The Real MVP:5 Career Lessons From 007

Yes, you saw right, 007!

And just in case you have been living under a rock and you are wondering who what 007 means, well, it’s the codename of legendary Secret Service Agent, James Bond

So in honor of the release of the latest Bond franchise (wait! what do you mean, you didn’t know? It’s called Spectre, it’s the 24th Bond film and the fourth starring Daniel Craig.),

At Ngcareers, we believe lessons; even career lessons can be learnt from just about anywhere. So we thought we’d look back at his 53-year career and see what career lessons we can learn from him; he’s obviously doing something right because 53 years is no walk in the park.

Quick note, before you start wondering how you could ever match up to the suave, debonair,   smooth,  sophisticated,  svelte and urbane nature of Mr Bond, just remember one thing-he isn’t perfect.

So, if you’ve ever dreamed of having the exciting life of a super spy but thought it was out of your reach, read on for some tips you can learn from perhaps, the best in the business and career.

1. Never Give Up Without a Fight

I have seen all the 24 parts of 007 (yes, I am a fan) and there isn’t one where James was not threatened by a rogue, told to go away and actually does it. James Bond never believed that even the most inevitable of deaths is actually inevitable and gets out of the tightest spots without a hair out-of-place. If he was an animation, he’d be one of those where they come out of water completely dry.
Anyway, the lesson you can learn here is that you should always stand up for what you believe in and fight for what you want; most times, nobody will hand you your wants on a gold platter. And truth is, people will come to respect you if they see that you’re someone who can’t be easily swayed, and you will be much happier if you make yourself heard than if you hide in the corner.

And when things do go south, don’t let it stop you. You didn’t get the promotion? Maybe it’s a sign that you are not prepared for it or that you should be looking for better opportunities elsewhere where they’ll appreciate you more. So you messed up a major project? Don’t panic; show your boss your resilience by owning up to it and learning from your mistakes. You don’t see Bond giving up when he gets betrayed or loses a friend; he just follows through on his mission and trusts that he will come out on top.

2. Looks are deceptive

If there’s anything spies are famous for it is their ability to blend in; their knack for disguise. Bond often wears a disguise to sneak in or blend in to places where he doesn’t want to be spotted, but here we’re talking more about the kind of disguise Colonel Bouvar used in Thunderball, dressing up as his own widow to lure our favourite spy into danger.


Yes I agree your colleagues probably are most likely not murderers lying in wait to kill you, but you should never be too quick to judge them: that person you think is cold and unfriendly might just be shy, and that overly friendly person might actually be stealing your ideas or trying to find out your weaknesses so they can take you down. You can’t take everyone at face value, but you also need to be aware of the impression you’re giving people.

There’s nothing wrong with allies, of course; even 007 tends to make a useful friend to help him along. You just need to be careful about who you choose, making sure that the person in question is someone whose goals and interest aligns with yours with and who isn’t going to stab you in the back. Until you’re sure you can trust them, you should take care to be discreet: you wouldn’t see Bond sitting in a bus complaining about the terrorist and rogues he is going to deal with, likewise you shouldn’t call your friend on the bus ride home to complain about work, especially if you’re going to name any names – you never know who’s listening.

3. Always Look Sharp

“Dress the way you want to be addressed.” my mama never stopped ringing that into my thick skull. Thankfully, it sunk in. James Bond’s style gets him all the ladies and all the good missions. How we dress is always a major part of the first impression people make when they meet us, and even a genius wouldn’t get past a first interview in ill-fitting clothes and too much unkempt facial hair.

look good
And don’t get me wrong, it is never just about clothes, either. Have you ever seen Bond flustered? No. He knows how to always stay cool under pressure (sometimes literally) and channel his inner calm to never look anything less than elegantly composed. No one’s saying you need to be able to conduct a car chase in a tank and then have the presence of mind to adjust your tie, but if you can be the cool and level-headed one in a crisis, people will respect you much more than if you’re the flustered one running around like a headless chicken. You might not always have the perfect one liner, but you can exude confidence and never let fear stand in your way.

4. Maximize technology well

My point here is that each film includes a scene where Bond goes to see Q and gets a quick lesson on how to use his latest gadgets – and then he does actually use them. Yeah I know, he also seems to have a reputation for destroying and losing them, but let’s ignore that for a moment. Whether or not your work involves gadgets or learning a program or a code, you should always be prepared to learn it and then to use it when you’re supposed to.

james and Q

Also, you will never see Bond calling time out on a fist fight to respond to an email or a bbm ping. You might think I am being ridiculous here, but let’s be honest: have you really never allowed technology to distract you from anything? You probably have. And when you did, you were becoming a slave to your tech rather than remaining the master of it. Take a lesson out of James Bond’s book and use things only when you need to, and make sure you’re prepared for every eventuality.

5. Avoid being Micromanaged

Like I mentioned earlier, 007 never stopped a fight to check his email, but he also never stopped to contact M; I know that they talk at the beginning, and Bond tends to get screamed at in the end, but in the time in-between Bond is on his own. He has the self confidence to know he can get the job done, and M knows they can trust him and simply give him support from afar.

jamees and M

This is exactly the way you should be treated by your boss; it’s far preferable to be trusted and believed in than it is to have someone constantly checking up on you, or worse, to be expected to check in with them every time you want to do something. It does nothing to help your self-esteem, and all they’re really doing is making more work for themselves, especially if you’re perfectly capable of getting on with things without assistance.

With all that said, the next time you run into difficulty ask yourself “What would James Bond do?” No, No ,No, punching them in the face is not allowed. You should be using all the fortitude, technology and charisma you have at your disposal in order to gain the upper hand and come out on top at the adventure that is your career.

About Stellamaris Obomanu

Loves to read, loves to write, loves to laugh, loves life and yeah, she's as real as they come.

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