Every person aspires to their career choice based on a past positive internship, a favorite relative, movie or TV show. For example, the USA Network TV show “Suits” provides business lessons for everyone to use while exploring the world of corporate lawyers and their legal endeavors. While the program is set in a fictional law firm setting, I realized that each episode offers some insight into effective business acumen. For example, the characters named “Harvey Spector” and “Louis Litt” seem to embody three important business lessons:
- Maintain a professional business demeanor
- Keep your emotions under control
- Possess a solid exit strategy
One example of a business lesson is learning how to cope with projects that go bad, rumors, or moody co-workers who may say inappropriate things. How can you maintain your cool if there is someone making an effort to verbally dismiss you or one of your projects does not go according to plan? Instead of responding in rage, take the time to assess the project timeline to identify gaps in the project plan and create solutions. Another thing to remember is when a person tries to get you to respond at their same level of negativity is to move away from the source. There is no reason to respond to them right away. Also, it takes more internal locust of control to restrain an outburst than it does to have an angry retort.
The second business lesson that I learned from the show “Suits” is how to keep my emotions in check at the office. This is also known as the “locust of control.” There are two ways you can use our emotions at work based on the show character Louis Litt. You can be:
- “Litt Up”
- A “Louis Litt”
When a person has the ability to score a business “coup” that is unexpected, it is similar to referring to the person as being “Litt Up.” This also can mean that a person has the skill to out maneuver their competitors to take a legal business advantage.
On the other hand, when a person’s feelings get the better of them and they make bad business decisions, it is like you are a “Louis Litt.” When you feel like your emotions are getting the best of you at the office, take a time out before implementing any decisions. It is critical to never make a business decision out of anger, hast or revenge, because you may make a mistake. The goal is to balance your emotions so they serve you well in an office environment.
The final business lesson I learned from “Suits” is to always have a solid exit strategy. The days of people staying with the same company or organization until their retirement are over. Due to economic transitions as well as changes in the work environment, some people work at their current jobs for 2 to 5 years before moving on to another career option. They do this to stay competitive, take on new challenges, promotions as well as lead new endeavors. Still others may leave because they finished the work they started and there are no new challenges left to complete.
It helps to keep your exit strategy prepared for planned or unplanned departures from your current job. This includes giving two weeks’ notice, a financial back up plan, transitioning your work and leaving on a high note that encourages a positive impression from those you leave behind at the office. More importantly, hold off on any tirades based on perceived or real wrongs that may have occurred during your tenure. Instead, thank your employers for the opportunity so you may create a positive opening for you to return at a later date.
Tracey Batacan is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.