Thursday, April 17, 2008

Could You Handle Working at "The Office"?

I absolutely love NBC's The Office and am embarrassingly over-celebrating its return to primetime after the Writers' Guild strike began last November. What makes the show so great is not only its absurdly uncomfortable humor but also its canny ability to make the characters feel familiar. Everyone has worked with a Jim or a Pam, a Dwight or even a Michael at some point in their careers.

With its 'mockumentary' style camera-work and relatable characters, the show exudes reality and with that, it tackles real-world business situations such as sexual harassment, firings, diversity, office relationships and much more.

But how real are The Office characters and their career problems?

This article on All Business Business Degree Salaries: "The Office" Reveals its HR Files... outlines the projected salaries of your favorite Dunder-Mifflin characters. They make a lot more than you'd think—especially considering how little work they do. It also offers suggestions on business degrees and schools you can attend to get your salary to their level.

U.S. News also did a series of articles offering Career Lessons From NBC's The Office. It offers advice for dealing with difficult bosses like Michael Scott or improving management skills to get a promotion like Dwight should. There are also articles on escaping the "first-job trap" that Jim is stuck in as well as ways to find your dream job, maybe in art like Pam.

U.S. News' most honest career advice, however, was this:

"The surest path to success in such an environment, at a branch that seems destined for certain failure, might be to get out as quickly as possible. Indeed, that is what many career experts would recommend."

If I had to work in an office where my boss is constantly interrupting my work to deliver inappropriate jokes and my co-workers prefer to hook-up and do crossword puzzles rather than work—I would bolt in a heartbeat.

But as a 30-minute sitcom—I'll take Dunder-Mifflin Scranton over my job any day.