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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 help you with job frustration?

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

Remember FRIENDS pilot episode when Rachel went to Central Perk because she left her fiancé at the altar then had no money to support her life? Shocking, right, since she was 24 and didn’t have work experience at all even though she had graduated from college a while back. 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 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. He only knew one thing: he wanted to have a job that he loved. When he finally chose to join an advertising company, he built his career from the bottom again: as an intern, competing with fresh graduates.

The point is, there’s no need to 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 even better and with more purpose.

2.  Starting small isn’t shameful

Monica, Joey and Rachel were passionate about different things. What brought them together, career-wise, was that the three of them started their careers from the bottom. Just like Monica who worked at a ridiculous 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.

Even though those jobs were not something they were proud of, they stayed because they knew that it was better to do small things than nothing at all. Because it’s simply impossible to just sit around, 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 (he was even able to lend Chandler money — oh, how table had turned), and Rachel got offered a job at Louis Vuitton Paris (although she turned it down).

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 learn and 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 lower 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 the story is not something you can relate to. After all, fiction can’t be created without any reflection from 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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