Professional Lessons Learned from How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother, aka nine seasons of love, humor, slap bets and believe it or not, legend- wait for it- dary professional lessons. The five friends have not only been through ups and downs in their relationships, but have also had quite the roller coaster ride with their careers. For anyone searching for advice on how to thrive in their professional life, look no further than the lives of Lily, Marshall, Ted, Barney and Robin.

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Don’t compare yourself to others. It is easy to feel as though everyone else your age has already accomplished more than you. Remember, your life doesn’t have a specific timeline of when you are meant to accomplish certain tasks. When all of Marshall’s friends had jobs, he was still in law school. The plan for his career just happened to take a bit longer than those who he was surrounded by and there is nothing wrong with that.

Stay organized. Much like Barney’s playbook, it helps to keep everything organized and in one place. Make a folder on your computer to keep your resume, cover letters and letters of recommendation together. It can also help to have a list of everyone you have networked with along with their contact information. With all your professional paperwork in one spot your nerves will calm and you can focus on more important things, such as job searching.

Be open to new opportunities. After leaving her job at Metro News 1, Robin didn’t let the fear of leaving her comfortable life behind in search for a new job. When searching for that perfect job, you have to be open to learning new things and going to new places. If you avoid accepting new opportunities, you will never end up in a career you love.

Network. Talk to everyone and more importantly, stay in contact with them. If you meet someone once and try to ask them for help five years down the road, there is a 90% chance they will not remember who you are. Networking is what helped Lily land her job as an art consultant. Ted’s ex-girlfriends, ex-husband, The Captain was in need of a consultant and appreciated Lily’s eye for art. If she had failed to make an impression or keep in contact, she would not of had the chance to pursue this passion of hers.

Stay true to who you are. Although trying on different personalities may have worked for Barney, it’s better to stay true to who you are and don’t let too many outside forces influence you. Ted not changing for anyone is not only what led him to meet his wife, but also led him to design his first building. He stayed true to his architectural-style and morals, and in return he became the youngest architect to build a skyscraper in New York City. It may take more time than you expect, but succeeding after sticking to what you believe in will be worth it.

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Hannah Miller is a junior strategic communication major. Follow her on Twitter @feefifohannah.

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