If you're a "Gilmore Girls" fan, it's likely you've heard that the hit TV series is getting a reboot later this year. The show, which debuted in 2000 and ran until 2007, became a fan favorite thanks to its beloved characters and quirky conversations.
Many "Gilmore Girls" viewers have focused primarily on the romantic relationships that take place throughout the course of the show — even now, nearly nine years after the show's finale aired, fans are still debating whom main character Lorelai should be with. And when it comes to the romantic entanglements of her daughter, Rory, fans have some seriously strong opinions about ex-boyfriends Dean, Jess and Logan (all of whom have been confirmed for the revival, according to Variety). However, there's a lot more to the show than with whom the Gilmore girls fall in love. Throughout the series, all of the characters face plenty of issues at work and in school, and there's a lot you can learn from them, whether you've been a fan since the day it aired or you're debating watching the show on Netflix for the first time now.
The "Gilmore Girls" revival doesn't have a release date yet, but while you wait to watch, here are seven career lessons from your favorite characters.
Lorelai GilmoreCredit: Netflix/The CW/Warner Bros. Television
The Lesson: Work your way up
Lorelai Gilmore is proof that anyone can work her way up to a successful career, regardless of where she comes from or what her life is like. Lorelai grew up in a wealthy family, feeling stifled by her parents' rules and lifestyle. When she got pregnant at 16, her parents pushed her to marry her boyfriend and the father of her baby, but she refused. After she had Rory, Lorelai ran away from home to raise her daughter on her own, and was taken in by the owner of the Independence Inn in Stars Hollow. Lorelai and Rory lived in a potting shed behind the inn, and Lorelai worked as a maid.
Lorelai rose through the ranks to become the manager at the inn, bought a house for her and her daughter to live in, and even went back to school at Hartford Community College to get a degree in business to help her further her career. Later in the series, Lorelai opens her own business, the Dragonfly Inn, which, despite some challenges, quickly becomes a huge success.
Lorelai could've settled for a future she didn't want just to have financial stability, but instead, she chose to work hard and earn happiness and success, living life on her own terms and raising her daughter the way she wanted to. You may not think that starting over from the beginning in your career is possible, but Lorelai shows that with big dreams, the right work ethic and smart choices like continuing your education, you can achieve your goals.
Rory GilmoreCredit: Netflix/The CW/Warner Bros. Television
The Lesson: Failure can't stop you
Rory is an extremely intelligent and hard-working student with big dreams of becoming a famous journalist someday, and throughout the series it starts to feel like Rory always gets exactly what she wants — she gets into competitive private school Chilton fairly easily and aces her way into Harvard (even though she ends up going to Yale instead) without much of a struggle. But at the same time, it's clear that Rory is desperately afraid of failure. When she has to drop a class during her first semester in college, she's devastated. And when newspaper mogul Mitchum Huntzberger tells her she doesn't have what it takes to be a journalist, Rory's entire life falls apart and she drops out of Yale and stops speaking to her mother. After months of living with her grandparents and struggling to figure out what to do, Rory decides to go back to Yale, get a job at a newspaper and patch things up with her mother.
Rory gets back into the swing of things easily, even becoming the editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News. But when her last semester starts to wrap up, Rory quickly realizes her job prospects aren't actually that great. She gives up her only job offer in hopes of getting a fellowship at the New York Times, and gets turned down for it. Every paper she applies to tells her they're not hiring. Rory even tries to get back the job she turned down, but the position has already been filled, leaving her feeling like a failure. Everyone around her has a job or grad school secured, and Rory graduates with no real future plans. But this time she keeps going, even turning down a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Logan, because she's excited about the freedom she has, not knowing what the future holds. Shortly thereafter, Rory gets the opportunity to be a journalist on the upcoming presidential campaign trail.
Rory takes every mistake and failure to heart, but she ultimately learns that failure can only stop her if she lets it. The first time Rory experienced what she thought was a huge failure, she wallowed in it for months and almost let it destroy her. The second time, however, she embraced it and learned from it, and everything worked out just fine. Everyone is bound to make mistakes throughout their careers, but it's how you handle failure that defines your success.
Luke DanesCredit: Netflix/The CW/Warner Bros. Television
The Lesson: Stick with what works
Luke Danes' biggest flaw is that he's stubborn and refuses to make changes, but in some cases, this is also his greatest strength. Luke, the owner of Stars Hollow's local diner and, eventually, Lorelai's ex-fiancé, is often grumpy and doesn't like to try anything new, so much so that it's like pulling teeth for Lorelai to persuade him to even freshen up the paint inside the restaurant. His diner was originally a hardware store that belonged to his father, and after his dad died, Luke converted the store into a restaurant, leaving many of his father's possessions up on the walls.
Lorelai and Luke end up dating a few seasons into the show, and during their relationship, Luke is roped into going golfing with Lorelai's father, Richard. On their golfing trip, Richard tries to persuade Luke to franchise his diner and turn it into a chain. At first, Luke doesn't know how to respond because he doesn't want to offend Lorelai's family, but throughout the rest of the series it's clear that Luke declined the offer. In this case, Luke's refusal to change was a good thing because he knew that turning his restaurant into a chain would affect the integrity of his business.
Business owners and entrepreneurs may feel a lot of pressure to take risks and make major changes, but sometimes the best option is to stick with what works. Luke's choice to keep the business mostly the way his father left it and not turn it into a franchise were smart — his diner was already a beloved staple in town, and if it's not broken, why fix it? [7 Fictional TV Bosses We Wish Were Real ]
Jess MarianoCredit: Netflix/The CW/Warner Bros. Television
The Lesson: Don't fight self-improvement
Jess Mariano grew up very troubled, as his mother, Luke's sister, Liz, was a bit flaky and his father left when he was young. Despite his intelligence and interest in books, Jess was constantly lashing out and getting himself into bad situations. When his mother sends him to Connecticut to live with Luke, he quickly becomes the bad boy of Stars Hollow. At first, he causes trouble wherever he goes and refuses to get along with his uncle, but he starts dating Rory, which leads everyone to believe he's finally getting his act together. In truth, Jess was skipping school to work at Walmart, and as a result, flunks out. Luke kicks him out, and Jess leaves without even saying goodbye to Rory.
After a brief stint in California visiting his father, Jess finally stops being angry at the world and starts working on himself. He moves to Philadelphia, begins working at a publishing house, and even writes a novel. He then visits Rory to tell her about his book and says that she had a positive influence on him and inspired him to do better. Jess also repairs his relationship with Luke, and happily pays him back money he owed him in the past.
Despite everyone — Rory, Luke and Lorelai, especially — trying to offer him advice and help him cope with his frustrations in life, Jess wasn't able to learn to be better until he had lost everything and made the decision to improve himself on his own. His choice to stop focusing on his anger and instead channel his energy into a job and a book and a life that made him happy shows that anyone can make a meaningful change as long as they're willing to put in the effort.
Sookie St. JamesCredit: Netflix/The CW/Warner Bros. Television
The Lesson: Pursue work romances carefully
Sookie St. James, Lorelai's best friend and business partner, is an incredibly talented chef who spends most of her time working hard in the kitchen. Despite her laser focus on cooking, she realizes she has a crush on her produce supplier, Jackson. After discussing her love life with Lorelai, Sookie spontaneously asks Jackson if he'd like to get dinner with her sometime, and he says "OK," but they don't actually plan a date.
Weeks go by, and things are awkward between them until Lorelai tells Sookie to just call Jackson and confirm that they're going to go out. Sookie shares her reservations about dating her produce supplier and how it could affect her job. She asks Lorelai what will happen if the date goes badly and Jackson refuses to sell her produce as a result. She worries about whether or not asking him out is considered sexual harassment. But Lorelai convinces Sookie that since Sookie and Jackson both like each other, it'll be OK, and if the date doesn't go well, they can get produce elsewhere. The date goes well, and later on Sookie and Jackson wind up married with several kids.
You spend a lot of time with your co-workers and clients, so falling for someone you have a professional relationship with is a possibility. Sookie's concerns didn’t become problems for her, but things like losing a job or dealing with sexual harassment are real issues that can happen if you don't handle work romances carefully. If you've got a crush on a co-worker, you have to be cautious even if your relationship ends up working out.
Lane KimCredit: Netflix/The CW/Warner Bros. Television
The Lesson: Follow your passions no matter what
Rory's best friend, Lane Kim, grew up in a strict Korean household. Her mother, Mrs. Kim, banned everything Lane loved, from rock music to makeup to trendy clothing. Lane spent most of her life hiding these very same things under the floorboards of her bedroom, carefully rebelling against her mother's hyper-religious ways. Lane's dream was to become a drummer in a rock band — something she knew her mother would never allow.
Lane starts a band, first practicing in the local music shop and then moving to Lorelai's garage, all without her mother knowing. But when the band lands a gig playing in New York, Lane stops trying to hide her double life from her mom. She sneaks out of the house, goes to the gig, and when she comes back, Mrs. Kim kicks her out of the house. Despite not approving of Lane's choices, Mrs. Kim eventually comes to accept her daughter as is, passions and all. Mrs. Kim even arranges a tour for the band and helps their frontman (and later, Lane's husband) Zack, write hit songs.
Lane had to take a huge risk by taking on her mother's strict rules in order to do what she loved, but it eventually paid off and she was able to mend her relationship with Mrs. Kim in the end. Sneaking out of the house wasn't the best decision Lane could've made — rather, it was her honesty and willingness to take responsibility for herself and to fight for what she believed in that helped her. Regardless, Lane's journey from quiet rebel to up-and-coming rock star is proof that following your passions will always come with obstacles, and if you really want to achieve something, you'll have to figure out how to get past them.
Logan HuntzbergerCredit: Netflix/The CW/Warner Bros. Television
The Lesson: Privilege isn't everything
As the heir to his family's fortune, Logan Huntzberger, Rory's almost-fiancé, lived most of his life without worrying about money or what he would do after graduating from college. He lives in a luxury apartment, buys expensive gifts for Rory, and often engages in reckless behavior with his friends — a spontaneous trip to South America even landed him in the hospital with a seemingly never-ending list of injuries, for example. Displeased with his behavior, Logan's father, Mitchum, eventually forces him to go to London to join the family business despite Logan's reluctance.
As fast as Logan seems to get the hang of things at his job, it all comes toppling down with one bad investment. Logan pulls one last crazy stunt out of frustration by going to Las Vegas with his friends to blow off steam, and comes back ready to make a change in his life. He decides it's time to be serious, to stop living with the privilege he's been taking for granted his whole life, and to earn his own success. Logan quits the family business, and ultimately accepts a job in California that makes him happy.
Logan's decision shows that although privilege and connections can get you far in your career, in the end, you have to do what's right for you, even if other people (like your family) don't approve.