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Career Wisdom Gleaned From Rewatching ALL of "Gilmore Girls"

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Over the long weekend many of you probably were at the beach or the pool or on a great hike. But many of you were also vegging out on the couch and bingeing on a new Netflix or Hulu series and THAT'S OK. We all need a little break sometimes and it seems like every week a brand new, must see or you will die series launches. And though I do like to delve into these new series a lot of the time I find myself going back to the classics I have loved since I was a teenager, namely Gilmore Girls (I mostly owe that to the daily reruns played on FreeForm.)

You also may be aware that Netflix did a little reboot of the series last November further reigniting my obsession. Though talks of a Season 2 on Netflix are still very much in the air (and Milo Ventimiglia just revealed some very big news about his character) watching those first six seasons (well, the first five. No one cared for Season 6 as the brilliant Palladinos were out of the picture and the plots were insane) are still just as good and filled with tons of sage career advice. The Gilmore Girls found themselves in many stressful career situations, just like yourself. They were by no means perfect and had many foibles along the way, but we can definitely learn something from them. Where you lead, I will follow.

When You Are Balancing a Lot

When Season 1 started Lorelai was a single mom to bright teen Rory, manager of a successful inn and getting her business degree part-time (so she could one day open her own inn.) She was juggling a lot and though she managed to always look great and have numerous snappy comebacks, the writers did show that it had taken her a few years to earn said degree because she was doing so much. Anything worth earning, takes time. But you know what else helped her? An ungodly amount of coffee. Seriously.

When You Are Scared To Go Out On Your Own

Lorelai had been afraid to tell her beloved boss and basically second mother Mia that she would be leaving the Independence Inn to start her own with Suki. However, when Mia said that she would then sell the inn since Lorelai was leaving Lorelai started to get really scared as reality was truly setting in of how scary starting your own business can be. She lashed out at Suki, but eventually did realize that she just to embrace her fear and take a risk.

When You Have Taken on Too Much

There is a beautiful episode in Season 4 when both Rory and Lorelai find themselves completely overwhelmed with work and life and they can't seem to connect. Rory has taken on too heavy a course load her freshmen year at Yale and Lorelai is now dealing with the financial drain and just general drain of trying to open an inn with a very pregnant (and somewhat flighty) business partner. They find themselves turning to the men in their lives for shoulders to cry on. Nothing is really remedied by the end of the episode but just letting it out and realizing that it won't always be chaotic but it is right now, is the lesson.

When Someone Doubts You

A pivotal moment in the series was when perfect, straight-A, constantly praised Rory Gilmore was told, by someone who matters (Mitchum Huntzberger), that she didn't have what it takes to be a journalist. Like many kids that grow up excellent students and attend top colleges, entering the real world where grades and homework don't matter anymore can be a real shocker. They aren't the stars anymore. When Rory was told this she literally lost it and by lost it I mean stole a boat, went to jail, quit school, joined the DAR, and severed ties with her mother for a good 6 months. This is a dramatic reaction to say the least.

Rejection can be a shock to your system but changing your entire career path because one person said something is not logical. It took her a few months, but Rory eventually realized that she did not have to give up on everything she had always wanted because one successful person assessed her in a negative way. She had to prove to herself that she had what it takes.

When You Mix Friendship with Business 

Both Rory and Lorelai have taken the risk of mixing business with friendship. For Lorelai it actually worked out. She took a lot of business advice and a huge loan from Luke and they remained friends and eventually romantic partners. For Rory, it didn't turn out so well as she ended up being elected Editor in Chief of The Yale Daily News after her BFF Paris was ousted. This resulted in her getting kicked out of her apartment but eventually they reconciled.

When You Are Told You Need To Do More

Even when you feel like you are doing great work, sometimes it is just not enough. You have to play the game. You have to schmooze with upper management and lead projects or join the office softball team. Rory was a straight A student but was shocked to learn that that alone wouldn't get her into college. She had to show that was she wasn't an anti-social freak. Her mother was also told she needed to join in on more school activities as a parent. Sometimes you have to go above and beyond.

When You Get Distracted By Your Personal Life

One of my favorite moments on the show just happens to be in the pilot. Rory just met a cute guy (dreamy Dean), and it makes her second guess if she really does want to go to a fancy private school. Her mother says, “Don’t get me wrong. Guys are great. I’m a huge fan of guys. You don’t get knocked up at sixteen being indifferent to guys. But, babe, guys are always going to be there. This school isn’t. It’s more important. It has to be more important.” Fun stuff like people and social media can always distract us but we have to go back to the work.

When You Think You Are Too Good For a Job

We saw a very different side of Rory in the Netflix reboot. After always doing everything by the book (except for the whole boat stealing thing) it seemed Rory really abandoned any form of a conventional or safe career. She pursued a career as a freelance writer, but even more she wouldn't even commit to living in one place. Taking a risk is great, but Rory seemed to be taking too many as she opted to work on a book with a notoriously unstable subject and kept turning down a job at a thriving web site because she felt it was beneath her. It turned out OK as (SPOILER ALERT) she wrote a book based on her and her mother's life but the reboot was really all about Rory struggling in her career.

When You Are Feeling Unchallenged

Do not surround yourself with yes people. Rory had someone who always challenged to work harder and be better and that was Paris Gilmore. She kept her on her toes as a student, an editor, and a compassionate friend.

Coffee Solves All

When in doubt, take a coffee break.

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

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