Dreaming of Vermont – Four Career Tips from the Season Finale of Scandal
It’s the holiday season, a time for cheer and well wishes. Unfortunately, it is also the time of year when many of our favorite shows take a winter hiatus. Such is the case for the hit TV show Scandal. The season finale was great, particularly because it left us with four tips that if applied will enhance our professional journey or help us to get to Vermont. In the TV series Scandal, Fitz builds a house in Vermont, where he and Olivia can live “happily ever after” it is representative of Utopia for the two of them. It is the outcome of their journey to be together. On our career journey, Vermont may be the next promotion, owning our own business, or retirement. It is how we define next and the journey to get there.
Tip #1 – Vermont comes with a price. Progressing in your career comes with a price. The price represents having the requisite skills and experience to do the job, demonstrating the ability to perform in your current role while preparing for the next and allowing yourself the time to prepare. In the paraphrase words of Olivia Pope in the final scene with Fitz – “there is no Vermont or jam or future….because we didn’t take the time to adjust” Take the journey, it will create a better experience in the end.
Tip #2 – Adhere to the messages of your predecessors. Transitioning into a new role, we often look for those things that we perceive our predecessors did wrong and often miss the blueprint for our success that was left for us. Take time to build on the successes of your predecessors while creating your footprint. Remember that a blueprint can be modified but does not necessarily have to be recreated. Prior to leaving the White House on Scandal, Millie the incumbent tossed a jar of hooch to Olivia and told her that she would need it, as she explained the requirements of the job. In the season finale, as Olivia was unraveling she turned to the hooch (the blueprint for staying the course) that Millie had left behind for her.
Tip # 3 – It is not a question of “can you do the job” but a question of “do you want to do the job” – Many times in our career we find ourselves not only doing a job but doing it well. Doing a job enables us to maintain stability; however it does not give us the internal satisfaction necessary to fuel our passion. The question that we must ask ourselves as we strive for Vermont is whether or not we want to “do” what it takes to get to the next level. In the season finale of Scandal, Abby compliments Olivia on being good at the job of First Lady, however Olivia’s response was I am good at it but do I want to do it. She certainly could be first lady but she lacked the desire to do the job of the first lady.
Tip # 4 – Alliances, Partnerships and Relationships – know the difference and embrace it. Throughout our professional journey we form relationships, partnerships and alliances. An alliance is a union or association formed for mutual benefit, a partnership is when two or more join and share ownership and a relationship represents connectivity between individuals. Understanding our network and establishing clearly defined roles to each member allows us to be strategic in charting our career journey. In the season finale of Scandal the alliance with Rowan and Jake was prevalent – the mutual benefit – to defeat Lazarus. The partnership with Huck and Rowan although contentious is centered in their shared love and desire to protect Olivia. The relationship with Quinn and Charlie signifies the connectivity between colleagues and partners. Not all people are meant to be in all roles.
Getting to Vermont is a process, which requires planning, implementation and sustainability. As you close out this year and make resolutions for the upcoming year, take time to visualize your Vermont. Are you willing to do what it takes to achieve your desired outcome?
Visioning and Goal Setting is the cornerstone to living your most impactful life personally and professionally. To assist you on your journey, here is a link to a Visioning and Goal Setting Special Report https://coachesconsole.com/v3/uploads/supplements/visioning-report-projecting_6e17ea2065b9f.pdf