My favorite professional takeaway from “Madmen” so far is actually a networking tip you can learn from Don or from Peggy: They both recognized early on that even though they were hyper-talented, they needed relationships to advance their careers, and did a great job developing them.
Don pushed his way into the world of advertising by stalking the well-connected Roger Sterling. This is interesting, since if anything their lasting relationship dynamic is as peers. They each know they bring something important to the table—Don, his talent, and Roger, his upper-crust network. Roger isn’t so much a mentor as a connector, although he does still sometimes school Don on the finer points of business relationship savvy.
Peggy, meanwhile, is the lone woman in a boys’ club. She fought her way to a copy-writing position, but needed Don to give her a chance, and has since looked to him as a mentor. She acknowledges his help with every success that she adds to her portfolio. (And if she should ever forget it, Don keeps reminding her!) Now, she’s moved onto a better job at a new firm—thanks to a carefully cultivated relationship—and it looks hopeful that her relationship with Don will continue. (Go Peggy!)
What’s your business takeaway so far from “Madmen”?
Ritu Walia is a FG Analyst.