Five movies (and one TV show) to watch when you need some career inspiration
I’m willing to bet that at some point in everyone’s career, they feel a little bit… uninspired. Whether it’s an uber-demanding boss, mindless work, or a seemingly never-ending search for the perfect job, one of these movies will offer up the right fix for your own career woes. Plus, you can totally count it as professional development.
When you feel underappreciated and ready to move up in the world: Working Girl
“I’m not going to spend the rest of my life working my ass off and getting nowhere just because I followed rules that I had nothing to do with setting up.”
Tess McGill is a secretary whose boss steals her (brilliant) idea. So she steals it back. Working Girl was released in 1988, and is still funny, smart, and surprisingly relevant today. Things have changed since 1988, but not so much that they don’t need to change some more.
When you feel like no one takes you seriously because you’re too young: Almost Famous
“So you’re the kid who’s been sending me those articles from the school newspaper.”
It’s 1973, and William Miller is 15. Somehow he’s been hired by Rolling Stone to go on the road to profile a band for the magazine. Unsurprisingly, rock ‘n roll hijinks ensue. Life lesson: it is never too early to find your passion and go after it with a vengeance. If you know what you love to do, do it. Eventually (and maybe sooner than you think) someone will pay you for it.
When you hate your boss (and your life): The Devil Wears Prada
“I don’t see why I need to change everything about myself just because I have this job.”
In the rush to become the perfect employee, it can be all too easy to lose track of who you actually are. Take a lesson from Andy Sachs, a journalism major turned majorly unhappy fashionista. Ask yourself: is my work aligned with who I want to be in the world? No? Make a change.
When you’re trying to break into an industry that has not been particularly welcoming: In a World
“Let’s face it – the industry does not crave a female sound.”
In a world where the voiceovers for movie trailers are almost always recorded by men, Carol Solomon dares to dream of a different future. This hilarious movie is the perfect remedy to feeling like an outsider, no matter your industry.
When you have no idea what you want or how to get it: Lost in Translation
“I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be.”
While Charlotte’s photographer husband is on a job in Tokyo, she drifts through the city (and her life) unsure about pretty much everything. Watch this. Because you need to know: it is totally normal, and totally okay, to feel like everyone around you is doing amazing things while you have no idea who you are or what you’re doing. It is totally okay to be a little bit lost sometimes. Connect with the people who make you feel found, and you’ll find your way.
Bonus TV option (for pretty much any situation): The Office
“That’s what she said.”
Sometimes you need more recovery time and career inspiration than the two-hours a movie can offer. Enter: the ultra-bingeable The Office. While the UK version is great, it’s the US version that really gets at the highs and lows of office life. Watch it when you need a reminder that work can be ridiculous (in ways both good and bad), but you can also find friends, love (Jim and Pam, anyone?), and hilarity at the office.