By Mia Casey
If you’ve never felt a deep and spiritual connection to a 25-year-old, single, Scorpio, blood type A, red panda then you’ve obviously never watched Aggretsuko. Centered around Retsuko (said red panda), the Netflix show follows her as she struggles with the demands of her job in the accounting department of a Japanese trading firm.
From disrespectful bosses and annoying co-workers, to her work friends and addiction to death metal karaoke, Retsuko is the Sanrio character you never knew you needed.
But what can her trials and tribulations teach us about navigating our own careers?
1. Self-care is important
If there’s anything Retsuko can teach us, it’s that leaving time for your passions is an essential part of taking care of your mental health and dealing with stress in the workplace.
Whenever things get tough at work, Retsuko sneaks off to a bathroom, storage closet, or to a karaoke club after work and lets her polite corporate façade drop, releasing her stress through her beloved death metal. Eventually, this time after work also includes karaoke with her friends, solidifying her support network.
Whenever things get stressful – be it at uni or work – hobbies and relaxation time are usually the first things to fall by the wayside. If Retsuko can teach us anything it’s that setting time aside for doing these things is actually really important when life gets hectic, and can help you find balance and de-stress.
2. Make friends at work
Aside from her quick death metal breaks, Retsuko’s friendships at work help make her days a little bit brighter.
Fenneko and Haida work with Retsuko and are usually the first to notice if she’s feeling down. They’re also by her side when she needs to work through her problems, and offer advice (amidst some teasing) when she really seems like she’s going off the deep end.
Making friends at work is a great way to not only make your work life a little bit better, but also gives you extra support in (what can be) a stressful environment. Plus, you never know what opportunities can come your way from friends you’ve made around the workplace!
3. Find mentors
Some of Retsuko’s biggest support comes in the form of two more senior co-workers, Director Gori and Secretary Washimi. After meeting at yoga the pair take Retsuko under their wing (literally for Washimi) and act as her mentor, giving her life advice, help her at work, and suggesting solutions for dealing with her colleagues.
Having the pair as mentors really helps Retsuko grow as a – person? panda? – and help her develop the confidence she needs to stand up for herself.
A mentor is also a great support and resource to have when you’re just starting out in the workplace, as they can help you navigate the more tricky aspects of your career and provide insight from their years of experience. Having a mentor is a definite advantage when you’re looking at building your career.
4. Go to work events
While trying to get back in her boss’ good graces, Retsuko decides to go along to more work events to try and bond with the team. Unfortunately, this didn’t really go as planned (her boss is super rude, so this totally isn’t her fault) but it did mean she got to spend more time with solidifying her relationship with her colleagues.
Going along to work events is a great way to meet new people in the office, connect on topics unrelated to work, and learn more about the people you work with. Team outings can also help smooth things along when it comes to working together, as it’s always more pleasant working with people you know and like rather than just general acquaintances.
Featured image courtesy of Mashable