It’s the year 2020, and most of the general population has seen at least an episode or two of the hit TV show, “The Office”. While it’s an entertaining show to binge on a Saturday afternoon, anyone in the working world can see a few cringe-worthy parallels between the show and their daily office environment. Whether you’re working a full-time job, or gearing up for a summer internship, don’t be a Michael, a Dwight, or a Jim. [Full disclosure: I love The Office as a show…just maybe not for workplace ideals]
Don’t be a Michael: His antics are at best hilariously misinformed and at worst insensitively ignorant. He passes off important managerial tasks that he doesn’t feel like completing and is blatantly obvious about the coworkers he does and does not care for. He also hit a co–worker with his car, so…don’t be a Michael.
Don’t be a Dwight: While it’s admirable to take your job seriously, don’t do so at the expense of co-working relationships. Dwight is power focused at the expense of relationships with his clients, co-workers, and supervisors. He is constantly attempting to usurp authority and bypass the chain of command rather than respecting his supervisor. Even if beet farming is your thing, don’t be a Dwight.
Don’t be a Jim: Though Jim is a definite fan favorite, he too has his share of flaws in the workplace. Throughout most of the show, it is well known that Jim does not like his job. He frequently expresses apathy or disdain towards his work, and spends his time doing other tasks (pranking Dwight). Jim is a well-developed character, but an overall subpar employee. If you are miserable in your job, look for ways to improve your situation, or look for opportunities to obtain a new position. Rather than bringing other co-workers down to your level of distaste for your job/company, look to uplift and encourage others to do their best…or take a job in a city 2 hours away without telling your significant other. Don’t be a Jim.