3 Career Gems From ‘The Crown’ Worth Applying In Real Life
I don’t know about you, but the most recent season of ‘The Crown’ led me down a rabbit hole of the late Princess Diana’s life.
As someone who was too young at the time to properly remember or register her death — and the furor it caused — admittingly, I’ve remained confused about Diana’s appeal and allure for years. However, The Crown drove it home for me and I feel as though the late Princess Di’s journey holds so many important career lessons for young professionals, that are still relevant to this day. From the importance of dressing appropriately/accordingly and knowing how to capitalize on your strengths, to never underestimating the importance of kindness, Diana’s life was so fascinating and compelling, and riddled with solid principles worth embodying, to this day.
Check out a few of those principles, below:
1. The Importance Of Dress
From the dresses she wore while on her royal tours, to the famous ‘Revenge Dress,’ worn in real life, following Prince Charles’ announcement of his illicit affair, Diana was, and still is, known for her iconic style. The late princess recognized the importance of dressing the part and wielding fashion as a weapon for her own gain—a skill all women should perfect. While fashion is often regarded as a frivolous spending habit, or a hobby for the vain (especially if the items are high-end or designer), the reality is that clothing and style can open doors. This is especially true for women, as Diana exemplifies. Though Charles is certainly under the same degree of scrutiny, his body is, nor never was, a site for political discussion.
Women, however, don’t have the same privilege. Diana’s entire life circled around this fact, from one of the first images of her where the sunlight showed off her form through her dress to the images taken of her in a bikini during her pregnancy. Whether innocent or provocative, Diana’s style set the tone for how she was regarded by the world.
Similarly, all young women in the professional world face the same struggles—and moments for triumph—that Diana did. While we’re all told the importance of looking “well put-together” during an interview, the reality is that dressing well will always increase your odds of getting far.
First impressions are crucial and while attire is often more important in certain fields over others (i.e: finance, fashion, etc.), Diana’s journey nevertheless underscores how important it is for young women to put some thought and effort behind their style. Contrary to popular belief, these aren’t mere “frivolities” for women. Nope! Makeup and fashion are essentials that women must often master and wield, just as Diana did.
2. Capitalizing On Your Strengths
For me, Diana’s life is as compelling as it is because of the adversities she faced. At an incredibly young age she became part of a family whose customs, traditions, and lifestyle were all foreign to her. Diana had very few allies and had to learn to survive—and thrive—on her own, which she did by capitalizing on her strengths with the media.
During her time as part of the British royal family, paparazzi and news mediums began to rapidly change and Diana, as one of the younger members of the family, took advantage of that. She knew how to ensure that the media saw her, photographed her, and created a story about her that rendered her an essential and beloved element of British royalty. Even when Charles wished to divorce her, the vast majority of his family remained steadfastly against him do so, merely due to the public adoration surrounding Diana. She even managed to cleverly sneak recorded tapes of her autobiographical accounts to a writer and released a memoir while still married to Charles, steering control of her own narrative, and setting the story straight about their marriage and her time in the royal family. Moreover, she even sat for a television interview with the BBC (British Broadcast Cooperation), one of the first royals ever to do so.
I feel that Diana not only recognized her strengths in charming others, but also recognized the royal family’s weakness in failing to embrace more modern forms of publicity. As such, she left a lasting legacy. While it may be difficult to recognize your own strengths in the workplace, it is nevertheless important to spot the weakness in your team, for instance, and endeavor to fill that gap or, better yet, find a career that allows you to show off your strengths and capitalize on them.
3. Never, Ever, Underestimate The Importance Of Kindness
Finally, Diana never forgot to be kind. The conversations she had with fans, and the compassion she showed to those she met. From those suffering from HIV/AIDS when the awareness for the virus was at its peak in the 90’s, to her love and compassion towards young children, Princess Di struck a chord with the public because of how genuine her displays of affection were.
People never forget an act of kindness and even in the workplace, I’ve often found that kindness is the easiest networking method. Merely listening to others, inquiring about their families and health, and taking the time and effort to build that connection can go a long way in ensuring that people remember you. This can later lead to a stellar recommendation or impression during an interview process. Diana, to this day, is known for her compassion, a quality that set her apart from others in the royal family who were infamously known to appear stoic and unemotional in public. Similarly, in our busy lives, when everyone is go go go, taking the time and effort to be kind to others in your workplace and make the seemingly insignificant small talk can actually go a long way, as Diana has demonstrated.
Keertana Anandraj is a recent college grad living in San Francisco. When she isn’t conducting international macroeconomic research at her day job, you can find her in the spin room or planning her next adventure.
Image via Netflix / The Crown