Sometimes when you’re in need of a little career inspiration, the best place to look is the TV.
Television characters have become far more complex and multi-faceted over the last few years, giving us lots to choose from when it comes to empowering, inspirational career role models.
Here are seven of the most inspiring career men and women on TV.
1. Olivia Pope, Scandal
She’s the no-nonsense scandal “fixer” and moral centre of the show who solves problems with confidence and creativity. Olivia is a leader, a good listener and a force to be reckoned with in the male-dominated world of American politics. Even when she’s in a sticky situation, she always trusts her gut – and herself – and makes it through.
2. Walter White
Walter can teach us all determination and perseverance. He used skills from a previous job in a new business venture and he notified a popular product and took it to market. Walter never gives up even when facing cancer and murder – this is pretty inspirational if you ask us!
3. Peggy Olson, Mad Men
Going from goody-two-shoes secretary to the only female senior copywriter in her advertising agency, Peggy’s road to the top is one of the most inspiring character transformations on TV. She battles sexism in 1960s New York as she watches men less talented than herself get promoted above her time and again. But she never stops fighting for what she deserves, and her ambition eventually pays off.
4. Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife
This bad-ass lawyer works wonders in the courtroom and deals with personal setbacks with grace and poise. She’s smart as a whip and ruthless when she needs to be, but she never loses her sense of integrity.
5. Frank Underwood
We don’t advice killing or sleeping your way to the top. However he is fiercely committed to climbing that career ladder which is pretty impressive. Determination will get you there people!
6. Samantha Jones, Sex and the City
This supremely confident woman rules the PR world and knows her worth. She rewards herself for her successes, always goes after what she wants without hesitation and never apologises for being herself.
7. Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones
Once a victim of abuse, the strong, beautiful Khaleesi isn’t afraid to play dirty when necessary. Despite her power, she’s open to learning from the best, and willing to admit to mistakes. Her passion, bravery and kind heart make her an inspirational leader.
8. Sherlock Holmes
Living and breathing your career is the ideal. Sherlock is totally an example of someone who does that and it’s made him really, really good at what he does.
9. Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project
Possibly the most relatable of all these TV characters, Mindy is a successful gynaecologist who isn’t afraid to admit that she’s the ultimate girly girl. She knows she’s good at her job and is unabashedly herself, with wit and personality to spare. Despite her many romantic setbacks, she never loses faith in love or in herself.
10. Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation
The local small-town politician has an unwavering and inspiring optimism in her ultimate goal to become president of the United States. No matter how many times she’s knocked down, she always lifts herself back up stronger than before.