5 career lessons we can all learn from Jeff Goldblum

There’s a lot to be learned from Jeff Goldblum, including ways to level up your own career.

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Have you seen the latest Prada ads featuring Jeff Goldblum in over-the-top patterned shirts? The ad campaign is part of a partnership born of the actor’s fondness for the brand matched with his own irreverent personal take on fashion. Andrew Vottero, Goldblum’s stylist since 2014, said about the Goldblum/Prada collaboration in an interview with GQ, “There’s a certain irreverence that [Goldblum and Prada] both have.” He speaks the truth, though Goldblum’s penchant for short shorts is definitely a bit too irreverent for this fashion purist.

From a purely success-based point of view, Goldblum’s career has been marked by star turns in both the Jurassic Park and Independence Day franchises. The 66-year-old renaissance man has also somehow segued from the quirky bit part in movies and TV — everything from The Fly, to Tenspeed and Brown Shoe (Look it up. It’s totally worth it). He also made a tremendous visual impact as Tricycle Man in Robert Altman’s classic film Nashville. Goldblum’s role was almost-completely dialogue-free, but his character wove together the stories of many of the other characters in the film.


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There’s a lot to be learned from Jeff Goldblum, including ways to level up your own career.

Elevation by association

Though Goldblum always looks amazing on the red carpet, I’m not sure that I ever quite thought him a style icon. The partnership with Prada offers Goldblum’s sartorial choices over the years a gold seal of approval from one of the most iconic brands in the fashion world. I’m still not buying the idea of the teeny shorts though.

Help others shine

The work world isn’t always fun. Okay, most of the time work feels like, well, work. If you can’t quite figure out the way to improve your own career, sometimes finding a way to help a colleague shine will bring your own career back to the forefront. And sometimes being known as the go-to person to help polish things at work will also make you the one indispensable to the rest of the team. Odd orange glasses and giant tricycle optional.

Keep reinventing yourself

It isn’t just Madonna who’s fond of new and improved versions of herself, Goldblum keeps updating his personal brand. “I’m a longtime admirer of Goldblum’s ability to reinvent himself for different roles – a mathematician in ‘Jurassic Park,’ a satellite technician in ‘Independence Day,’ the ‘Grandmaster’ in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – while somehow still remaining the same person – intelligent and wry, and effortlessly sexy in an offbeat way,” offers national media relations consultant Anne Isenhower. She adds, “He has interesting hobbies (like his jazz ensemble) and doesn’t pay too much attention to what other people might think of his decisions (witness those Prada short shorts!).

Don’t wait for inspiration to strike – create your own

It isn’t always easy to appreciate your own accomplishments, but maybe it’s time to try. “In his personal life, he always seems like he’s happy and up for anything fun. That’s a great way to go through life,” Isenhower adds, “I read that when Jeff Goldblum was young, he wanted to be an actor, but said that he was too ‘embarrassed’ about his ambitions. So, he used to write messages to himself on his glass shower wall and then wipe them off. I think that’s a nice way to give yourself a daily affirmation that could become a reality.”

Keep moving forward

Screwed up at work? Of course, you did. We all do. In the GQ interview, Goldblum’s stylist said about him “I feel like he has that spirit of constantly moving forward, and being excited and enthusiastic about the future.” Sure, work and life can wear you down, but if you keep finding new challenges and things to get excited about, people notice. And they want to hire you or continue to work with you. Just don’t wear short shorts to work- even if they’re made by Prada.


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Rachel Weingarten|is a marketing & brand consultant and writer who frequently writes about business and style and the business of style