Learning from “The Office”

OfficeCharacters_June2011_web Co-workers and employers are two aspects of work that add to company morale, fun, and sometimes challenges. Whether your office is a close-knit group who thrives off of collaboration or one that encourages independent work, there is much to be learned from those you work beside day in and day out.

One of NBC’s most popular shows features a cast of unique and entertaining characters that represent what full-time work can sometimes be like. “The Office” follows Dunder Mifflin Sabre, a paper and office supply distribution office based in Scranton, Pennsylvania. While each episode depicts a mundane storyline, countless viewers have found comfort and humor in the familiarity that is “The Office.”

Although each character on the sitcom has their faults, they each have some qualities we can emulate. Whether you showcase your individuality, love for life, or strength while at work – there’s an office character out there for you to learn from. 

Dwight Schrute
Known for his love of bears, crime fighting, and leadership, Dwight is by far one of the most eccentric of the Dunder Mifflin Sabre crew. Dwight is the top salesman and former acting manager for the office. Despite his achievements, he receives little recognition from his co-workers because of his lack of social skills and common sense. However, Dwight does an excellent job of remaining true to himself. He holds a specific set of personal and professional standards, rarely straying from them. While it’s always a good idea to leave the throwing stars and other weapons at home, there is one lesson we could all stand to learn from Dwight. Know what it is you stand for and don’t back down from it. Dwight’s antics are unpredictable but always very “him.” While his odd interests sometimes isolate him from the office, he doesn’t allow his individuality to hold him back. His stability and openness with who he is forces his co-workers to know the true Dwight – no matter how different he may be.

Michael Scott
Michael served as manager for the Scranton branch for seven years. His zest for life, though admirable, often gets him in hot water with his corporate office and employees. Michael’s tendencies to pull inappropriate pranks, offend his employees, and create awkward situations are only outweighed by his love for life and his employees. Michael takes a vested interest in the well-being of those around him; throwing birthday parties, teambuilding events, and seminars. Michael’s heart is in the right place and his employees know his interest in their lives is sincere. His approach to work reminds viewers that life is meant to be enjoyed, even while at the office.

Pam Beesly Halpert
Pam began her time at Dunder Mifflin Sabre as the receptionist, often indicating her desire to move ahead in the corporate world. She spent the first five years during her stay at Dunder Mifflin Sabre hoping for a promotion, while never voicing her goals to upper management. Eventually, Pam gained her voice as well as a new position as the office administrator. Pam is perhaps one of the most relatable characters as she struggles with developing confidence and authority in the business world. Her transformation into a leader in the office is one we can all look to for guidance and encouragement. Although it took her years to develop courage, Pam eventually took control of her own career by developing her leadership skills, asking for promotions, and taking charge.

“The Office” is one of television’s most successful shows and for good reason. It follows characters we all can relate to while inspiring viewers to have a more meaningful office life and career. Although each character on the show has serious faults, they all also have positive beliefs and behaviors we can glean from. 

Let’s be honest, our co-workers have the ability to make us better or drive us crazy during the work day. Different personalities alongside deadlines, projects, and stress can bring out some challenging scenarios. Remember to look for the positive in each person who you encounter at work. Sure, your cube mate may have an odd fascination with crime fighting but at least he’s true to who he is and gets his work done.

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