You may have guessed Office Space, but can you name our other picks for movies that offer (often hilarious) career lessons?
Ever watch a movie and think, “Oh my God, that is my LIFE?”
Yeah, that happens all the time. And especially when it comes to your career, sometimes the movies just so perfectly represent where you’re at.
In our (maybe not-so-humble) opinion, here are the eight best career movies and the crazy lessons they teach us:
1. The Devil Wears Prada
Plot: Girl gets everybody’s dream job at fashion magazine. Boss is bitch, takes over girl’s life with ridiculous demands. Girl becomes pretty, learns valuable career lesson.
Valuable career lesson: Sometimes from the outside it seems like we should take that amazing-sounding job or do that one little thing for our bosses that’s actually completely inappropriate – until one day we find out the job has completely taken over our lives. When it comes to drastic career moves, trust your gut on what feels right and what feels like too big a compromise.
2. The Pursuit of Happyness
Plot: Man who’s always struggled to make ends meet gets custody of his son, becomes homeless and manages to become a fancy pants stockbroker with a lot of determination and elbow grease.
Valuable career lesson: It’s never too late to change your career and “make something” of yourself. Also? Life is hard. Deal with it.
3. The Social Network
Plot: Facebook. ‘Nough said.
Valuable career lesson: Sell out your friends, be an asshole and you will be one of the most successful people on the planet. But that doesn’t mean you won’t Facebook-stalk your exes just like the rest of us.
4. Jerry Maguire
Plot: Sports agent has an epiphany about the future of his industry and gets fired because of it.
Valuable career lesson: It is, in fact, possible to love what you do, make a difference and have an “important” career without being a completely asshole in the process.
5. Office Space
Plot: Group of friends hate their jobs. Layoffs affect the office place. Group plants a virus to steal money from the company but it all goes horribly wrong! And by “wrong” we mean “oh-so-right.” (This is easily one of the best movies ever and so perfectly depicts what it’s like to be in a job you hate.)
Valuable career lesson: Co-workers are everything. The best thing about this movie is the cast and how the characters work together (and sometimes completely mess with each other). They teach us how you can stand even the worst job when there are awesome people involved. And also that if you don’t have awesome people, you may or may not “set the building on fire.”
Plot: Classic Kevin Smith movie about two slightly obnoxious guys who work at a convenience store.
Valuable career lesson: Be nice to the people behind the counter. “Just because they serve you, doesn’t mean they like you.”
7. Up in the Air
Plot: Guy has a job that involves firing people. His home is essentially – wait for it – up in the air. He’s all lonely and empty and stuff.
Valuable career lesson: Even with a job as glamorous as constant travel, coming back to a proper home is worth more than you’d think. There’s something to be said for downtime and, as Americans, we rarely get that in the workplace. Which means home needs to be a place where you feel safe, relax and chilled out. We promise it will make you more productive and better at your job in the long run.
8. Wall Street
Plot: It’s called Wall Street, people, which means it’s even more relevant today than in 1987. Stockbroker is ambitious. Stockbroker makes a few dirty decisions.
Valuable career lesson: Don’t work on Wall Street. Greed is bad. Watch out for shady stockbroker mentors.
What awesome movies did we miss?
Marian Schembari is a blogger, traveler and all-around social media thug. She’s based in Auckland, New Zealand, hails from Connecticut and blogs at marianlibrarian.com.