How These 7 TV Characters Exhibit Traits a Project Manager Needs to Succeed

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Project Manager.

Um, maybe?!

Three Years’ Experience, required.

Ugh, Next.

Hold on, just a minute. Yes, I am talking to YOU. Go back and read that description carefully.

Do you need prior experience?


Does that mean that you need to have held a ‘Project Manager’ title to apply?

Maybe. But Maybe Not.

Depending on the job and company, you may need a few years of experience to be a PM, but you may already have the experience you need without even realizing it. Pop Culture has been granting us the most glorious Type-A would’ve, could’ve, should have been Project Managers for years. And they may have subtly taught you the basic characteristics you need to completely crush not just the interview, but the day-to-day aspects of the job as well.

Hear me out.

1. Monica Geller from Friends

The World may see her as a control-freak, neat-freak, and chef, but here’s what I see: a strong, confident leader, with the ability to organize and delegate when she needs to. All essential traits you need to have as a PM.


Monica Geller From Friends GIF 

2. Gordon Ramsey

Gordon Ramsey. The World may see him as angry and bitter, also chef🤔

(And by now you are thinking to yourself, are all chefs moonlighting as Project Managers? No. Well, I do not think so anyway. These are the only two culinary examples on the list, promise!)

Here’s what makes Gordon a great (albeit secret) PM: He is strong leader and pushes his team to achieve great results for his customers (even if that means being tough!) Being a PM is a little like working for GR in that you need to have a thick skin. Non-negotiable. Things won’t always go the way you plan – and that’s why there’s such a thing as “Plan B”. Even then, there will be days when everything is on fire (pun intended), and you’ll have to take a deep breath and lead the team out of the fire to solid ground. It’s okay, you’ve got this.

 Gordon Ramsey GIF


3. Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation

The World may see her as kind, a clear communicator, and a natural born leader with a love of binders and organization. And that’s exactly right. She’s pretty much the picture-perfect PM. She’s also not afraid to take negative feedback to apply towards the next project in a positive way – and forward thinking is a huge requirement of the job!

 Leslie Knope From Parks and Recreation GIF


4. Olivia Pope from Scandal

The World may know her as the Pope of Olivia Pope and Associates (OPA), a groundbreaking Washington, D.C. lawyer and “fixer” for big-shot politicians. Olivia made the list because she proves throughout the show that she has great instincts (even when the show makes you think that she doesn’t). She’s good at managing expectations and always keeping the project results in mind. She’s constantly moving toward that end goal.


Olivia Pope from Scandal GIF 

5. Schmidt from New Girl

Schmidt is your classic Type-A, organized, efficient, reliable Project Manager. He has a color-coded system and timeline for everything. Pretty much the definition of a PM.


Schmidt From New Girl GIF

6. Amy Santiago from Brooklyn 99

The World may see Amy as an ambitious, driven, cop, who is constantly striving for perfection. A lesser known* PM trait: we have to be right.

*=ok, pretty well known.

Amy Santiago From Brooklyn 99 GIF


7. And a Little Bit {of} Alexis (Rose) from Schitt’s Creek

Yes, organization, leadership, and communication are all extremely important to be able to succeed as a PM, but there’s one more thing you really need to succeed: you have to have fun doing your job! Alexis Rose is always the life of the party and only does what she thinks is going to bring her joy. So, channel Alexis Rose and a bit of Marie Condo and find that PM role that makes your career shift completely worth it.

A Little Bit of Alexis Rose From Schitt's Creek GIF

See? I told you – you’ve been secretly studying the ways of a PM for years. So, when you’re looking at that LinkedIn job posting, consider applying! You may not have the “years” on paper, but you may have all the right skills. You’ve likely already been applying them to your current position. Give it some thought. If the company is anything like Liquid, they likely believe that if you have the building blocks and are a cultural fit, they can teach you the “hard stuff”, the “experience stuff.”

When it comes down to it, being a PM is: being kind, patient, organized, a good leader, a clear communicator, speaking up (respectfully) when you need to, and being able to handle difficult conversations and make hard decisions. You can’t be afraid of making mistakes...because you will. You just have to be willing to learn and grow from them to make your next project a huge success. That’s not so bad, is it? Nothing a PM can’t handle.

Alexis Rose From Schitt's Creek GIF