn’t come without harrowing consequences however.

We need to be thinking in a less extreme way of course. But, in any business it doesn’t pay to head into something full throttle, just hoping for the best. Losing time in the short-term while conceiving a clever strategy could save time in the long-term and keep competitors on their toes.

5 Bending the rules

It’s safe to say that the closing moments of the 74 annual Hunger Games are a little tense, well, crapping your pants tense. By this point, Katniss has every right to follow through with her poison-berries-related epiphany as the Gamemakers screwed her over so many times by changing the rules, that it really should be her turn.

And how can we apply this in the real world? Sometimes bending the rules is the only way to survive. If you don’t want to lose your job, this means simply thinking outside of the box or going against the grain. The traditional method is not necessarily the best method. Be innovative and have your own poison-berry-worthy ideas.

If it wasn’t for these five key points then Katniss Everdeen would not have survived her time in the arena. And even more importantly there wouldn’t be any more books or movies to speak of! Remember that simple changes such as marketing yourself more or making use of all of the resources you have available can make a huge difference. All that’s left to say now is, may the odds be ever in your favour…

Fair use image is the property of Lionsgate (2012).

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