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8 heroic career tips: What we can learn from superheroes

Iron Man, Superman, Wonder Woman and Co. are great role models for many fans. Marvel and DC's heroes can even help you successfully climb the career ladder.

With Avengers: Endgame (don't worry, there are no spoilers to follow), the fourth big phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ends, and with it, almost an era. The film has recently become the most successful film of all time and has enthused millions of fans worldwide. But the superhero hype doesn't end with the endgame. Marvel himself has recently presented his plans for the movies for the next few years, and opponent DC plans their own heroic stories of Wonder Woman and Co. for the big screen. Apart from that, comics, the templates for all the movies, are also more popular than ever. But what do superheroes have to do with your career? A lot, because you can learn a lot from Iron Man, Spiderman, Black Widow and Co. for your professional career.

1. Iron Man: Innovation is the key Tony Stark as Iron Man and the head of the Avengers, saved the world several times, but has no superpowers. He has brains and above all ideas. At first glance, you might not think the playboy with the big mouth would be capable of it, but Iron Man is a clever inventor, which ultimately helped him to hero fame. In addition to his Iron Suit, which helps him in battle, he has created several artificial intelligences and other technical innovations, all aimed at protecting humanity from the threats of the universe. Setbacks never stopped him, and instead kept him motivated. So it's not without reason that Iron Man is one of the world's most popular superheroes.

For your career: As you can see, innovation is just as important for your company. No matter which product or service you develop, think about something new, stand out from your competitors and think about what your customers want. If a prototype doesn't turn out as you would like it to, try it again. Don't give up and above all, let your creativity run free. If someone from your team has a good idea, accept it, even if it doesn't come from you. It can help your company to make the necessary leap in the end. After all, Tony Stark doesn't shy away from working with smart minds like Bruce Banner (Hulk).

2. The Avengers: Defeats are part of life Setbacks are not uncommon, not even for superheroes. In the movie Infinity War, Marvel's Avengers suffered the biggest defeat of their career - which resulted in the villain Thanos wiping out half of all life in the universe with one snap. The Avengers lost friends and relatives and remained desperate and affected. But despite the bitter setback, they do not give up, and they reassemble to face Thanos again in Avengers: Endgame to turn things around for the better. Because an important trait of a superhero is never to give up and face all challenges.

For your career: The same applies to you on the job. You will inevitably reach points where there is no back and forth. You will make mistakes, ruin projects and experience setbacks. This is no reason to give up, but should give you reason to reflect. Why has the project become a flop? What mistakes have happened? And what can you do with your team to make it better the next time you try? Being angry about setbacks is understandable; however, don't let anger and frustration gain the upper hand, but learn from your mistakes and do it better. And remember, you don't have to compete against the overpowering Thanos.

3. Loki: You don't have to be Everybody's Darling Loki is a special character within the Marvel universe. He's not a hero, but he's not a real bad guy either. The God of mischief does just that. Mischief and occasionally hitting the strands, like in the first Avengers movie, in which he tries to enslave humanity. Loki is a multi-layered character, and while many see him as the evil one, others, like his brother Thor, believe in the good in him. This is reflected in the opinions of the fans. Loki is an incredible fan favourite, both in the movies and in the comics. He even gets his own spin off series on the streaming platform Disney+. So even if he's not a big hero, people love Loki.

For your career: Of course you should stay fair with your company, not cross any legal boundaries and not try to subjugate humanity. But you don't have to be Everybody's Darling to be successful. There are many controversial companies on the market that are celebrated by some, condemned by others. But precisely these public discourses about brands are a valuable form of PR. So don't be afraid of doing your thing and maybe provoking it: As long as you have a loyal, growing customer base, it doesn't matter what some critics say. Be like Loki - but stay within the legal and ethical bounds to avoid negative publicity.

4. Guardians of the Galaxy: Diversity leads your team to success When a half-human, members of different alien races, a tree and a modified raccoon team up to save the galaxy, can it only end in chaos? No, as the Guardians of the Galaxy prove. As a group of criminals, they join forces, escape prison, and embark on their own mission to put a stop to one of Thanos' henchmen. Each member contributes valuable experience and strength to the team, which ultimately leads to victory. Purified by the government, the Guardians then embark on a space trip to help others in need. In their team, it doesn't matter which sex anyone has, or whether someone has green skin, fur, pubescent raving madness, or a lesser intellect - they work hand in hand.

For your career: Rely on diversity in your teams as well. But to achieve that, you don't have to search the whole galaxy - here on Earth, too, people are characterized by their individuality. And the search is worth it, because it has been proven that colourful teams work more creatively, innovatively and effectively; quickly arriving at solutions to problems. Regardless of whether you're a manager putting together a team or an employee working in one, be open to new ideas and say goodbye to prejudices. Don't say anything about a person's way of working or inventiveness. So stand up for a colourful workplace.

5. Captain America: Don't forget your origins Captain America, the secret weapon of the US military during the Second World War, has been through a lot. But despite all the body modifications, all the losses and all the time frozen in a block of ice, he never forgot who he was and where he came from. The down-to-earth hero from Brooklyn is loyal, polite and treats his team members with respect - let's ignore the events of Civil War. It's because of his military background that Captain America knows what teamwork means and that even the lower ranked comrades should be treated with respect.

For your career: Be like Cap - treat your colleagues or employees fairly and respectfully. If your desk neighbor asks you for help, try to give it to him. Especially in a team working towards the same goal, no one should be left hanging. Helpfulness is therefore the be-all and end-all. And even if you are a team leader, you should not forget where you come from: You also started small once. Try to understand your employees and their problems accordingly. Do not behave like the number one and place yourself above

them - meet them at eye level. Because employees are more motivated and more productive when they feel that they and their work are valued.

6. Wonder Woman: Women can also make their careers It took a long time until DC finally brought the most popular superhero in history to the big screen. The prevailing sexism in the industry has long prevented a heroic film with a female protagonist from coming out. But 2017's Wonder Woman taught everyone a better lesson, broke box office records, and even outclassed male rivals Batman and Superman. And in the film itself Diana shows that she doesn't have to hide behind the men. In World War I, she fights on the Western front, shows her male sidekicks what courage and strength are and defeats a god. Wonder Woman, according to her inventor, should always be a sign of feminism - and the male-dominated superhero world should have learned this by now.

For your career: Wonder Woman impressively shows that women can also make a career. For you, this means that despite possible prejudices, you should not let yourself get down and fight for your gender equality. Apply for promotions. Don't let male colleagues ban your mouth. Demand a salary commensurate with your work. Do not limit yourself to the role of housewife and mother, but show yourself without fear as a career woman who can reconcile everything. And for the men out there: Show respect to your female colleagues. They are just as competent as you are, can solve problems and enrich teamwork. They are not "mice", "mummy" or "sweetheart" - they are your colleagues who contribute just as much to the success of a project as you do.

7. Spiderman: With great Power comes great Responsibility Peter Parker, the friendly spider from the neighborhood, got his strength from a random spider bite. The powers he gains are superhuman and more than useful in the fight against evil. But such a power also entails responsibility, as his deceased uncle Ben has told him. Spidey tries to live according to this motto and to use his powers for good. It doesn't necessarily have to be the fight against Thanos or other super villains - it is also enough for him to thwart a raid on the local kiosk. Depending on which Spiderman you look at, Peter tries to reconcile school/university/work and relationships in addition to his superhero activities. Mostly with success.

For your career: If you are in a position in which you bear great responsibility, be aware of this. You are responsible for your team or your employees and must act accordingly. As the boss, your top priority must be employee satisfaction. This also means that you must manage your business in such a way that your salary can always be paid on time. There are responsibilities that your company has towards the public and also those from your private life. Learn to prioritize what is most important. Sometimes you have to take off your superhero suit to dedicate yourself to other things - like Peter Parker did to his homework.

8. Superman: Know your Kryptonite Superman is the first great superhero and to this day one of the most popular. Even though Marvel is always outperforming DC in terms of movies, Superman is and remains number one - at least as far as its release date is concerned. The hero combines many different powers, from laser vision to superhuman strength to a bulletproof body. But Superman has a weakness he knows very well - kryptonite. The green, supernatural material forces him to his knees and has the power to kill him. That's exactly why he has to stay away from it. And if one of his opponents uses kryptonite as a weapon against him, he must come up with something to compensate for this weakness.

For your career: You should also know your weaknesses. This is the only way you can work on them and try to compensate them. Admittedly, there are also weaknesses, mostly related to your personality, that cannot be eliminated as quickly as, for example, a lack of knowledge. In order not to get any stumbling blocks in the way, you can try to hide your kryptonite, which means to play over. Don't offer possible opponents an attack surface, and if someone finds a sore spot after all, set up methods that serve as defense or even counterattack. In the end, you can climb the career ladder and even surpass yourself.

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