6 career tips from Rhaenyra Targaryen

Spoiler for Dragon House, season 1, episodes 1 to 4 to come

When fans of Dragon House, new game of thrones spin-off, think “Targaryens riding dragons”, the word “relatable” isn’t the first word their minds conjure up. But upon reflection, I realized that powerful blonde Rhaenyra Targaryen actually had quite a bit of applicable career advice to offer.

The main character of the series, Rhaenyra aims to ensure that her father, King Viserys, keeps his promise to appoint her as his successor. She must also worry about being accepted – as a sovereign woman – by the kingdom over which she would rule. Meanwhile, the mediocre men of King’s Landing won’t let her prove her mettle as a leader, and some hope a literal baby takes her place instead, just because it’s a boy.

Sound familiar? If you are a woman who has been talked about in a meeting, if you have seen less deserving colleagues identify with a man being congratulated and promoted in your place or if you have seen them take credit for your good work, maybe it should be. Dragon House may not be set in 2022 or even in our universe, but research has shown that gender equity right now on planet Earth is also far from being achieved. The the pay gap between men and women remains pronounced, and to a more severe degree for women of color. Fewer women than men hold executive positions and C-suitelet alone women of color.

Changing this reality is not the responsibility of women looking to move up the career ladder; this will require a number of changes in access to education, recruitment practices and institutional changes. But, on a personal level, Rhaenyra may be able to offer some advice for navigating a patriarchal power structure and defending herself in the pursuit of workplace mobility. Rhaenyra is essentially waiting for a promotion at work – the promotion happens to be from princess to queen. (Targaryens: They are like us!)

But Rhaenyra is also far from perfect. The angry dragonrider is figuring out how to get that promotion like the rest of us, and makes as many mistakes as she has wins. That’s why we called in an expert, Vicki Salemi, Monster Career Expertto dissect Rhaenyra’s path to the Iron Throne.

6 tips for getting a promotion at work, inspired by the trials and triumphs of Rhaenyra Targaryen from Dragon House

1. Take initiative

While the men advising King Viserys are making a royal mess of how to deal with the rogue demon prince, Rhaenyra is busy getting down to business. She decides to go to Dragonstone and put Daemon in his place with real talk (and dragon strength) that only she can deliver. It’s called taking initiatives, people, and that’s good!

“Seeing someone take charge shows leadership abilities.” —Vicki Salemi, Career Expert

“As a manager, seeing someone on your team take charge, whether it’s a new project or something as simple as throwing a birthday party one day a month to team members, shows leadership abilities,” says Salemi.

Of course, Rhaenyra’s father was angry that she had put her life (or whatever) in danger and soared away on a dragon without permission. And it reflects the reality that there are risks associated with taking the initiative, such as “you can end up with an unmanageable workload, a significant part of which you initiated,” says Salemi. But, she adds, the benefits outweigh the risks, because taking initiative shows you can identify what needs to be done and are willing to do it yourself without being micromanaged: “This are positive traits to possess and demonstrate, and they often get noticed by management.

2. Go above and beyond when assigned a project

Even after being named heiress, Rhaenyra seems to have been relegated to serving wine to her father and friends. So when she is given a project – even if it’s not a project she wanted – she is fully committed: she shows good judgment and takes the job seriously when selecting a new member of the Kingsguard for her father, and she succeeded in her request.

“When you’re asked to complete a project, your goal should be to work on it precisely and flawlessly with a can-do attitude,” Salemi says. “If it’s difficult and something you’ve never encountered before, your goal should be to leverage it as a learning experience to solve, troubleshoot, and fix the problem.”

3. Clearly demonstrate your interest in career advancement

Rhaenyra spends a few years angry after the birth of her new brother, fearing that he will get the kingship in her place as queen. But, she finally finds the courage to speak to her father and reiterate her interest in the crown.

“Talk to your boss and express your interest in the job,” Salemi says. “Make it clear that you are positioning yourself for this promotion and describe the skills you have learned and the accomplishments you have made to this point as to why you should be promoted.”

4. Maintain professional relationships

Rhaenyra nearly put a stop to the Queen’s entire affair after a spy saw her and her uncle Daemon colluding at a brothel. This should remind you to keep your relationships above board and not get into compromising situations with people you know you shouldn’t.

“Be friendly and professional with your colleagues, but keep it light and polite,” Salemi says. “Getting romantic with co-workers can negatively impact your leadership prospects in terms of who is in a position of power and can even turn sour. Then you have to see that person and interact on a daily basis, which could hurt your performance. .

5. Complete assigned tasks even if you are not satisfied with them

Rhaenyra doesn’t want to get married, and her father doesn’t like it when she jumps early on the Suitors World Tour. When she talks with her father about the situation, she calls it unfair, as if the task was below her. Salemi says it’s reasonable: “You can talk, especially if it impacts your ability to carry out your main responsibilities.”

But that doesn’t mean your boss has to listen, and once King Viserys makes it clear how important marriage is to her getting the promotion she wants, she agrees. This exact application of swallowing your pride and performing tasks you deem inferior to you is not to be followed in your own life, but it can be extrapolated to a more reasonable work situation. “A lot of times we’re asked to do tasks that aren’t in our job description, so you might want to pick your battles,” Salemi says.

6. Pay no attention to enemies

As King Viserys’ brothers try to convince him that the baby would be a better future ruler than Princess Rhaenyra, she works to demonstrate that she is an independent woman by killing a boar.

Along the same lines, Salemi says dealing with contradictory and undermining colleagues can be tricky, and the best way to defeat these enemies is to indulge yourself. “Focus on what you can control: your performance, your behavior, your attitude, your impeccable work,” Salemi says. “You are also not responsible for your colleagues. If they don’t want you to get the top job, that’s up to them, not you. Don’t let them dull your shine.

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