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Movies to Motivate Job Seekers

Waiting before interview

Waiting before interviewThis isn’t exactly the ideal time to be in the job market seeking gainful employment. The recession, layoffs, and an all-around damaged economy have made it difficult for even highly qualified candidates to receive consideration for limited positions that are flooded with applicants. But you can’t give up; there is a job out there for you. For those who are running a little low on motivation after months of searching, though, here are a few movies that are bound to bring you a little inspiration and reinvigorate your desire to find a job.

  1. Office Space (1999). This movie is less about finding a job than finding the right job. And three friends working at Initech are so miserable that they decide to engage in fraud so that they can make enough money to quit the jobs that are stealing their nights, their weekends, and their will to live. After several mishaps, including a hypnotherapy session that leaves main character Peter (Ron Livingston) in a state where he could care less if he loses his job, a corporate assessment in which the other two friends are fired, and a glitch that steals the money too fast, the threesome decides to return what they stole and get different jobs, and Peter realizes that climbing the corporate ladder isn’t for him.
  2. Working Girl (1988). Setting aside the shoulder pads, poofy manes, and shocking eye makeup that were typical of the ’80s, this movie about a saucy secretary who goes out on a limb in order to climb the corporate ladder is a sort of backhanded love letter to a culture that tells us hard work will win out but requires us to break the rules if we want to get ahead. Although lies have a way of catching up to us, this movie suggests that intellect and a good heart eventually win out over backstabbing bosses who offer their hands outwardly but hold you back behind the scenes. Another good movie with a similar plot that is more likely to appeal to the guys is The Secret of My Success.
  3. Stand and Deliver (1988). Some of the most rewarding jobs are not the ones that pay the most, as teacher Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos) proves in this movie about a man who is determined to teach high-level math to underprivileged, inner city kids that everyone else has given up on. He gives up his steady job in favor of pursuing his dreams of making a real difference in the lives of kids who can really benefit from his help. Along the way he reaps the personal benefits that accompany such selflessness.
  4. High Fidelity (2000). Ostensibly a movie about mourning lost love (not to mention a blatant diatribe on the power of music and the role it plays in our lives), this movie also observes themes pertaining to growing up and taking responsibility for one’s decisions and the course of one’s life. Rob (John Cusack) is a record-store owner stuck in a rut, both personally and professionally speaking. But when his long-time girlfriend packs up and leaves, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that includes visiting the ghosts of relationships past (read: old flames) in order to discover what went wrong. He eventually learns that the problem lies with him and sets out to accomplish the dream he once had of becoming a record producer, realizing along the way that being in a relationship doesn’t have to mean losing yourself.
  5. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006). Will Smith plays Christopher Gardner, a real-life man who struggled through divorce, job loss, and homelessness, all the while managing to keep himself and his son alive despite the odds stacked against him, as he took a six-month, unpaid training course to become a stockbroker. The lengths he goes to speak to the perseverance and endurance of the human spirit, even when things look their bleakest. It doesn’t take a California duplication specialist to know that this is one DVD plenty of job-seekers will get value out of, especially in this economy.

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