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  • Writer's pictureBlue Bull Recruitment

What lessons can we learn from the film Mary Poppins?

In the magical world of Walt Disney the much loved musical Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke as Bert and David Tomlinson as Mr Banks can teach us some valuable lessons.



This iconic film, set in Edwardian London, may seem worlds apart from today's working environment (It was set in 1964 after all), but it offers valuable lessons on recruitment, work-life balance, and workplace behavior that are still relevant in our rapidly changing world.


Recruitment: Finding the Perfect Fit

In Mary Poppins, the Banks family is in dire need of a nanny for their children, Jane and Michael. Mr Banks is a stern and rigid banker and he is determined to find the perfect nanny to meet his strict requirements.


This hiring process, although comically exaggerated, provides several insights into the world of recruitment.


Lesson 1: Don't Be Too Rigid

Mr Banks initially sets strict criteria for the nanny position, such as "No nonsense" and "The holy terror." However, Mary Poppins teaches us that sometimes the best candidates don't fit conventional moulds.


She is practically perfect in every way, but her methods are unconventional, and she brings joy and magic into the Banks' lives. Just because someone doesn't have the experience or qualifications you would 'expect' do not discount them as unsuitable - You may be surprised


Lesson 2: The Power of Creativity

During Mary Poppins' interview, she uses her magical powers to influence Mr Banks's behavior, demonstrating her unique skills. Now we don't all have magical powers to get hired, which is a shame, but you can still get the point.


This reminds us that sometimes, the qualities and abilities that truly matter in a job can't be captured in a traditional CV and need to be found in a face-to-face or virtual meeting. You are hiring a person, not a CV


Work-Life Balance: The Importance of Prioritising Family

Mary Poppins beautifully illustrates the struggle to find a balance between work and family life. This is still true in today's world!


Mr Banks is consumed by his demanding job at the bank, while his children long for his attention and affection. Mary Poppins intervenes to teach him a hard but much-needed lesson.


Lesson 3: Quality Over Quantity

In the 1960s, the working world often demanded long hours and unwavering dedication to one's job. However, Mary Poppins reminds us that it's not about the quantity of time spent with loved ones but the quality of that time.


Mr Banks learns to appreciate the importance of spending meaningful moments with his children, even if it means taking a break from work. We can all get so consumed with our jobs and work that we sometimes forget to 'Dance in the rain'


Behavior at Work: Kindness and Empathy

Throughout the film, Mary Poppins and her magical adventures also offer valuable insights into workplace behavior and the importance of empathy and kindness.


Lesson 4: The Impact of Positive Attitude

Mary Poppins maintains a sunny disposition and encourages positivity wherever she goes. Her cheerful demeanor helps her win over everyone, including her employers and the often grumpy Uncle Albert.


This shows us that a positive attitude can have a profound impact on workplace relationships and interactions.


Lesson 5: Treating Everyone with Respect

Mary Poppins treats everyone she encounters with kindness, regardless of their social or economic status.


She encourages Mr Banks to treat his employees with respect and fairness, reminding us that treating others with dignity and empathy is a timeless and universal principle.

It goes without saying (in my opinion) ALWAYS be kind!


Changes in the Working World

While the working world has undergone significant changes since the 1960s, including advancements in technology and more flexible work arrangements, the core values and principles highlighted in Mary Poppins still remain so relevant today.


Recruitment processes have evolved, with a greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Employers now recognise the value of unique perspectives and unconventional thinking, much like Mary Poppins brought to the Banks household.


Work-life balance remains a challenge, but the awareness of its importance has grown. Many companies now offer flexible work options and prioritise family-friendly policies.

at work, too, has seen advancements, with more emphasis on fostering a positive and inclusive workplace culture.


In conclusion, Mary Poppins may be a film from a bygone era, but its lessons on recruitment, work-life balance, and workplace behavior are as important today as they were in the 1960s.

This timeless classic continues to remind us that, in the end, it's the qualities of kindness, empathy, and a positive attitude that truly matter in our professional and personal lives.

After all, as Mary Poppins herself would say;

"In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and the job's a game!"

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