The Star Wars movies portray fictional characters in fictional worlds, but definite parallels can be drawn between them and the lives of moviegoers. On the eve of Episode VII, The Force Awakens, Black Enterprise identified five career lessons you can learn from Star Wars.
Have a mentor. Luke Skywalker wouldn’t have become a master Jedi without Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi and later Yoda. They taught him how to tap into his skills and maximize their use. In order to build a successful career, it’s helpful to have a mentor to advise and challenge you, and help you realize your full potential.
Believe in yourself. Luke denied the force for a while. He didn’t believe it was inside of him and would give up easily whenever he tried to tap into it and failed. When it comes to your career, if you don’t believe in yourself first, no one else will either. Your lack of confidence will come across in your interactions with personnel and your work performance.
Build a network. Luke was someone to be reckoned with all by himself but he still needed Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, R2-D2 and C-3PO to help him destroy the Death Star. It’s always helpful to have a professional network or support group of people with the same vision and desires that you have, who can help you achieve your goals.
Expand/diversify that network. In Return of the Jedi, Lando Calrissian and the Ewok tribes came to the rescue of the Rebel Alliance (Luke and company) during the Battle of Endo. They weren’t found through the normal channels Luke and company would have turned to for help but they ended up giving the Alliance the advantage. By the same token, look outside of your normal professional network to gain a perspective or learn something that could put you a step above the competition.
Use, don’t abuse, your power. The force has a dark side, evidenced in the infamous Darth Vader. Instead of using his power to restore the balance of the force, as it was originally intended, Vader wrought death and destruction. Once you have achieved a measurable amount of power in your career and your decisions and actions influence people and policy, make it a point to mentor an up-and-coming professional or lend your time and talents to a board of directors. With power comes responsibility.