NBC’s hit show The Office has been off the air for more than six years, but through the wonderful invention that is internet streaming, it continues to gain new fans and entertain old ones every day. Most view the show as an entertaining sitcom, but what many people don't recognize are the valuable real-life lessons taught by the iconic characters. Here are five life lessons that The Office taught me.
Recognition matters – Whether you are being recognized for work that goes above and beyond, or you just win the Dundie for “The Whitest Shoes In The Office,” recognition and positive reinforcement can mean the difference between a great work environment and a hostile workplace. Take time to tell a colleague that they are doing a great job!
Never give up on your dreams – This is the most important lesson, and from my perspective, the whole point of the show. Jim didn't stop at being "just a paper salesman," and Pam wasn't satisfied as "the cute secretary." If you don't like your situation at work or in life, you have the power to change it. Don't be afraid to take chances and never stop chasing your hopes and dreams.
Get to know your coworkers – You may not find the one you love at the office like Dwight, Michael and Jim did, but that doesn't change the fact that you will spend the majority of your life with the people you work with. Don't be just another cubicle dweller; get out and learn something new about your coworkers!
There is no such thing as a stupid question – Ok, so maybe there were some stupid questions on The Office, i.e., most of the things Dwight asked, but in real life you should never be afraid to ask a question just because others might already know the answer. Find your voice in your workplace. People will appreciate your input, and maybe someone else has the same question.
Don’t take yourself too seriously – We all understand that when you are at work, you need to be professional, but you also need to be able to have fun with the people around you. Putting a coworker's desk items in Jell-O is probably frowned upon at your office, but creating a culture committee and having themed parties for special holidays could help everyone have some fun at work.
The Office taught us much more than what is listed above, and I hope that it will continue to teach future generations the same important life lessons. Whether you are a Jim, Pam, Michael or Dwight (or even a Creed), you have a valuable place both in your office and in the world. Use these valuable life lessons to create more opportunities for yourself and bring a little more joy to others.