Amy Mackelden
November 02, 2015 6:00 am

Movies about work are the best. Not only can they inspire you to follow your dreams in spite of any criticism you face, they also show what amazing relationships it’s possible to form at work. If, like me, you’ve chosen a career path with a lot of uncertainty and often get told to get a “real job” with a salary, then these movies might convince you to stick it out with your dreams. Don’t give up! Your hard work will pay off in the end.

Office Space

A totally iconic movie, with some of the best quotes about work of all time (“It’s not that I’m lazy. It’s that I just don’t care”). Sick of the office they work in, three co-workers hatch a plan to syphon money from the company. The plan goes a little wrong, some of their fellow workers are legit cray, and Jennifer Aniston is the worst waitress of all time. It’ll make you feel better about quitting a job that you hate, or considering alternatives you might not have thought of before. It’ll mostly remind you that work friends are the best. Also red staplers.

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Shopaholic Rebecca Bloom, played by the amaze Isla Fisher, lands a job as a financial journalist. She blags her way into the role, despite not knowing much about finance at all, except maybe how to max out a credit card. But she’s a writer, and by persevering, she begins to build a career for herself, and learns to stop spending quite so much money in the process. The lesson is that you can write about almost anything with a little research and a lot of gumption.

Employee of the Month

This super cute Jessica Simpson film is about what it’s like to work in a bulk-discount megastore. Dane Cook and Dax Shepard engage in all kinds of rivalry for that all coveted ‘Employee of the Month’ title, eventually figuring out that there’s more to life than having your photo on the staff room wall. This movie displays all the pluses to working in retail, such as the kinship you form with fellow staff members, and the fun you can have on your shift.

Eat Pray Love

Julia Roberts plays Elizabeth Gilbert, a writer whose life hasn’t gone the way she planned. Following an expensive divorce, she decides to go traveling, first to Italy, then India, then Bali. She wants to find herself again, and a way of living that’s authentic to her. Sure, we can’t all necessarily go on round-the-world trips akin to this, but maybe we can start small and write about our experiences in the process.

Morning Glory

Considering that Hollywood royalty like Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton grace this film, it’s hardly surprising Morning Glory is one of my favorites. Plus, Rachel McAdams is my spirit animal. I love this movie so much because McAdams is a fierce business woman. Fired from her production job at a TV station job, and applying for every opportunity out there, she doesn’t give up, even when her Mom tells her how embarrassing it is to still be chasing your dreams when you’re hitting 30. Hell no, Mom! You can’t say stuff like that. With the wonderful help of Patrick Wilson (HELLO), McAdams finds a work-life balance, and turns a sinking ship around. Her character has #CareerGoals written all over her.

Wild

“Reese Witherspoon goes on a long walk,” is the way I like to describe this movie. But it’s a super important walk in which she discovers so much about herself, and writes along the way. Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed, one of the most inspirational writers out there, it’s about turning the worst moments of your life into the most meaningful, in the face of criticism from others and self-doubt. It’ll make you want to do something amazing, or at least get out of bed.

The Intern and The Internship

Two totally different movies here, both about interning at a major company. In The Intern, Robert De Niro becomes Anne Hathaway’s intern at her internet clothing start-up. He’s in his seventies, and ready to start a new career. I used to think you chose one job and stuck with it for life but, actually, it’s totally fine to change your mind or try something new. In The Internship Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson get a coveted internship at Google, despite knowing nothing about computers. Realistic? Maybe not. But they show that if you’re resourceful and work hard, you can apply your life skills to any job. Is it nerve-wracking showing your smarts somewhere new? Totally! But both these films will inspire you to apply for every opportunity out there, even if it seems super out of your league.

The Devil Wears Prada

One of my all-time favorite movies, Anne Hathaway starts working at Runway, which is basically Vogue.. She’s an assistant to Meryl Streep who is the ice queen of bosses. I probably don’t need to describe this movie to you as I’m sure you’ve seen it. It’s about sticking it out when you feel like quitting, becoming the best you can be, and ultimately staying true to your career goals. You go, Anne Hathaway!

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