5 Life Lessons 20-Somethings Can Take Away From Mad Men

Author: Dan Lord

After what has seemed to many die hard fans an endless eternity, the critically acclaimed AMC series Mad Men will return tonight after an unusually long 17-month hiatus with it’s (2 hour!) season 5 premier. In addition to slaying the Emmys and Golden Globes, the show has drawn rather devoted following among a wide range of age groups, especially us 20-somethings. And if you’re a 20-something not watching Mad Men, you should probably change that because there are a lot of life lessons you can take away from the show:

1. Getting wasted with co-workers/clients can have negative consequences.

The characters on Mad Men arguably live the dream lives of all 20-somethings. They get fucked up on a regular basis in a way that would put Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan to shame. While it may seem like being perpetually hammered in the office is awesome, there can be a drawback to such behavior… Our friend Roger Sterling found out the hard way after pounding martinis at lunch with Don before a meeting with clients.

2. Mixing business with pleasure can make life complicated.

Who hasn’t fantasized about hooking up with the hottie at work? I mean come on… that’s the basis for a trillion cheesy adult video story lines. Regardless, overlapping your professional and personal lives can backfire. Such was the case when Don was seduced by Bobbie Barrett, the wife of a comedian employed by Sterling Cooper for a commercial. Eventually, her husband found out and went on to tell Betty Draper. Another notable case was when Don impulsively slept with his secretary, Allison, who stormed out of the office in tears when Don tried to act if nothing had happened. Who needs this workplace drama?

3. Other people’s lives are not always what they man seem.

Sure, Donald Draper is the man guys want to be and women want to be with. With his charming personality, professional success, nice house, and bangin’ wife, what man wouldn’t want to spend a day in his (perfectly polished) shoes? However, beneath the surface of a man who can sell happiness to the masses, Don doesn’t exactly have his own life all figured out. To say it’s complicated is something of an understatement. First off, Don Draper isn’t even the guys real name.

4. When you want something, don’t let anything stand in your way.

When you’re driven and ambitious, you can always find a way to get to where you want to be. Take Don Draper. When he wanted a high paying job in advertising, he realized he didn’t have the college education and pedigree that many of the executives had. Did he just give up? Of course not. He got Sterling blackout drunk at 10 in the morning and then convinced him the next day that he had hired him during their pre-lunch binge (the first of many).

5. Don’t throw out your old wardrobe.

Who would have thought that skinny ties might come back?

Season 5 of Mad Men premieres tonight at 9pm ET on AMC. I’ll be watching with a dry martini and Lucky Strike in hand. What about you?

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