We all need a Tyrion Lannister in our career.
Written by: Harrison Forman
You are sitting at your Saturday brunch (plug) with your friends. Mimosas are flowing, your “Coach” takes a shot at the bar, and conversations are livening up. You slowly moved passed the Bumble date recap (this happens after Mimosa #2 on average) conversation into your job updates or better yet, current career disposition. You are happy with your career, wait actually, “glad” about how things are going. You tell your friends: life is solid, boss is chill, just completed a fun project, and finally locked up that work crush. “Guys, I’m great.”
Your friends nod, maybe request a “cheers” to celebrate and the conversation slowly moves forward into the next concert everyone is going to (this time, it’s Kygo on May 15th).
The End…if only that was actually how you felt. See,
So why didn’t you share your true feelings? It has nothing to do with your friends, or the nature of disconnecting during the week, rather, it comes down to your need for a solid mentor. You see, these are not questions for your friends, but an experienced, empathetic mentor.
So how do you make this happen? What should you look for? Is this a two-way street? Most importantly, who should buy the beer?
I figured the best way to highlight the methodology would be to use some of our favorite pop-culture mentor-mentee relationships. Each provides a unique takeaway moving forward…
1. Informal friend — Tyler Durden in Fight Club. As we saw with Tyler Durden in Fight Club, when he met Edward Norton on the plane, the mentor-mentee relationship was far from established, yet day by day, fight-by-fight, anarchist plot-by-plot, we started to see the relationship deepen. Now, I’m not saying you should embark on a vicious doomsday journey, but you still need to look across your network, university, or that fellow sitting next to you on the next Delta (yes, go with Delta) flight for gradual insight & guidance. By starting casually, you’ll find folks more than eager to help someone else out. After all, most mentors tend to follow the Zig Zigler approach (inadvertently): “you can have everything you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” There are some “schmucks” out there don’t get me wrong, but generally speaking, people care about helping others. Know that.
2. Inspirational figure — Trent Walker in Swingers. Trent Walker inSwingers, Vince Vaughn’s first leading role, is the penultimate mentor. When Mike is down in the dumps with his fumbling acting career, breakup, and lethargy caused by it all, what does Trent do? Does he wallow in the same misery unfolding before Mike’s eyes? Nope, he rescues Mike from destined oblivion with one word: Vegas. “Vegas, baby, Vegas” is a catchphrase of a generation, but for Mike, it represented hope. Hope for finding his next acting gig, his next dansel (hopefully not in distress), and hope for living the swinger LA lifestyle in the 90’s. If we all had a Trent-esque mentor in our life, we would never be allowed to say “no” to the exciting opportunities in our personal and professional lives. For those of us with just a dab of doubt about our potential, find a Trent. Sometimes, all we need is a reminder of just “how money” we actually are. I can already tell that you, for simply reading this post, are “SO Money right now you don’t even know it.”
3. Selfless Teacher- Ms. Lippy in Mean Girls. We all remember Mean Girls, the absurd High School drama that ironically defined our middle schoolexperience in the early 2000s. Regardless, Ms. Lippy (Tina Fey) is more than just a Math teacher to our girl Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan). As Cady heads into a downward spiral of underage drinking, friend backstabbing, broken relationships, broken friendships, broken friend (literally), and the self-deprecation that comes with it all, Ms. Lippy does not give up hope and Lindsay Lohan gets things together, lands a mathematical Beau, overdramatizes her Prom Queen W, and last but not least, goes to college (Wait, does she?). None of this would have been possible without the undying support of Ms. Lippy who kept encouraging to pursue her true strength and calling, at the time, math (Note: focus solely on the character, not on Lindsay Lohan…this will take you in the wrong direction altogether).
4. Paragon of ambition — Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. This may be controversial, but there are many reasons to admire Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, one of the most notorious white-collar criminals in film history. Unbridled ambition, resounding leadership, and brutal intensity — these are traits of potentially game-changing mentors. Look, you want to accomplish a lot, we all do, so find someone who’s already making it happen to help point you in the direction of your version of success. You need a “doer” who isn’t just thinking of big ideas without a clue on how to get there (that’s our Millennial role!)…just make sure it’s within the law.
5. Muse to tell you you’re wrong — Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones. You need someone with mental acuity well beyond their years (and height). You need someone who knows how to have a good time (as long as they know when to stop). You need someone who won’t put you on a pedastol and will give you blunt advice, connections (and gold!), and tell you everything you don’t want to hear — that’s right, you need a Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) in your life. Brave, yet catastrophically stubborn, Daenerys Targaryen desperately needed someone like this as she lost control of her own career (I mean city) and she found exactly the boost she needed in T-Money. Put it this way, Tyrion Lannister of House Lannister if placed in 2015, sets the record for the most Linkedin connections, breaks Twitter with the amount of Retweets on every one of his 140 character musings, and forces Apple to feature his podcast interminably (and one other, guess which one?) among the thousands online. My crows tell me Tim Cook even offered him the first-ever Apple car. He’s a legend in every sense of the word, and if you can find someone who is even half (get it?) as forward-thinking, you will be in a great place…even if Winter is coming.
…oh yeah, and undoubtedly, you should offer to buy the first round.