Career Success at What Cost? Work vs. Personal Life in the Devil Wears Prada

Topics: Personal life, Philosophy of life, Lifestyle Pages: 6 (2397 words) Published: August 27, 2013
Career Success at What Cost?
Work vs. Personal Life in The Devil Wears Prada

This essay is about how a woman adjusts and sacrifices her life to be able to meet needs of the work life balance vs. the personal life balance. It is achieved by looking closely at the two main characters and how they constantly have to choose between personal and work life and to be able to maintain a balance or rather not. It is a good choice of movie to look into the theme of work life vs personal life, as this is a common existing problem in today’s work culture and it enlightens the choices and options one has to choose from. This essay looks at two different women who work in a same field yet are worlds apart and end up having to choose either or . The essay then concludes about that choices needed or demanded to be made and sacrifices are made by every individual in the end whether they want to or not.

We all hope to have a boss who guides and inspires us to fulfil our professional goals as we contribute to our organization’s success. However, recognizing how rare that kind of mentor is, many of us are satisified to work for someone who is unsuccessful, but pleasant to work with, someone who would guide us and be approachable without biting our heads off. Such a person is, at least, more tolerable than a boss who makes every workday a living hell. The Devil Wears Prada brings to life that very terrifying scenario.

Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a college graduate who won writing prizes as a student but is unable to secure a job in journalism, had to settle for a job that is related creatively to her choice of expertise. Andrea (Andy) is assigned as the assistant to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), who is the editor in chief of Runway magazine based in the busy lives of Manhattan. The tasks Miranda assigns her – range from finding and fetching only vaguely described pants to scoring the latest unpublished Harry Potter manuscript within a very limited time frame. All these have nothing in relation to Andy’s passion of journalism. This is the first evidence of sacrifice that is made by Andy. She chose to work in a place not familiar or relevant to her but she has to work in order to earn to be able to support herself.

One problem Andy faces is her inability to fit in with Runway’s corporate culture. Whereas her co-workers dress in perfectly put-together top-designer clothes, Andy wears a comfortable off-the-rack sweater and sensible shoes. She sees no reason to change herself for a job she is using only as a steppingstone for a job at a” real” magazine such as The New Yorker.(Frankel,pg42) This is the next choice Andy makes. She chooses to remain her own self and be in her comfort zone rather than trying to fit into an image which is not favoured by her. She ignores the taunts of her co-worker Emily (Emily Blunt), who puts down Andy’s uninspired outfits. Andy, who sees fashion as useless and irrelevant, has no intention of becoming a part of the fashion industry. For her, this job is just a means to an end. Here she chooses her personal life style over the professional expected level. For Andy it is more convenient and easier to portray her as she identifies with her own choices of clothes rather than branded items that many choose otherwise.

Andy eventually comes to recognize that Runway sells an image, and that her loyalty to this image is part of her job description. Through her hard work and efficiency on being able to meet deadlines before time, she becomes a walking advertisement for Runway. As she concedes her previous image to one of style, grace, and elegance framed by the clothing of the designers she once found so disgraceful, she crosses a boundary. Her friends and boyfriend question her transformation. But Andy, striving to fit into her new role and please her boss, is too busy for introspection. (Bolen, Everywoman,pg 262). This again is another example of choice and sacrifice evident in the movie. At first...
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