Work Lessons from The Hunger Games (so good we posted it again!)

So by now I’m sure everyone’s tired of hearing about the Hunger Games. But too bad. I’m still going to write about it. Yea, there are a lot of people annoyed by yet another teen love triangle but I have to say, I picked up some essential business lessons while watching the movie and paying $17 for popcorn and a soda.

Here are some of them:

Get people to like you, or you’ll die

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie or read the book, the main characters in the movie have to compete in a fight until the death. Yes, children, because their ancestors rebelled against the capitol, are selected to enter an arena and kill each other in hopes of having one remaining victor. How lovely… Sponsors however, while watching the tournament, assist the tributes in providing them with medicine and food to help increase their chances of winning. But who do they help? THE PEOPLE THEY LIKE. And that’s how it is in the business world. We do business with people we like. We help other people who we like. We do favors for people we like. Is it fair? No. But that’s how it is. So if you want to survive in the workforce, do yourself a favor and make sure people like you.

Be yourself so that people like you so you don’t die

The goal is to get people to like you. We’ve established that. But how do you do that? In the movie, Katniss Everdeen (the main character that has the oh so terrible misfortune of having to choose between two deliciously good looking men) says that she doesn’t know how to make people like her. That’s when her advisor tells her to just be herself. To not try. Look, most people know when they’re being BS’ed. Most people don’t like it when they have to interact with people that are fake. So just be yourself, be relatable, be friendly, and you’ll find that people like you a lot better like that than if you pretend to be someone you aren’t. Besides, being fake takes too much effort.

Be memorable or you’ll die

Before the tournament begins, each competing tribute has the opportunity to show off their skills in order to attract Sponsors. In this case, twenty-four tributes compete for the attention of the Sponsors. So how do they get that attention? By being memorable. Katniss understands this. What does she do? She shoots an arrow into the food that the Sponsors are eating. Catches them off guard… Shocks them. But one thing is for sure, she gets noticed. She gets their attention. In the workforce today, there are so many people competing for the same positions, competing for advancement, etc. The only way to get yourself to stand out of the crowd is by being memorable. By taking some risk. Which leads me to my next point…

Some people will like your guts but others won’t

After Katniss almost decapitates the Sponsors with her arrow, her group of advisors fear that she won’t receive a high rating from the Sponsors. However, she does. For some reason, it appears the Sponsors liked her courage and how out of the ordinary her performance was. She was memorable and they liked that. But at the same time, President Snow (the president of all the districts) was not amused. When he realizes the impact Katniss has on the members of the districts, he feels threatened by her. He understands that she poses a threat to the way things have always been in their society. What does he say? “A spark is fine as long as it’s contained.” You’ll encounter in the workforce that some people are open to new thoughts and ideas. Some management will like that you are the kind of employee that takes risks and thinks outside the box. But some won’t. Some managers will feel threatened by this and will do everything in their power to contain that spark. Don’t let them.

A good mentor will help increase your chances of survival

Each of the tributes competing in the games is given a mentor to help train them and guide them through this terrible process. Each of these mentors has already been in the games and has managed to survive. So they use their past experiences to help these new tributes in hopes that maybe one of them won’t end up crushed by a rock. I don’t think that there’s anything more helpful than finding someone in the workforce that is willing to help guide you during your career. Someone that will push you and help expose you to other people that will help you. The workplace is hard. That’s something that I learned at a very young age. So find yourself a mentor and that should make it a little easier. Or don’t. But then, as a drunken but quite attractive Haymitch says, “embrace the probability of your imminent death.”

Good luck to all of you entering the workforce and may the odds be ever in your favor 😀

Updated: Have any of you put these lessons to use in your life? We’d love to hear what worked and your thoughts on these work lessons!

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