Yes, the premiere of season 7 of Game of Thrones just around the corner (July 17!). Although Game of Thrones is fantasy, you probably didn’t realize how similar the lives of these fictional characters are to your real life at work. Here are five ways Game of Thrones is EXACTLY like your job:
The Issue: A change of leaders sometimes results in a lot of uncertainty.
How to Prepare/Handle: Keep track of your work tasks. Changes in upper management can cause chaos in a company and even result in you losing your job. It’s important to be prepared to answer tough questions about your job and even your past projects. Upper management can be changed up for a wide variety of reasons but failing to produce is the biggie. If your manager isn’t showing results, chances are blame can trickle down the ladder. Keeping track of your tasks and being organized can help you prove your worth if it’s ever needed.
The Issue: There’s always a lot of inner office drama.
How to Prepare/Handle: There always seems to be an endless supply of office drama and gossip. It’s important to remember that although engaging in office gossip is fun, it can affect your negatively affect your performance. Gossip takes up company time and if you’re caught gossiping about the wrong person (ahem, the boss) things can get nasty. The safest route is to simply not engage. When someone comes to you with the “guess what I just heard about Sally?” question, it’s perfectly fine to respond with the “I was just about to talk to her, don’t worry, I’ll just ask her myself” response (which is a gossips worst nightmare). To avoid being the topic of discussion (like Jaime and Cersei), leave personal issues at home. We all want to share about our crazy weekend but in a gossip laden environment, don’t tell anyone anything you don’t want everyone to know. It’s a tongue twister but it could save your reputation. Repeat with me 7 times fast: Don’t tell anyone anything you don’t want everyone to know.
The Issue: There are people in charge whose sole purpose is to make your life miserable.
How to Prepare/Handle: Many studies are reporting a rise in office bullying. More than 54 million American’s report bullying which is 35% of the workforce. Often, in 72% of the cases, the bully is the boss (like Joffrey). The best way to deal with a bully is to let them what their behavior is (I’ve noticed you talk about me or my work when I’m in the room), how their behavior is affecting you (it’s disrespectful to be talking to other people about me or my work) and what you will (or will not) tolerate from them (I’m going to have to talk to HR about moving me into a different room if you want to continue acting this way). If you allow yourself to be bullied, you’ll only end up being bullied more. You need to have an honest conversation with the person bullying you, even if it is your boss.
The Issue: There are people that are great at seeming important but actually don’t contribute to the cause (or company).
How to Prepare/Handle: We’ve all had the pleasure of working with people that don’t contribute but act like they do in every meeting. This is the one that spends all of their time shopping online or checking out their Facebook feed every 15 seconds. How do you deal with a coworker that doesn’t do their fair share but want all the credit? Don’t even think about bringing down your working standards. Don’t be fooled – lazy workers may be able to get away with substandard work ethics but they also won’t be going far in any company (or in Viserys Targaryen’s case, ruling the Iron Throne). Yes, they may get a bonus and raise, just like you, but in the long run, they’ll stay at the bottom rung (where they feel comfortable) while you climb the company ladder (or the ladder of a different company).
The Issue: You get blamed for something you didn’t do (even if you wish you did).
How to Prepare/Handle: The strange smell coming from the bathroom. The missing pens. That misplaced file. We all get blame for things we didn’t do and in the workplace, how can you handle this situation? In one of the most memorable moments from GOT, Tyrion Lannister was falsely blamed for murdering Joffrey Baratheon, his nephew and the King. Realizing the evidence against him was insurmountable, Tyrion decides to fight to defend his name (trial by combat) rather than admit to the crime and accept banishment to the wall. It’s important to choose your battles wisely however. If you’re getting the blame for something small and petty (like leaving a dirty dish in the sink), don’t waste your time fighting. However, if the issue is more serious, don’t let your reputation be tarnished by taking the blame.