Leadership Lessons From FRIENDS – “The One Where Rachel Quits Her Job”

This is the official launch of the SOS Leadership “Leadership Lessons from FRIENDS” blog series! This blog series will consist of leadership lessons learned from the popular 1990s – early 2000s sitcom FRIENDS. This blog series will run bi-weekly from now until the end of January, 2013. It will feature guest bloggers who will share with you the leadership lessons they learned from the show FRIENDS!

We hope this blog encourages you to always be on the look out for leadership lessons in your everyday lives!

We look forward to hearing your thoughts about this blog series in the weeks and months to come.


In the episode “The One Where Rachel Quits Her Job,” after two and a half years of working at the coffee shop Central Perk, Rachel is asked to go through training again. Why you ask? It’s because she did not know how to do what some people would consider to be simple things including: putting the empty trays in the tray spot, serving decaf over regular coffee, bringing someone tea instead of coffee, among many other things. In the episode Rachel says, “I don’t understand why I am being re-trained for a job that I don’t even want to do in the first place?”

Have you ever found yourself in that position? Are you at a job now that doesn’t fit what you want to do, and you can’t seem to leave to follow your true passion? In this episode Chandler called this being scared of the FEAR! This included: fear of the unknown, fear of being without a job, fear of ending up at a job that you hate even more, fear of everything! Rachel one day decided that she no longer wanted to be scared of the fear and gave her notice.

Rachel decided to follow her dreams of working in the fashion industry, although her resume at 28 years old only included head cheerleader and waitress. The time was running out and Rachel had still yet to find a job. She was contemplating telling the coffee shop that she wanted her job back, but with her friends encouragement she waited it out, and she got a new job! Rachel conquered the fear. Her closing remarks to all the customers at Central Perk on her last day were, “I will never serve another cup of coffee ever again.” As the show closes she is going through training at her new job and is being shown how her new boss likes his coffee to be made!


The lessons that we can take from this episode is that it is important to face that fear and follow your true passion. Sometimes even when you reach that next level, as Rachel did, you still may have to do some things that may not be your favorite things to do. However, it is a step in the path of your Leadership Journey!

I would love to hear more about your leadership journey and the road you have taken to get to where you are at today. What challenges have you faced? What have you done that you did not want to do? What did you learn? I look forward to your comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.