10 Career Lessons From ‘Mad Men’

We are in the final stretch for the Mad Men Season 5 premiere. Don Draper and his coworkers and concubines return to AMC on March 25. When it begins, we will be fully immersed in the 1960s, where as we know youth started to take over and advertising was a big part of that. But before we get excited for the new story lines, let’s look back at some of the old plots and the lessons we learned from this interesting time for careers. Here are 10 career lessons from Mad Men.


Photo: AMC


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    • Career Coaching

      These are the 10 best lessons for managing the career.

    • gurmeet kaur

      These are the 10 best lessons for managing the career.

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    • Lastango

      I’ll comment on one of these: “Drinking at work looks really cool but can lead to trouble.”

      Actually, it’s worse than that. It’s guaranteed to lead to trouble. So (for instance) at the office Christmas party:

      – have one drink and leave – before the garbage starts.
      – avoid anyone who got there before you and has had a couple.
      – wear professional attire, not your party dress and shoes.

      You will have covered yourself by putting in an appearance, and no one will notice or remember you left.

      Back when I was young and foolish, I thought I would stay til the end to help clean up so that I didn’t stick others with the job. I picked up a couple of food platters and carried them back around into a kitchen — where I walked in on two people in the clinch. Both were married, and not to each other. Since then, I have heard of someone who was later fired on a pretext because he walked in on one of the bosses who was getting it on with someone from the office. I’ve seen groping, aggressive flirting, and other unseemly behavior.

      You don’t want to be anywhere near that kind of crap. When the drinking starts, Get. Out. Now.

      If you want to achieve responsible positions, always remember to play the long game. Those brief moments of alcohol-fueled conviviality with your co-workers aren’t worth the risk or the price.

      Ps. Just to be clear, I’m not against the custom in some offices of having a glass of wine together on Friday at the end of the day. I know of one senior executive who always puts out glasses and a jug, and people enjoy dropping by his area to chat.

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