One of the finer movies to have come out of Marvel Studios in recent times, Black Panther is a heady cocktail of Afro-futurism, edge-of-your-seat action sequences and memorable one-liners.
Mirroring current socio-political issues, the vulnerability and strength of the characters offer us valuable lessons about persistence, integrity and adaptability – all of which can be applied to one’s career.
Lesson One: Don’t be remain deeply entrenched in the past
In the film, the main character, T’Challa, attempts to fix a huge mistake his father’s made in a bid to “save face” and grapples with whether or not to break tradition regarding the truth about Wakanda, the nation he leads.
These struggles remind the audience that just because something has always been done in a certain way, doesn’t mean that it can’t be re-examined and changed. Black Panther inspires us to welcome novel ways of doing things, as no one is exempt from obsoletion or irrelevance. Learn to reevaluate, consider all sides of an issue and make a wise, informed decision before moving on and embracing new challenges and opportunities.
Lesson Two: Never forget your roots
Despite being incredibly technologically advanced, Wakanda is very rooted in its past. This is evident in the costumes, rituals, language and ancestor worship practised by its citizens. Throughout the movie, younger characters often consult with tribal elders for advice on pertinent issues.
The main takeaway is that one must never forget where they came from: always be thankful to the mentors and bosses that took you under their wing when you were starting out on your professional journey, especially since industries are tight-knit, and people usually happen to know each other! If you managed to impress a former boss and are still in touch with them, they might just be the pathway to your dream job.
Lesson Three: Put yourself out there
In Black Panther, Killmonger – the foil to careful, traditional T’Challa – gains the Elders’ attention through a dramatic gesture, making his thirst for leadership evident.
You want your future employers to sit up and take notice of you, and sometimes the only way to achieve this is by diving headfirst into a project or endeavour that challenges, frightens and teaches you something and then singing your own praises when you’re successful. Don’t be afraid to do what you have to do in order to get that dream job.
Lesson Four: Prepare yourself adequately
In the film, T’Challa has to face various trials and tribulations before he can become king – extensive physical training, missions, ritual combat and challenges from leaders of other Wakandan tribes – all of which he’s prepared for.
You wouldn’t show up at a job interview without having done some research on the company and position, so why not give yourself time to prepare before embarking on a job search? If you’ve been out of touch with your industry or are planning to switch to a new one, you need to keep yourself updated with all the recent developments in your industry. Rushing to apply for jobs without keeping abreast of new technologies would not impress any potential bosses.