Peggy Olson has always been a strong character on Mad Men but after this last episode, she became an inspiration. I’ve been ranting a lot lately about moving away from my hometown and I’ve focused on leaving my family and friends, but I’m also leaving a job behind. By no means is my job as important as Peggy’s, but her actions have made me feel okay with setting my fears aside and making the decision to leave.
In episode 11, season 5, Peggy Olson makes a life changing decision: she is leaving Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Besides all of the setbacks she has encountered, especially sexism, Peggy outshines her male counterparts time and time again and in this episode, she was pushed to her breaking point. After being humiliated by Don Draper (he threw a wad of money in her face in front of her male colleagues) once again, Peggy decides to scout another agency and is pleased to find that other companies are willing to pay for her talent. Peggy, to the dismay of Don Draper, resigns gracefully while Don Draper recognizes he made a mistake. In the scene that follows, Peggy is seen walking out of the office while the rest of her colleagues celebrate the acquisition of a high paying account. With a box of her personal items in tow and her head held high, she walks into the elevator with a smile and “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks playing in the background as the episode comes to an end. It’s a little farfetched to think that I am going to receive an emotional send off from my current employer like Peggy did (trust me, no one will be kissing my hand), but I can empathize with Peggy for making such a hard decision and sticking to it.
In the last few weeks, it seems like every decision I’ve made has been a life changing one and it has not been easy. Three weeks after announcing to my employers that I would be leaving, I still had doubts and I contemplated numerous times retracting my resignation. This past Sunday, when I sat down to watch this episode of Mad Men, I had no clue that the episode I was about to watch would reassure me that I am making the right decision. I felt Peggy’s situation mirrored my own (except less dramatic and without a great wardrobe) and I can now see myself being confident in my own decision. It makes my heart flutter to think that there is a positive female role model for women who still struggle with their career paths. I’ve looked up to other television characters that are worthy of being role models as well, but never as a professional inspiration until now. It’s wonderful to see a woman on a hit TV series that is not portrayed as a raving lunatic or the lonely cubicle dweller. All hail Peggy Olson!
Featured image via amctv.com