Career Lessons from Zero Dark Thirty
There are very few films of the type that you either love them or hate them. Zero Dark Thirty is absolutely that kind of a film. On one hand, you have the critics calling it “an example of poor journalism”; and, on another hand you have film-makers like Katherine Bigelow claiming that the film “is a work of fictional art”. If you are planning to watch Zero Dark Thirty, for once please watch it without a preconceived notion formed on political merits.
Notice how the movie narrates its story using a deep and dark tone. If you call it torture then you saw it right – the movie was meant to express exactly that emotion – the disturbing and the unwelcome feeling of unrest, uneasiness and unbridled murkiness. While there are a number of other reasons why Zero Dark Thirty is a fascinating flick, CareerBuilder India culls out the career lessons dug so deep in its story line that it can be pretty hard to draw a connection:
1. Focus on a Goal: When the attack on Time Square spreads panic throughout the nation, Maya (Jessica Chastain) remains unperturbed. The attack fails to draw the gallant Maya’s attention. Unlike the rest who keep drawing conclusions, Maya only believes in her goal. Her only reason to be where she is at is to hunt down the al-Quaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
2. Ability to Face Criticism: In the course of bringing the target to justice, Maya has to face all the odds. At a point of time, she is the sole person working on the decade-long mission. Her solitary efforts are met with criticism and negativity. But she has caught the wave and is not going to stop riding it till she has achieved what she set for. A simple yet motivating career lesson for all viewers, from her role, is to stand for what you believe in. If you are a Marketer dealing with a difficult boss who fails to see where the client is going wrong, don’t give up on what you believe is right.
3. Power of Observation: Indeed, it is the ability to keep the radars of your thought and senses all the time that can help you achieve even the most challenging of tasks. In Zero Dark Thirty, it is a slight mention of some overlooked documents that finally brings out some sensible clues on Osama bin Laden. Had Maya ignored the documents, she would not have ever been able to sort out the mess. The underlying lesson: never underestimate anything. As an HR Manager, you need to possess the ability to observe. Utilizing each and every possible way to attract a prospective employee is what makes you a good HR person.
4. Keeping Emotions under Check: It seems cold and careless of Maya to remain unperturbed on the loss of a fellow CIA agent. She manages to remain composed and stay committed to her ultimate goal. She does not let emotions obstruct her way. Maya’s work leaves no scope for softness; and so is the case with her attitude. This is not to say that you should keep to yourself completely at the workplace; however, you also need to remember that you are there to work.
5. Taking a Long, Hard Look at Success: Finally when you have conquered the mountain you can stare at your achievements, and then move forward. There is probably too much banter about success. We saw how Osama’s killing was such a non-heroic event in the movie. With regard to success, it’s a similar experience in real life as well. Success stays for a split second; and then, everyone forgets about it.
The curtain draws upon the female protagonist who is crying uncontrollably. There is a certain sense of relief that she feels when her task is over. Now is the time to let go off all the stress. It’s time to rest – another important career lesson.