Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / SEP. 27, 2014
version 4, draft 4

7 Career Lessons From Breaking Bad

I still can’t believe I watched all the five seasons of Breaking Bad in a time span of less than a week. I don’t know how I did it. Oh wait, actually I do! I have never watched something so entertaining, captivating, bitter sweet, hilarious, full of suspense, the list goes on…

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is the chemistry teacher turned drug Lord who has to hide his ‘business activities’ from his family and friends. As fate would have it, his brother in law who happens to be the DEA catches up with him and everything falls apart for him and his former chemistry student (also his business partner) Jesse Pinkman ( Aaron Paul).

Just to clarify, I do not support the abuse, manufacture or trafficking of any drug; I just happen to have learnt a few career lessons from Mr. White that can be of help to someone out there. How about we look at a few of them;

Career Lesson 1: Don’t shy Away From Shifting Careers

Walter White was a great chemistry teacher before he starts his meth business. His son Walt Junior once told him that he knows all there is to know about chemistry. However, he left this job to start cooking meth with Jesse Pinkman. Something of this nature is very rare, if not unheard of and many would disapprove of this but Walt did it anyway and became a zillionaire.

Being in a comfort zone career wise can make you very afraid of changing your present career and doing something totally different. It is unfortunate that most of us miss out on a ton of opportunities because of fear of the unknown. Take that leap of faith today and experience the challenges, achievements and adventures that come with taking on a new role. You’ll be glad you did!

Career Lesson 2: Always do a Perfect Job

It is no surprise that complaints and negative energies come from people who don’t bring anything to the table, but rather, those who are ineffective and incompetent with their responsibilities. If only you could decide to be the best at what you do and throw blame at the least effective, you would become indispensable to your employer.

In Walt’s case, he makes the best product with the highest purity the world has ever seen. His competence attracts the best employers including Gus Fring and Tuco Salamanca. Strive to work and be indispensable in every career opportunity in order to secure long-term contracts, the best jobs, pay hikes and other attractive benefits.

Career Lesson 3: Know whom to do business with

This is one of the great lessons Walt had to learn along his career path. He made a few mistakes with Tuco and Gus because as much as they gave him good business, he noticed later that they were very toxic and could kill him anytime. He had to end their lives and hence put an end to the business relationships.

When in business, take time before deciding who to enter into a business relationship with. Some deals look great but they will mess you up eventually. Work with people whom you share the same goals and mindset with and those who are on the same page as you.

Career Lesson 4: Hire Loyal People

In Breaking Bad, one of the things Walter White gets right is bringing on board Jesse Pinkman. He is loyal, hardworking and competent. Notice that Jesse was not experienced in the beginning about cooking meth but Walt hired him nonetheless.

Many companies out there make the mistake of hiring employees with good resumes (good grades and a ton of experience) at the expense of people that share the same dreams and aspirations as them. Be sure to look deeper into the personality and interest of your potential employees. It is better to hire someone who has little or no idea of what you do but is trustworthy, hardworking and shares the same passions and career goals as you.

Career Lesson 5: Follow Your Passion and Vision

I am certainly not implying that because you are a great chemist like Mr. White, you should start your own meth business. NO! That will land you in jail even before you begin. What is of importance is to find out what makes you tick career wise and follow through with it. There is nothing more beautiful and fulfilling than doing something you love and enjoy.

Career Lesson 6: Your Network is your Net worth

Walter White cooked the meth but he could not distribute it himself. That is why he needed a team and other business partners to help him with the distribution. You do what you do best but failure to expand your network will make your business stagnant. This is important even for those who are in employment. The more relevant people you know, the better your chances of landing a dream job.

Career Lesson 7: Be Patient with People

With the different personalities you meet along your career path, you need to develop patience and toughen up your muscles for when you meet the extremes. You will definitely not like everyone but don’t let this be a determining factor to the success of your career. In Breaking Bad, Walt met people he was uncomfortable with (Gus’s crew members, Tuco, Jesse’s friends) but this did not make him stop his business. He pushed on and made it, eventually. You can too!

As much as the world fell in love over and over with Breaking Bad, I wonder how many people paused to ponder on the lessons they learnt from it. It’s unfortunate if you only found it entertaining since it is enlightening too. If you haven’t watched it, you might want to watch it so as to understand the lessons better, or just to see a great show.

 

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