A friend turned to me the other day after watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey, and said “Well, now we know. Lord Grantham is just plain stupid.” At the very least he sure isn’t good at what he does!
He’s certainly not very good at his career as a land owner. Granted he’s an aristocrat whose values were set in the late 1800s – and he’s not real. But the man isn’t skilled at land management. And he’s a disaster at financial management. He has little insight into things that matter to the running of the estate. And for the most part he seems to be a poor judge of character. Has he no clue about Thomas’s real motives?
Week after week, we see that people don’t turn to him for advice, not even family. He’s clearly not clued into what is going on right around him. And even though they are financially strapped, he has no awareness of the slightest possibility he’s being duped by a card sharp, even when he’s losing hand after hand, against all odds.
He appears to be disconnected from most things going on around him. And he certainly isn’t paying attention to what he should be doing. In fact, he seems rather unsuited for much of anything at this point. All signs pointing to the need for change.
It’s time for a career change, Robert Crawley!
When the Earl was young, he had a rather carefree life, despite their lack of money. In fact, finding sufficient funds to sustain the estate was one of the reasons his father insisted he marry Cora. (Whom he later learned to love.) But he did have an excellent education, and wound up majoring in Philosophy.
Wait a minute! Philosophy? No wonder he’s not good at anything practical. (Apologies to any philosophy grads.) He was trained for far grander things. He is not a man of the land. He’s a man of thought. And just as land that lies fallow seems useless now, there is always a chance for new growth and new beginnings.
So is there something after all that poor Robert Crawley could actually be good at? Might he perhaps be an artist at heart? Or a writer. Or a poet. We know he probably won’t be an opera singer, especially after his reaction to sitting next to the great Nellie Melba. Thankfully she knew about wine, so his dinner conversation was saved.
Ah! Maybe he’d make a good sommelier. Or wine blogger. Then again, he could become a recruiter … he was admirably dogged at making sure Bates, despite his disability and the Machiavellian machinations of Thomas, would become his valet. Perhaps there is hope for him yet.
What about your own career?
Are there signs that it may be time for a career change? Is there anything we can learn from Lord Grantham’s situation?
- Are you constantly coming up against things you don’t understand or even care about?
- Are you just not very good at what you do?
- Are you often bored at work?
- Do you find change annoying rather than a chance to learn more about something you enjoy?
- Are you noticing no one comes to you for advice?
- Have you stopped feeling excitement, even when you do things well?
- Do you yawn at the thought of speaking to people in your industry?
- Would you rather think about almost anything else than work?
While there can be other factors at play, if you see yourself in any of this, I really hope you at least start thinking about what else might be out there for you. No one has to float through life unconnected to their career.
Maybe Lord Grantham is trapped (especially by the writer Julian Fellowes), but you sure aren’t!
Some career change articles that may help. Good luck!