This year, "The Devil Wears Prada" celebrates its 12th year anniversary. As one of my favorite movies of all time, I think there's so much meaning behind it that we can apply to our lives, especially our career.
I love watching the iconic performance by Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly as well as Andy Sachs' journey, played by Anne Hathaway. She's a recent college graduate with so much potential, who has been looking for jobs and is ready to start her career. She lands a job as Miranda's personal assistant, who is editor-in-chief of one of the most important fashion magazines.
I think we all have been (or will be) Andy at one point or another. Maybe you are not chasing a career in journalism as she was, but I'm sure you could at least relate to her struggles. Some of which include job hunting, her desire to excel and, at the same time, finding her true-self while discovering her passion.
Let's make a recap of some of the best lessons we can take from this emblematic movie!
1. Be Yourself
In a world with so many different possibilities, places and ideas... be yourself. This was a tough lesson for Andy, I'm sure. Her new job in the fashion industry changed her personality and led her to forget about her friends and even boyfriend.
It wasn't until Miranda said the words, "I never thought I would say this, Andrea, but I really, I see a great deal of myself in you," that Andy realized she was becoming someone else.
In life, we may have to go through either pleasant or unpleasant situations to really learn who we are. Once we know, it's important to stay true to ourselves!
2. Dare to Take Risks
Similarly, Miranda took the chance of hiring Andy who is not the typical fashionable personal assistant she's used to hiring. She gave Andy the opportunity and, at the end of the day, she proves Miranda she can do great in the role.
Risks can be scary. They take us out from our comfort zone to taking a step to the unknown. But, believe me, taking risks can help you learn so much from yourself and what you are capable of doing. You'll be surprised!
3. Get everything done, sooner
Andy entered one of the most fast-paced environments she could have found: fashion magazines. There are deadlines to meet, current topics to be published and be on top of all the latest trends. Besides, let's not forget the small detail that she is actually a personal assistant so she needs to get everything done at the moment!
And in real life, it follows the same principle. In the workforce, the environment will more than likely be fast paced as well. Of course, it will depend on the field, but your boss will probably appreciate having your tasks done sooner. So, if you can, learn how to be quick and efficient. It will definitely be to your advantage since you will be able to accomplish more.
4. Dress to impress
Andy lacked a sense of style but, with the help of her co-worker Nigel, played by Stanley Tucci, she begins to dress more stylish. Dressing differently was a way for her to show her commitment to the job.
The way you dress does matter. In the movie, there's a huge emphasis on dressing well especially because the setting takes place in a fashion environment. But keep in mind that looks actually matter in ANY environment. The way you dress is a reflection of who you are. What do you want to transmit to the other?
You don't have to buy super expensive clothes or feel obligated to wear the current trend. Just be aware of what fits you better and try to look your best!
5. List your Priorities
Each character in the movie has their own priorities. For co-workers Nigel and Emily Charlton, played by Emily Blunt, their job comes first before anything else. Andy, on the other hand, values her relationship with her friends and boyfriend and has a great bond with them. However, as time goes by, she shifts to prioritize her job over her loved ones. Consequently, her relationships get damaged.
But having a job doesn't mean it will change your life negatively. It doesn't have to ruin relationships or change your personality. It's a matter of knowing how to balance your life. Identify what's more important to you and always keep your priorities straight!
6. The perfect job may not be so perfect after all
In the movie, Andy was told that if she worked for Miranda during a year, she would be able to work in any publication she wanted. Being in the fashion industry, surrounded by the best designers, working with an iconic editor-in-chief...sounds appealing. After all, what can possibly go wrong?
Well, turns out it didn't meet Andy's expectations. She had to do all of Miranda's requests and tasks she demanded regardless of the time and the cost. After many days of stress, sweats and lots of hustling she excelled and was soon Miranda's favorite.
Sometimes, things are just not really what they seem like. As glamorous as the job may look, there's a lot of work behind it and even sacrifices to be done.
7. Do your Homework: Research
If you are working in the technology industry, you'll want to be informed of the newest gadgets or devices; if you'll be involved in the medical field, I'm sure it'll be a great idea knowing about different diseases and medications; and if you'll work in the fashion industry, you'll want to get familiar with designers and fashion trends.
When you are new, always do your research. Be prepared, informed and up to date with what's going on in your field.
8. Confidence is Key
Can we all just acknowledge Miranda's confidence and high self-esteem? She's talented, powerful and innovative. She leads the magazine and her team with intelligence and never doubts the steps she takes. She knows her worth and believes she is irreplaceable.
If you know what you're supposed to do and how to do it well, go for it! Believe in yourself. Your confidence can take you really far. Just remember to always treat the others in a great way, just as you would like to be treated.
So, now you know, enter every room as if you were Miranda Priestly.
9. Embrace the situation
Being someone's personal assistant wasn't Andy's dream job. Nor was staying late at work or being stressed out in her plans. However, as tough as she was having it at work, she took the best out of it.
This role helped Andy learn a lot from different aspects of her life: she learned about herself; eventually enjoyed the job; developed different skills; and learned from a new field: fashion.
Whether you are in a good situation or a bad one, embrace the moment. There's always something we can learn from all experiences we go through. Find the positive side of it and enjoy it!
10. Face Your Errors
In occasions, we are not sure what we are supposed to do at a new job, so we can make mistakes easily. During the movie, Andy never blamed anybody else for her errors.
So don't worry, we all make mistakes. What is important is how we decide to deal with them. Taking responsibility for our actions is the ideal thing to do.
Learn from your mistakes, there are always valuable lessons behind them!
11. Be nice to your co-workers
When we are new at a job, we would really appreciate a hand from a co-worker. Andy finds an ally in Nigel, however, senior personal assistant Emily doesn't seem to like Andy so much at first. But that never stopped Andy of helping Emily or being nice to her throughout the movie!
Befriend your co-workers, you are in this together! Nobody will understand your job situation as much as them. It's much more pleasant going to work with people you like and know will be there if you need them.
12. Don't forget about your goal.
As a recent graduate, you won't always get the perfect job or the one you always dreamed of right after school. You might have to go through several jobs that can even be out from the plan you had envisioned all along. And, let me tell you: that's okay.
Andy was pursuing a career in Journalism, not in fashion nor a personal assistant. Thankfully, she realized she was going through a different path soon enough. However, this was something she had to go through. Things always happen for a reason. Every job will always teach you skills and lessons you can take and apply throughout your life.
So don't minimize anything; you might not like the job you have but it's preparing you for the ideal one. Just remember your goal and keep fighting for it.
Now, grab some popcorn and let's watch "The Devil Wears Prada" AGAIN!