This week marks 10 years since the release of the iconic movie, The Devil Wears Prada. Based on Lauren Weisberger’s smash hit novel of the same name, this film provided an inside look into working in fashion journalism and revealed a harsh truth many faces in their careers: choosing between passion and fame. It’s also worth noting that it showed us all how difficult having a devil boss can be! With its combination of wit and power struggles, plus Meryl Streep being absolute magic as Miranda Priestly –– no wonder why everyone still loves it today! After Andy (Anne Hathaway) manages to excel in her job with the help of a magical movie makeover, she starts questioning what she is ready to sacrifice for success. She can easily discern how stress has impacted Miranda Priestly (the talented Meryl Streep).
- Refrain from expecting praise at every turn.
In the film, Nigel delivers an important line to a weeping Andy who has not acquired any encouragement or acknowledgment from Miranda. He states, “Why do you anticipate that people should cry for you?” At this stage, Andy is acting as if she’s superior to her job and displaying no enthusiasm for it irrespective of all the effort she puts in. People will recognize fervor and sincerity but they can also identify when someone isn’t making genuine efforts.
- Find a mentor.
When Andy first started her job, she felt completely overwhelmed. In an attempt to find guidance, she asked Nigel for help – he wasn’t afraid to give it to her straight and even though his advice was tough at times, in the end, he proved himself as the best mentor anyone could ever hope for. This mentorship dynamic is just one aspect of the analysis of “The Devil Wears Prada” that sheds light on valuable career lessons.
- Make sure to dress for the part.
Fashion is certainly enjoyable, yet it plays a critical role in this film. Andy was required to understand that her clothing choices projected an image, and dressing the right way induced people to take her more seriously –, particularly Miranda. She went from not knowing how to differentiate between blue shades (sorry cerulean!) and wearing clunky shoes, ultimately becoming one of the renowned ‘clackers’. Amanda Fortini of Slate wrote back when the film first came out, “Clothing possesses a talismanic quality, a transformative power: Put on a smart suit and a pair of stylish heels and you are instantly more commanding. Deals can be signed or broken, promotions gained or lost, all by the hem of a skirt. The film, at its best, captures the anxiety, and the magic, of dressing up.”
- Stay calm and collected!
Andy’s workplace was populated with some of the most unhelpful and poisonous colleagues (e.g., Emily), yet she managed to remain polite and composed throughout her grueling job experience. She brushed off their disdainful comments about her looks and ultimately achieved success in spite of it all! This resilience and determination exemplify a core aspect of what “The Devil Wears Prada” is about and the valuable career lessons it imparts.
[Related: So You Want to Be a Magazine Editor? Here’s What It Takes]
- Stay laser-focused on achieving your aim.
Andy has never been particularly keen on becoming an editor at a fashion magazine (even though, who can resist the allure of Parisian glamour and debonair men!). She was intuitive enough to recognize that this job wasn’t suiting her personality, deciding to make a memorable exit: chucking her phone into the fountain before strutting away in true diva style! This bold career move adds an intriguing layer to the Devil Wears Prada analysis.
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