Surprise! The Hunger Games Is Secretly An Awesome Career Guide

01_katniss_district_12_shoot_arrow1Photo: Courtesy of Lionsgate.
With Catching Fire hitting theaters later this month, we’re doing more than just red-carpet stalking the talent. We also took it upon ourselves to re-watch The Hunger Games in preparation. And, you know what we’ve found? Katniss’ story is actually a super-secret career guide couched in the language of a dystopian future. Shocking, we know. But, we can prove it with the ever-so-close reading below. Try the following seven badass moves in the office, and see what happens — and may the odds be ever in your favor.

1. Break the Rules — But Be Smart About It

Katniss spent her pre-Hunger Games life testing the limits of the law, like when she snuck into the woods to hunt with Gale. But, she wasn’t foolish: She’d listen to make sure power wasn’t running through the electric fence before she made her move. It’s the same strategy you should use when you’re interviewing on office time. Before you head out for a “dentist's appointment” (or whatever excuse you’ve come up with), make sure your cover isn’t blown by leaving any incriminating evidence on your desk — or work e-mail.

02_Befriend15_300dpiPhoto: Courtesy of Lionsgate.

2. Befriend Your Enemies

The only way Katniss survived her Hunger Games was to trust Peeta. The same goes for you and a coworker — even if he or she is gunning for the same raise as you. After all, if President Snow changed the rules of the Hunger Games so this pair would survive at the end, your boss could find enough wiggle room to promote two legitimately qualified people, right?

3. Steal the Spotlight

When Katniss realized no one was paying attention to her during training for the first Hunger Games, she made them take notice by shooting the apple out of the pig’s mouth on the table in the midst of all the Gamemakers and VIPs. It was gutsy, but she didn't have that much to lose at that point. So, go ahead and lose it in the workplace when you're not getting enough attention. Err, oops, sorry. We mean, if you know you’ve got something smart to contribute to a major meeting, go for it — fearlessly.

03_Haymitch-Abernathy-Woody-Harrelson-and-Katniss-Everdeen-Jennifer-Lawrence-in-THE-HUNGER-GAMES.-Photo-credit-Murray-Close-21-960x640Photo: Courtesy of Lionsgate.

4. Or Just Hide

As soon as the Games officially started, plenty of other Tributes began fighting…while Katniss escaped far into the forest. The lesson: Too much competition is often not a good thing. Of course, you shouldn’t just sit back when you start a new job. But, beware of burning out, and know that watching and waiting quietly for a bit may let you make more of a splash when it counts.

5. Don’t Ignore the Least Popular Kid In The Office

Katniss could have written off Haymitch Abernathy as a washed-up drunk who couldn’t possibly help her survive the Games. Instead, she looked past appearances, listened to what he had to say, and actually found it helpful. Who knows? Maybe the lady in accounts payable who drinks during the day is best known for talking to herself might actually be a useful ally in garnering important interoffice intel.

04_Interview-Dress-The-Hunger-GamesPhoto: Courtesy of Lionsgate.

6. The Outfit Makes A Major Difference

Yes, it’s completely macabre that all the Tributes get assigned stylists even though they will likely die within days. But, their over-the-top looks not only get the attention of the audience — they make the Gamemaker and the president give certain Tributes a second glance. And, it’s the same in the office. Looking put-together — even if you dread your job or aren’t entirely confident in your future — can help convince the higher-ups to give you the chances you need to succeed.

7. It’s Never Over

Katniss barely had a chance to exhale before she learned she’d be forced into participating in the Quarter Quell. Scored a major promotion? Celebrate, decorate your new office digs — but know that you’ve got even bigger challenges ahead.

Okay, okay. Mostly, we joke. We kid. But, you've gotta admit that some of this advice is kinda savvy. We're telling you: Lessons to be learned, everywhere you look.

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