Winter is Coming: Game of Thrones and the Job Search

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The season finale is fresh in our minds and I thought it was the perfect time to get some job search tips from Game of Thrones characters.

We may not have dragons or Direwolves in this world, but that doesn’t make this book series/TV show any less relatable to our lives. Preparing for what comes after college is just like preparing for Winter; we can give it our best effort, but the truth is, we don’t exactly know what we’re in for.

To help you get ready for this transition, I’ve decided to visit some of our favorite characters and see what we can learn from their experiences trying to win the game of thrones.

*Spoiler Alert: This post contains material from the current season. If you’re not caught up, stop what you’re doing, watch this season, and then come back to read this post!

1. Daenerys Targaryen: Take Advice

I could probably write an entire post about why we should emulate this lady in everything we do. She freed herself from her brother’s psychological (and occasionally physical) abuse, she took a huge risk to become the mother of dragons (and was rewarded), and she’s built a strong following of freed slaves by offering the promise of a humane future.

Still, even this badass woman gets a little lost every once in a while. After seeing the way slaves were treated, she is ready to deliver a world of hurt to the “masters.” But, after speaking with Jorah Mormont, she is willing to stop, think about her actions, and offer mercy to the families of the masters, which wins her MORE followers.

It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone needs guidance sometimes. Don’t see asking for help or advice as a weakness. In fact, asking someone for an informational interview can totally benefit your career. Also, with the internet we have an endless amount of resources for job-seekers. Just be sure to take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Listen to the advice that’s out there and then use your critical thinking skills to figure out what would work for you.

2. Tyrion Lannister: Let Your Personality Shine  

What Tyrion Lannister lacks in height and fighting skills, he more than makes up for in personality. His clever wit, sense of irony, and outgoing nature set him apart from every other character on the show and are the reasons many of us truly and deeply care about what happens to him.

A large part of the job search is letting employers know who you are. Employers are looking for someone who is going to be a good “fit” for the company. Let your personality shine through in your cover letter and during your interview (especially if you’re applying for a job in a creative industry).

Also, start developing your personal brand now.

3. Arya Stark: Set Clear Goals

Arya is a girl who knows what she wants. Every night she recites the names of the people she will someday kill. There is no doubt in her mind that she will find these people and accomplish her goal.

This is the type of focus you should apply to your job search. No matter how high the odds are stacked against you (the economy, your student loan debt, the competition), believe that you will get the job. After all, Arya’s chances are probably even slimmer than yours. People are literally trying to destroy her and her whole family.

Also, one way to stack the odds in your favor is to make sure that you’re setting realistic goals for yourself.

4. Jon Snow: Really Research Your Industry

Jon Snow is in the business of protecting people from what’s outside the wall. So, what does he do? He goes over the wall and interacts with the Wildlings that live on the other side. He really gets to know what he’s dealing with.

Basically, he researches the competition and learns from them.

You have to do the same. After you’ve Explored jobs on AfterCollege, read the AfterCollege Blog, and figured out what industry appeals to you, it’s time to start doing your research. Find out as much as you can about the company you want to work for, their competitors, the industry as a whole, and then pain-spot your way to a job interview.

5. Oberyn Martell: Stay Humble

We are definitely dealt a cringe-worthy moment when Oberyn fights the Mountain to avenge his sister and save Tyrion. Oberyn is winning the battle until he starts to jeer at the wounded Mountain. Whether it’s because of the directors, the actors, or our sixth sense, we all feel that something bad is going to happen when Oberyn shows his arrogance, prancing around the fallen Mountain and demanding that he “confess his crimes.”

Sure enough, as Oberyn dances around thinking he’s won the fight, the Mountain knocks him down and crushes his skull.

It’s important to be confident in your interview, but make sure that it doesn’t cross the line into arrogance. Our former VP of Products goes into more detail when she tells us about the worst interview she’s ever conducted. Also, don’t let arrogance allow you to commit one of these cover letter crimes. Remember, you’re showing why you’d be an asset to the employer’s team—not how they can help you in your career endeavors.

6. Margaery Tyrell: Cover All Your Bases

Margaery is determined to sit on that Iron Throne. During her marriage to Joffrey, she makes sure to win the hearts of the people who once hated him. This influence enchants Joffrey and makes it a lot harder for his mother, Queen Cercei, to get rid of her. After Joffrey is murdered, Margaery knows that she can either lose her place on the Iron Throne or marry his younger brother Tommen Baratheon. Aware that Queen Cercei hates her, she knows that she must make her mourning over Joffrey look genuine. So, she secretly visits Tommen in the middle of the night. Then, just to be sure that she and her family will remain near the Iron Throne, Margaery and her grandmother work to marry her brother to Queen Cercei.

Haven’t watched the show or read the books? Was that all a bit confusing? Here’s what you need to know: Margaery has her bases covered. She’s going to win her place on that Iron Throne one way or another.

In your job search, you have to do the same. Don’t just apply to jobs on AfterCollege or another job board. Make sure you’re keeping your social media presence active and professional, you’re networking on and offline, and that you’re giving paid internships or volunteering a chance.

Homework time! You may not be fighting with swords but you’re definitely entering a war zone. This is Game of Thrones and the job search. Start strategizing. Create a battle plan for yourself. Research companies, target your résumés and cover letters, and talk to people. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Make sure that you’re proving you’d be enjoyable to work with. Be prompt, polite, and pleasant from the start (the receptionist’s first impression can pull some weight). Check out some of our interview tips to make sure you’re ready.

P.S. Have any other Game of Thrones job search tips? Share them in a comment below!

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