Career Lessons You Can Learn From Modern Family
We all love to have a good laugh over an episode of Modern Family. What’s not to love, the jokes are good, the production is amazing, the execution is impeccable, and most importantly, let’s not forget Sofia Vergara, the Colombian goddess.
It’s is also worth mentioning that even though the show is called Modern Family, the topic of career is tackled very well. Many TV shows offer career wisdom, but the point is not to make it into a preaching moment, you know the whole “show don’t tell” aspect of a TV show. So let us examine what career lessons Modern Family has taught us so far.
1. Phil Dunphy – Never say no to an eager cadet
Phil Dunphy: Why am I so intent on helping Andy? Because I love filmmaking, and I love love. I guess you could say I enjoy making love on film, and now I don’t have to do it by myself.
Season 5, Episode 17 – Other People’s Children
We all see Phil as a goofy dad, who comes up with immature lines, and business presentations. Even though these traits make great material for interesting plot lines and jokes within a sitcom, they still show how important it is to be innovative, and always find ways to impress the crowd.
Another character that was recently introduced to the show was Andy, who soon became Phil’s protÃ©gÃ©e. Despite the fact that Andy knew nothing about real estate Phil took him in because he was eager to learn and had healthy ambition. It may seem a counterproductive move, but these are the traits worth investing your time and effort into. Never say “NO” to a diligent person, since they are the people who usually get promoted.
2. Claire Dunphy – Pursue new challenges
PHIL: No, she feels great. Her spirits are high. The whole family is high. There’s your headline.
Season 3, Episode 19 – Election Day
She may be a stay at home mom, a wet blanket, and a bad cop when it comes to parenting, but over the course of the show her status changes. We all remember the hilarious Election Day episode when she ran for town councillor, and wanted to put a stop sign on a dangerous intersection.
Claire has displayed amazing devotion in the show, and even though she didn’t have to, she decided to pursue challenging tasks. This is not only good career advice but good advice, in general because testing your limits and knowing what you are made of can do wonders for your confidence and motivation.
3. Luke Dunphy – Use your window of opportunity
CAMERON: He knows the music, he sings like a nightingale, and he has a theatrical madness in his eyes you just can’t teach.
MANNY: That’s from all the paint
Season 4, Episode 14. A Slight at the Opera
Luke is very often portrayed as a clueless kid with a devil may care attitude, but his actions prove that there is more to him than it meets the eye. One moment of his random brilliance is shown in the episode with the school play when Luke randomly started singing the lines from “Phantom of the Opera” and got the leading role. So, it doesn’t matter what Luke does while he is at home; he used the right opportunity to shine, and things went his way.
4. Alex Dunphy – It’s lonely at the top
Alex Dunphy: Dumb guys go for dumb girls and smart guys go for dumb girls. What do smart girls get?
Phil Dunphy: Cats, mostly.
Season 2 Episode 9 – Mother Tucker
Alex is a young genius girl, who is very often alienated from her family and peers, because of her achievements and a more mature personality. Even if Alex is not a funny character herself, it is her placement and the environment around her that make for good comedy material. Furthermore, Alex is also a cautionary tale, in a way. She shows us that everything has a price. You can invest your time and effort into achieve great things, and focus primarily on a career, but make sure to have enough mental stamina to go through a period of isolation. She loves her family and friends, but most of the time she is isolated and tries to find new interesting things to channel her loneliness.
5. Haley Dunphy – Hitting rock bottom is just a new beginning
Haley Dunphy: If you do this, you’ll be a social piranha.
Alex Dunphy: Yes, I’ll be an Amazonian carnivorous fish.
Haley Dunphy: What?
Season 2, Episode 23 – See You Next Fall
Haley is a pretty girl who thrives on being popular. Since she always had good looks on her side, she had many pleasant experiences throughout high-school. All of that started to change when she needed to enrol in college and started a getting rejected. So, she was once a diva but became a reject who lives in her parents’ basement. However, this was exactly what Haley needed because she mustered all of her talents and knowledge to become a fashion blogger and, in the end, a fashion consultant. So, if you ever hit rock bottom in your career, focus on what you do best, and you may end up with an ideal job.
6. Jay Pritchett – The moment you cease to adapt you become truly old
I only understand about 20% of what goes on around here. –Jay
Season 1, Episode 16 – Fears
Jay is a classic old timer who was educated in the so-called old school approach. He often struggles to adapt to all the latest trends in technology, understand what is socially acceptable, etc. He is also too proud to admit his shortcomings and the fact that he has to rely on his son-in-law Phil for help. So, episodes that are focused on Jay usually end with him coming to terms with reality, and reluctantly admitting he was not entirely right. I guess the lesson here is that if you want to remain successful you must adapt to what the general public wants, and alter your approach in accordance with the latest trends.
7. Gloria Delgado-Pritchett – Don’t judge someone too hastily
“Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language.”
- Jackson Brown, Jr.
Gloria is mostly portrayed as a fiery Latina, who is rarely witty. Her comic features are yelling and talking funny. However, Gloria managed to shine on more than one occasion, and her ideas that were rejected at first were actually good calls. So, the lesson here is not to judge foreigners if they are having trouble with the English language – what someone has to say is more important than how it sounds. You can compromise any business partnership or a great deal simply because you have a ridiculous prejudice about people who have a hard time navigating through a conversation in English.
8. Manny Delgado – Do not allow failure to discourage you
Happy Valentine’s Day, it’s the one time of year when the world tries to be as romantic as I am all the time. Good luck world. – Manny Delgado
Season 4, Episode 15 – Heart Broken
Many is a chubby young boy, who tries to be a charmer using poetry and other art forms, but in most cases he ends up being heartbroken. Even though Jay and Gloria often hint to Manny that he should try a different approach, Manny rarely gives up on his ideals. Ultimately, Manny manages to steal the hearts of girls once in a blue moon, and he does it by staying true to himself. The lesson here is never neglect your talents. If you are persistent, you will manage to find an audience who will appreciate what you can do. Think about gamers, they must have heard all sorts of comments about how they are wasting their time, but now as streamers they are making more money than an average worker.
9. Mitchell Pritchett – Losing a job is the end
Now, I didn’t tell Cam, because I was embarrassed, but also because I knew – I knew I would get another job just like that. It’s been a month. – Mitchell Pritchett
Season 6, Episode 24 – American Skyper
Mitchell always struggles with finding a job that will help him support his family, and at the same time be a job he is proud of. In a couple of episodes, Mitch had to face the fact that he is no longer employed, and usually that is not the only problem. In his case, when it rains it pours. On the other hand, no matter how broken or demoralized he was, Mitch always managed to come to terms with reality, and find a new source of strength to help him move on. The lesson here is, when you are going through a rough patch it is alright to take some time to recuperate, but don’t wait too long to tackle the next opportunity.
10. Cameron Tucker – You don’t always end up in an ideal working place
Cam: I present to you the Asian for any occasion, the clown that will invert that frown, the dynamic duo of Fizbo and…
Mitchell: Are you not hearing that?
Cam: We’re working on the name.
Season 6, Episode 12 – The Big Guns
Cam loves drama, acting, music, and also football. He has many talents, but he has a hard time with constructive criticism, so he has a hard time being satisfied with his job. Most of the time he is a stay-at-home dad because he does not receive the admiration he expects, which discourages him. In other words, if you stay in your ivory tower for too long, you will have a hard time adjusting to the real world, especially if you are a dreamer like Cam. Moreover, if your superior criticizes you, do not get too demoralized – use it as an opportunity to grow. If you always feel you are right and refuse to compromise, you will constantly be dissatisfied with your work arrangement.
11. Lily Tucker-Pritchett – Someone needs to be honest no matter how harsh it sounds
Lily Tucker-Pritchett: I’m bored.
Cameron Tucker: I know, honey, but right now your daddies are talking about what they’re going to wear, and that’s a very stressful conversation.
Lily Tucker-Pritchett: Cry me a river.
Mitchell Pritchett: You know, I’m not liking this snarky attitude.
Lily Tucker-Pritchett: Do you want me to call you a wambulance?
Season 4, Episode 13 – Fulgencio
Lily rarely talks in the show, but when she opens her mouth she tells someone a home truth. Sure, she seems rude at the time, and it feels like the comment is out of place, but again, there is a lesson to be learned here. We should all be nice to each other, and mindful of other people’s feelings, however, beating around the bush isn’t always going to cut it. If someone crosses the line on numerous occasions, some harsh honesty should be provided. Also, if someone gives you a rough criticism, do not automatically assume that person is rude – take some time to reevaluate your actions. This can be extremely important at work. We are all grownups, and no one is that fragile, and if someone is, well, it’s time he or she toughens up. So, if someone repeats the same mistake over and over again, give that person a wake-up call, and if someone gives you a wake-up call, then WAKE UP!
See Also: 7 Career Lessons From Barney Stinson
I hope you liked the tips, and that you managed to take a nice walk down memory lane with all the funny quotes in the subheadings.
What are your favourite career lessons from Modern Family? Let us know in the comments section…