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Career Talk

3 Reasons why (Re)Watching FRIENDS might Ease Your Job Frustration

Are you a FRIENDS fanatic like me?

For you who are at least familiar with this 90s US sitcom, maybe you still remember that career was one of the problems that those six friends commonly faced. So, if you’re currently struggling in this career area, (re)watching FRIENDS might be able to ease your frustration and boost your energy. Plus, you get to walk back to the memory lane of the 90s era and spare yourself a little laugh.

But, how could this sitcom helps you with job frustration?

1. FRIENDS shows us that there is no such thing as “too late”

Remember in the first episode of FRIENDS first season when Rachel went to Central Perk because she left her fiancé at the altar then didn’t have money to support her life? She was 24 years old, and had no work experience at all although had graduated from college for quite sometime. Rachel tried so hard to live independently for the first time in her life: find a job and  pay her own bills. She worked hard until in the season 2, she was able to get her way in the fashion industry.

Aside from Rachel, maybe you also remember that Chandler suddenly wanted to switch career although already had a high-level position at his last company. And he was over 30 years old! After resigning, Chandler even needed extra time to figure out what he’d like to do for a living. Yes, he resigned without any clue where to go next. When he finally chose to join an advertising company, Chandler started to build his career from the bottom again: as an intern, competing with fresh graduates.

The point is, don’t be too panic if you feel like you’re way behind your friends. Your time is coming, if you don’t stop working on your dreams. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you take time to breathe and absorb this way of thinking, I’m sure you’ll feel calmer and able to do everything better.

2. There’s no need to be afraid of starting small

Monica, Joey and Rachel were passionate about different things. But what brought them together in the series, career-wise, was that the three of them started their careers from the bottom. Just like Monica who worked at a ridiculous fast food diner, Joey who took a small role at a local theater and Rachel who started as a waitress at Central Perk coffee shop, you can’t expect a grandeur career to happen instantly. Sometimes, the steps you need to take to achieve your dream career are that small.

They stayed in those jobs although did not enjoy because they knew that it was better to do small things than nothing at all. Because it’s simply impossible to just sit around and wait, then boom! You’re offered a high-level job. See what happened in the end? Monica was a Head Chef at a high-class New York restaurant, Joey became a famous actor, and Rachel was a Merchandise Manager at Ralph Lauren (she was even offered a job at YSL Paris!).

So if you don’t know what to do to achieve your dream career, the answer is: do whatever you can do for now. If you want to have your own business and have to start as a low-level employee, what’s the harm of taking it while looking for other opportunities to develop your skills?

3. Getting fired doesn’t mean your whole life is on fire

Different in almost every side of life, both Ross and Phoebe had been fired from their jobs. Well, this firing can be a moment for you to rethink about the next step of your career, without any distraction from piled assignments in front of you. Of course, getting fired will drastically degrade your self-esteem, but this can also be a significant turning point. Maybe, it’s time for you to explore another side of the career field you’re interested in. Becoming a lecturer like Ross, for example? Or self-employed like Phoebe?

Everything you experience will eventually lead to better things. Yes, yes, I know these words are cliché. But if you believe, you’ll prove them right. Maybe this is the way of the Universe telling you to move to another company or another field. Only this time, you are “directed” through another person.


Yes, FRIENDS is only a tv show—sitcom, even. But that doesn’t mean you can’t relate to the story. After all, fiction can’t be created without any reflection from a real life. Have you ever thought that if this kind of event has its fiction version, then how many people who go through the same thing? This means, you’re not alone. This means, you don’t need to feel too low, because you, and many other people, are going to get through this moment and survive.

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