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What Mad Men Taught Us About Life, Cocktails and Love(ing your career)

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It truly was the end of an era. Seven seasons of perfectly timed mental breakdowns, escapades, weeklong binders and expertly crafted messaging that grew our love for Sterling Cooper (and all variations of the company) to the mega-agency McCann Erickson. What was part fiction, with expertly woven historical events tied neatly into a world of fantasy, was every PR person’s TV addiction. We tuned in weekly to see Don’s antics, only to realize there was always a method to his madness – much like that of our own supervisors. Mad Men is now a gravestone in the history of excellent TV scripting, but we’ll always remember the lessons we learned.

 

  1. Love your job and you’ll never work a day in your life (Stan Rizzo – he lived for being an illustrator)
  2. Culture is important. While maybe not at 11am, an Old Fashioned is always appropriate (Don Draper, especially at 11am)
  3. You can’t buy talent or passion (Pete Campbell – although he never stopped trying)
  4. Own and refine your personal brand – even if it’s a façade (Don Draper aka Richard “Dick” Whitman)
  5. Men and women belong in the boardroom. Talent is talent, who it comes from is irrelevant (Joan Holloway and Peggy Olson)
  6. Believe in the underdog (Peggy.Olson.)
  7. Education is important and you’re never too old for school (Betty Draper – kudos for attempting college despite your fateful demise from lung cancer)
  8.  Understanding client demands (Ken Cosgrove’s run-in with a bullet that led to a slick eye patch for half the series)
  9. Never forget the human side of the business. Technology does not solve all problems. In fact, it creates many. (Michael Ginsberg, RIP right nipple)
  10. Inspiration strikes at any time, don’t ignore it (cue: #MadMenFinale or Hershey Bar episode)