What We Can Learn About Work From The Hunger Games

21 Nov


Because I’m beyond excited to watch Catching Fire this weekend, here’s a post in honor of my role model in life, Katniss Everdeen. In case you missed it, I wrote this post over at University Ave last year. This is why the Hunger Games series is my absolute favorite… only after Harry Potter.


So by now I’m sure everyone’s tired of hearing about the Hunger Games. But too bad. I’m still going to write about it. Yea, there are a lot of people annoyed by yet another teen love triangle but I have to say, I picked up some essential business lessons while watching the movie and paying $17 for popcorn and a soda.

Here are some of them:

Get people to like you, or you’ll die

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie or read the book, the main characters in the movie have to compete in a fight until the death. Yes, children, because their ancestors rebelled against the capitol, are selected to enter an arena and kill each other in hopes of having one remaining victor. How lovely… Sponsors however, while watching the tournament, assist the tributes in providing them with medicine and food to help increase their chances of winning. But who do they help? THE PEOPLE THEY LIKE. And that’s how it is in the business world. We do business with people we like. We help other people who we like. We do favors for people we like. Is it fair? No. But that’s how it is. So if you want to survive in the workforce, do yourself a favor and make sure people like you.

Be yourself so that people like you so you don’t die

The goal is to get people to like you. We’ve established that. But how do you do that? In the movie, Katniss Everdeen (the main character that has the oh so terrible misfortune of having to choose between two deliciously good looking men) says that she doesn’t know how to make people like her. That’s when her advisor tells her to just be herself. To not try. Look, most people know when they’re being BS’ed. Most people don’t like it when they have to interact with people that are fake. So just be yourself, be relatable, be friendly, and you’ll find that people like you a lot better like that than if you pretend to be someone you aren’t. Besides, being fake takes too much effort.

Be memorable or you’ll die

Before the tournament begins, each competing tribute has the opportunity to show off their skills in order to attract Sponsors. In this case, twenty-four tributes compete for the attention of the Sponsors. So how do they get that attention? By being memorable. Katniss understands this. What does she do? She shoots an arrow into the food that the Sponsors are eating. Catches them off guard… Shocks them. But one thing is for sure, she gets noticed. She gets their attention. In the workforce today, there are so many people competing for the same positions, competing for advancement, etc. The only way to get yourself to stand out of the crowd is by being memorable. By taking some risk. Which leads me to my next point…

Some people will like your guts but others won’t

After Katniss almost decapitates the Sponsors with her arrow, her group of advisors fear that she won’t receive a high rating from the Sponsors. However, she does. For some reason, it appears the Sponsors liked her courage and how out of the ordinary her performance was. She was memorable and they liked that. But at the same time, President Snow (the president of all the districts) was not amused. When he realizes the impact Katniss has on the members of the districts, he feels threatened by her. He understands that she poses a threat to the way things have always been in their society. What does he say? “A spark is fine as long as it’s contained.” You’ll encounter in the workforce that some people are open to new thoughts and ideas. Some management will like that you are the kind of employee that takes risks and thinks outside the box. But some won’t. Some managers will feel threatened by this and will do everything in their power to contain that spark. Don’t let them.

A good mentor will help increase your chances of survival

Each of the tributes competing in the games is given a mentor to help train them and guide them through this terrible process. Each of these mentors has already been in the games and has managed to survive. So they use their past experiences to help these new tributes in hopes that maybe one of them won’t end up crushed by a rock. I don’t think that there’s anything more helpful than finding someone in the workforce that is willing to help guide you during your career. Someone that will push you and help expose you to other people that will help you. The workplace is hard. That’s something that I learned at a very young age. So find yourself a mentor and that should make it a little easier. Or don’t. But then, as a drunken but quite attractive Haymitch says, “embrace the probability of your imminent death.”

Good luck to all of you entering the workforce and may the odds be ever in your favor :D

Other stuff you might like:

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24 Responses to “What We Can Learn About Work From The Hunger Games”

  1. vixstar1314 November 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Reblogged this on Blog-a-tastic.

  2. millennialonthemove November 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    Kayla, I love this! You can not only learn great things from Katniss but also from J-Law herself she’s an incredible role model for our generation. She is always true to herself, incredibly genuine and doesn’t worry about what other people think.

    • Kayla Cruz November 21, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      Thanks so much! Ugh yes, I love her! She’s just a goofball and proud of it. Plus, she’s amazingly talented. Thanks for reading…hope you’re having a great day 🙂

  3. Life on a Branch November 21, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    Love this! And I love the Hunger Games. And I wish I could be best friends with Jennifer Lawrence. This is all so true. I recently referenced The Hunger Games with layoffs (http://lifeonabranch.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/how-to-survive-layoffs/) but it is very applicable to your job/career as a whole. Thanks for the post!

    • Kayla Cruz November 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

      Thanks so much for reading! Glad you liked it! Lol I wish I could be friends with her too! She’s just such a cool person and a great role model. Have a great weekend 🙂

  4. The Laughing Duck November 22, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    Everything that I’m getting a close up on for my new job. Sigh.

    • Kayla Cruz November 24, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

      Good luck with the new job! Be patient and try to keep a positive outlook. If you ever need to chat, let me know! 🙂

      • The Laughing Duck November 24, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

        Awe thank you for the good energy haha , cheerios !(:

  5. ChubbieRazorwankerSugarhugger November 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Reblogged this on I'm NOT chubby. and commented:
    Not bad “tips” 🙂

  6. johnlchurchill November 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    I’m sure glad I don’t live in a society like what exists in the Hunger Games. I think the point you made that I’ve found key in my life is the need for a mentor/coach. At whatever level of the company I’ve been a mentor/coach has had a positive impact in my life. Great post!

    • Kayla Cruz November 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

      You and me both! That would be super depressing. And yes- I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of mentors in my life. Makes things a lot easier. Great to learn from those more experienced than us! Thanks for reading 🙂

  7. cervifrank November 22, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    Sweet comparisons between the Hunger Games world and ours in reference to survival among people both socially and physically. That is why the books( read them all of course) and movies(so far-I will be seeing Catching Fire this week) are great because the writer uses observations of modern life–and possibly our future depending on what direction we go in-dystopia or true freedom. Nice work! Enjoyed it a lot.

    • Kayla Cruz November 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      I hope that’s not what our future looks like! But thanks so much for reading. Glad you like it. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  8. The Passion Hunt November 22, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    I love this! Definitely some great lessons! Is the next movie officially out now, then? I’ll have to go watch it and think of your lessons as I go! 😉 Great post!

    • Kayla Cruz November 24, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      Thanks so much! Glad you liked! And yes- Catching Fire is out and I finally got to watch it yesterday. I loved it even more than the first. Such a great series. 🙂

  9. debtnthecity November 24, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Great post and great image!!! I’m a huge HG fan 🙂

    • Kayla Cruz November 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

      Thanks so much! By the way, Catching Fire was amazinggggg!

      • debtnthecity November 24, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

        Good to know 🙂 Sounds like a great after-Thanksgiving dinner plan!

  10. Somali Chakrabarti November 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    This is cool. The points are so pertinent! And thanks for following my blog Kayla.

  11. Jess November 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    You’re gorg, and I love your blog!


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