The Killing, or, as the Danes like to call it, Forbrydelsen, is a really great series. If you haven’t watched it, you should watch it. This rundown of career tips contains lots and lots of spoilers, so if you haven’t seen series one or two of this programme, and don’t want to find out what happens, move on to somewhere else on our lovely website.
1. Don’t expect to get much done without enough sleep
Sarah Lund might spend sleepless weeks tracking down killers surviving on few other energy resources than Chinese takeaways, internalised frustration and the force field created by the knitwear she’s seemingly been sewn into, but she is Sarah Lund. You are NOT Sarah Lund. No matter how much you hear from various sources that someone can survive on a few hours’ sleep a night, they’re likely to be lying.
So Rihanna can exist on a few winks a night? Well, she also uses a drip to keep herself awake. Though working on hardly any sleep makes Sarah Lund look as hard as nails, it’s part of the reason why everyone thinks she confusedly shoots Jan Mayer (though she doesn’t). Fair enough, sleep for an hour a night, but if you can’t deliver at work then you know you need more.
2. Be open about what you’re doing
Every single politician in The Killing holds something back and subsequently gets into a lot of trouble. Remember Troels Hartmann’s creepy aide, Morten, who washed up all of the blood out of the party’s apartment when he thought Troels had killed Nanna? And Troels never coming forward about his suicide attempt because he was too ashamed to show weakness? Well, In both of these instances, lying and covering up the subsequent lies that follow on from the first lie only leaves you with a spaghetti-style tangle of lies on your plate.
If you can’t do something on Tuesday and you know on the previous Thursday, tell your boss. If you accidentally sent a high-profile client a photo of your obese cat stretching out (seriously, someone has done this), maybe don’t go round telling everyone in the office as if it’s a sort of trophy. Apologise to the relevant person, then if you’re asked about it later on, own up to it.
3. Pay attention to detail
This doesn’t mean analysing floorboards and inspecting for hidden cupboards in every room you go into, or hotfooting it across to Afghanistan for the afternoon just to check out whether a concealed oven has any human remains in it – we really do feel for you if this is your actual job.
What it does mean is being aware of what’s going on around you and around the office. Purely from a tech angle, if you know that you have say, only three piffling megabytes of storage in your company inbox, or specific logins so you can access particular servers and remote cloud facilities it’s best to know this ASAP so you can clear out your inbox and know how to login to your computer without having to consult a million tech experts, your boss and five other people who’ve got better things to be getting on with.
At the end of series one, Theis Larson meets a really unfortunate, disheartening end. And you can’t help but think that –yeah, sure he’s angry – if he had just LISTENED to Sarah then he could have maybe side-stepped that whole murder thing. Of course he still would have been heartbroken and devastated by his supposed best friend’s brutal murder of his daughter. BUT he would have been not in jail.
So how do you make the untimely end of a fictional haulage company owner fond of fisherman hats relevant to your life? Well, you remember to look up from your computer and communicate with the people around you. The internet and all the buddies you’ve made through social networks may have got you through those tough times when you were slobbing around your parents’ place, eating peanut butter from a jar, watching daytime cookery shows and applying for jobs. But if you get to know the people around you, and talk to them on a social level, you’ll be able to hear tidbits, little bits of information that is yet to be formally announced and even get yourself out of messes before they even happen.
5. Be confident
Sarah might seem downtrodden and look like she hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in months (see point #1) but she stands by her convictions. In the first series, her superiors constantly tell her and Jan that the murder enquiry is over, but Sarah sticks by her conviction. To borrow a phrase from Gok Wan, she's all about the confidence.
Though we wouldn’t advise fully going rogue, if you have a hunch about something at work, and want to prove that you’re right, then have the confidence to say so. If you’re contradicting a point of your superiors, have the research, the facts, the figures, the quotes, to back it up. Though you might feel incredibly young next to your coworkers, especially the one who hired you, there’s nothing to say that your opinion isn’t just as valid – so long it’s to do with something you’re involved with and you’ve got good reason to pipe up about it. e.g. don’t go up to a canteen worker and tell them rice can’t be reheated.