Rachel's Career Was The Best Subplot in Friends
Start writing a post

Rachel's Career Was The Best Subplot in Friends

And you can't change my mind.


When Friends is brought up in conversation, Rachel's career is rarely discussed – only ever in the context of going after Ross for his disrespect for his girlfriend's career and autonomy. While well-meaning, this essentially means that even feminist fans of Friends are trivializing Rachel in the same way that Ross does.

Rachel's career is unique within the context of the 90's sitcom because she, unlike the other friends, begins the series unemployed and with little to no working experience at the age of around 25 or 26. By the end of the show, she is so successful in her field that she is offered a job in Paris, the height of success in the fashion field, to be quite honest.

So already, there is a huge amount of character and skill growth within just a decade. But even looking at each year individually, it's absolutely amazing to see what she accomplishes.

She begins working as a waitress, typically very poor due to her lack of skills (resulting in minimal tips), as well as the minimum wage associated with waitressing. But another major reason for her consistent lack of money was that she was addicted to shopping as a result of her formerly lavish lifestyle.

After approximately 2, 2 and a half years of waitressing (again, her only known job experience), Rachel gets a grunt job in the fashion industry (which she had expressed great interest in joining many times before), and begins slowly climbing the ladder, eventually becoming an executive at Ralph Lauren. While a big reason she can do that is because she makes connections and is very personable, making it easy for her quickly move ahead in life, it is also because she genuinely has knowledge about the brand from a time she would rather forget due to personal guilt and shame about the person she used to be, as well as acknowledging her previous issues with shopping.

Rachel, rather than trying to make herself a whole new person that she could barely recognize, harnesses everything positive about the selfish, wealthy woman she was before, and utilizes it to make a new life for herself based on hard work and what she loves. Her love for shopping is no longer a coping mechanism for discontentment, but instead is a way of trying to help out her friends, like when Joey was preparing for an audition.

And no matter how often her career is put down by people (specifically Ross), she never stops believing in it as her calling and works hard and cares about it so much, attending conferences even when she was very low in the field.

And while it's never really called an addiction, it is implied that, based on her sisters' habits, before her life in Friends, Rachel was not particularly mentally well or sound, and shopping was used as a symptom of the issue. It is honestly inspiring to see her take her former weakness and turn it into her greatest strength.

All in all, as problematic as Friends is in contemporary times, the way that it deals with Rachel's reinvention of herself and her goals is incredibly well-done, and gives hope that for people dealing with all kinds of issues that they don't have to get rid of everything about themselves, they just need to stay strong and make their weakness that strength.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Black History Month? Try Black History Year

What does Black History Month mean to you?


African Americans have done so much and will forever be remembered for their accomplishments. In my opinion, there is no such thing as Black History Month. All year, we should celebrate the amazing poetry, music, inventions, and accomplishments that has surfaced over the last 100 years. Let's take a look...

Keep Reading... Show less

A TikTok Ban? Nope, That's Not Happening

We've seen this movie before with the popular social media app.


Here we go again. There's a groundswell of support to ban TikTok in the United States.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Check out what's trending on Odyssey!

writing on a page with a hand holding a pen as if the person is beginning to write something

Looking for some inspiration to kick off your Monday? Check out these articles by our talented team of response writers! From poetry to tips for manifesting your dream life, there's something for everyone.

Keep Reading... Show less

Exploring the Superbowl's Historic 50 Year Legacy!

Building up to next Sunday

football game
astros / Flickr

The Superbowl is the biggest football event of the year, and the 50-year history of the competition has seen a lot of memorable moments. The event first began in 1967, when the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game was played in Los Angeles. Since then, the NFL has grown from a small regional competition to an international phenomenon. Over the course of the last 50 years, the Superbowl has seen some amazing plays, memorable moments and incredible records. This includes Tom Brady's record of five Superbowl titles, the first time the Patriots won three consecutive championships, and the Steelers' record of six Superbowl titles. The event has also become a cultural phenomenon, with millions of people tuning in each year to watch the big game. There are now commercials, halftime shows, and other events that make the Superbowl a true American spectacle.

Keep Reading... Show less
11 Genres Of Music That Originated From Black Culture

Numbers don't lie, up in the charts many times, black culture has defined the music industry. Music is a worldly language that can be understood by people all over the world. You bet black culture has taken over the music industry, but not from the way you may think. I'm not talking about their prominent presence in the rap game, but the origins of eleven different genres of music. Black culture is always using their heritage and ancestral knowledge to transmute the current energy to a higher frequency. Personally, I'm not surprised that many of these music genres have originated from black culture. Thankfully, I've been able to grow up in a diverse environment. I can only thrive in a diversity of friends.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments