Notable Career Tips From Four Characters in Mad Men

What’s not to love about AMC’s Mad Men? Aside from riveting social plots and an incredibly accurate look at life in the 1960s, there are countless career tips young professionals can take away from the show’s main characters…

Peggy Olson: Know Your Value    
Peggy stuck it out at Sterling Cooper (later Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce) for four seasons as she worked her way up from entry-level copywriter to Don Draper’s second in command. As her accolades grew, so did her confidence, and eventually she recognized the best opportunity to advance her career would be at another firm. It’s important for young professionals to be confident in their professional ability and seek the best opportunities for their skill set.

Don Draper: Introverts Can Make Great Leaders
Leaders are often viewed as charismatic, extroverted individuals with a commanding social presence. Though Don takes charge of nearly every social or work situation presented to him, he has a notoriously bottled-up personality and leads by using carefully selected language with a laidback demeanour. Don’t let a “shy” personality hinder your voice; showcasing great ideas can be just as effective through intellect and reason as by persona and social skills.

Joan Holloway: Organization is Key
Joan is the femme fatale within SCDP, but her capability as Director of Agency Operations within the office is just as striking as her looks. It’s not a stretch to say the firm would function with much less cohesion if it weren’t for Joan’s overarching rule in organizational affairs. Thick skin and a keen sense of your surroundings are critical within a functioning team environment.

Peter Campbell: Hard Work and Integrity are Keys to Success
Peter Campbell’s actions are opposite of what young professionals should take away from his character’s career advice; he is impulsive and somewhat conniving, someone who can be a poison to work with. Relying on his family name to justify his status in early episodes, it quickly becomes clear that dedication, honesty and a humble approach to life are much more likely to contribute to success.