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Lessons to learn from the Devil Wears Prada

Credit: 20th Century Fox

It’s hard to believe how much meaning can be in a film about the harsh world of the fashion industry, but this iconic film has plenty to teach us.

Taking life advice from a movie isn’t often wise (especially when that film features aspiring anorexics and philanders), but The Devil Wears Prada has plenty of worthy lessons to pass on.

The movie is a scarily accurate depiction of what it would be like to work in the dog eat dog world of the fashion industry. Here are a few career lessons this iconic movie taught us.

Don’t give up your career for your chef boyfriend, even if he looks like circa-2006 Adrian Grenier.

How cute was Adrian, honestly? But what’s not so cute? How he kept trying to get Andy to quit. Your job straight out of college is supposed to suck, Adrian! Quitting solves nothing! Instead of succumbing to her boyfriend’s pressure, she steps it up at work and eventually earns Miranda Priestley’s trust, while her boyfriend sulks about cheese prices. Ladies, we only get so many opportunities in life to make our boss raise a single impressed eyebrow at our work prowess. Don’t give them up to hang out with a whiny significant other.

Connections are more important than cash.

Andrea is fresh out of college, so there’s no way she can afford the kind of designers it takes to keep up with the Joneses working at Runway magazine. Luckily, she befriends the fabulous and kind Nigel, who takes her under his wing (with a few well-meaning quips) and offers the greatest gift any fashionista in the making could ask for: free Chanel. Andrea quickly goes from frumpy fail to fashionista, all with a little help from her friend.

Credit: 20th Century Fox
Credit: 20th Century Fox

You’re never too good for your job…

Andrea waltzes into Runway on her high horse, thinking she’s better and more intellectual than the fashion-forward staffers—and promptly gets shut down by Miranda in an epic monologue about blue belts and how they mean so much more than being…blue belts. Andy learns that in life, sometimes you have to swallow your pride, keep your head low, and work your butt off to prove yourself, then you’ll earn the right to be judgmental. And earning stuff like that is way more fun.

…until you’re too good for your job.

There’s only so much you can do at a job with no clear upward mobility. When that time is up, it’s up, baby. It’s important to know your worth and check in with your ever-evolving wants and needs. Maybe what you thought was a dream job, one that “a million girls would kill for,” isn’t for you anymore. It’s OK to reconfigure and move on.

Life at the top ain’t easy.

Miranda Priestly seems like she has it all: respect and fear from the entire fashion industry, a well-paying job, a killer closet full of designers she personally knows, red-headed twins she never has to see, and a knowing relationship with the chef at Smith and Wollensky (#steakforlunch). But along with her enviable career and perks, she has to make intense sacrifices. The sacrifices might be totally worth it—but they’re still tough to swallow.

Credit: 20th Century Fox
Credit: 20th Century Fox