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Top 5 Career Inspiring Movies

Experiencing a career slump? Feeling like you’ve lost motivation and the drive to succeed?

Leigh Gillatt  •  Careers Advice

Top 5 Career Inspiring Movies


Experiencing a career slump? Feeling like you’ve lost motivation and drive to succeed? These are our top picks for movies that will help you get back on track.

Think about it for a minute, no one loves their job 24/7 365 days a year now do they?!

It doesn’t matter if you work for a large multi-national organisation, a fledgling start-up or you’re an avid entrepreneur and own a business, we all have those moments when we go through the weekly motions of work feeling fed up with everyone and everything.

Co-workers get on your nerves. A client or two become awkward to deal with or have unrealistic demands. Or you’ve just got bored and have lost sight of where you had once aimed the direction of your career.

Ok, can I get a show of hands…

How many of you have found yourself at work, daydreaming about handing in your notice, calling it a day, and jetting off to warmer climes to lounge on a tropical beach somewhere?

I know I have… probably on more than one occasion!

If this is you right now, watching an inspirational movie might be just the thing you need to get out of this career slump and back on track to success.

After all who doesn’t enjoy a good movie anyway! They provide entertainment. They give us something to talk about over coffee breaks with work colleagues. And sometimes, they can often provide us with fictitious role models we can aspire to be more like in our own lives.

So now that the weather has turned, get ready for an inspiring movie binge – these are the top movies the staff at our Diverse Employment - Scunthorpe and Diverse Employment - Leeds branches have voted as the top 5 movies to watch for a dose of career inspiration!

1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is an inspiring life’s short live every day with purpose tale with a very apparent and strong message that life’s an adventure - don’t always play it safe. To say that this movie is motivational would be an understatement.

The movie follows Walter Mitty (played by Ben Stiller), a negative assets manager a lowly office drone in a land of mirrored office blocks working for life magazine, who daydreams of big and exciting adventures. When his job is threatened due to the downsizing of the magazine, and a boss that hates his guts, he decides to take action and embarks on a global voyage that turns into an experience more epic than anything he could have ever imagined.

Inspiring Thought: Stop dreaming, start doing. Great things are usually found when we find the courage to step outside of our comfort zones. Why wait until tomorrow? Live in the present and say Yes more often to new opportunities when they present themselves, just start working on the things you, yourself, are truly passionate about.

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Action

Director: Ben Stiller

Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Sean Penn

2. Rocky

Rocky is the classic underdog story. It got to be one of the best sport genre movies of all time, this classic tells the story of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a small-time boxer who is given an extremely rare chance to fight the heavyweight champ; Apollo Creed. He has an opportunity to make a better life for himself by going head to head with the challenge.

What really makes this movie stand out from the crowd is the deep message it carries – that despite being the underdog you can accomplish the impossible if you work hard enough to get it. What’s interesting to learn is that the performance Sylvester Stallone put in in this movie did just that for his own struggling to get off the ground acting career.

Inspiring Thought: You’re the master of your own destiny. Never give up. Keep working hard for what you want, and eventually you’ll get it.

Genres: Sport, Action, Adventure

Director: John G. Avildsen

Starring: Sylvester Stallone

3. Up In The Air

Comical and heart-breaking, Up in the Air follows Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and after he's met the frequent-traveller woman of his dreams.

Bingham works for a HR consultancy that specialises in termination assistance. His life is devoted to flying across the USA visiting other client’s offices and firing their staff on their behalf. “Up in the Air” takes the trust people once had in their jobs and pulls out the rug from under them.

Inspiring Thought: A healthy work / life balance is everything – don’t work to the extent it sacrifices your life… do people really know “you” or just the “on the job you”.

Genres: Comedy, Romance, Drama

Director: Jason Reitman

Starring: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick

4. The Shawshank Redemption

How could we leave this one out!?

This iconic movie tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), who manages to make the best out of a very bad situation after being falsely sentenced to life imprisonment in Shawshank State Penitentiary.

Over the following two decades, he bonds with an inmate, Ellis Boyd (Morgan Freeman), who together find solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Inspiring Thought: Make friends. Take chances. Build a personal brand, and always remember that there is a bigger picture to most acts in life.

Genres: Drama

Director: Frank Darabont

Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton

5. The Social Network

The Social Network tells the story of the social-networking website, Facebook and how it became what it is today.

TIt stars Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, the driven entrepreneur who managed to scale a company from a dorm room to the most successful social media platform the world has ever seen!

Despite some having questioned the accuracy of this movie, it doesn’t matter, it still provides inspiration for entrepreneurs from all walks of life.

Inspiring Thought: Believe in your dreams, turn them into reality. It's not about who has an idea, but about who has the drive to execute it.

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Director: David Fincher

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer

This is only a short list and by no means exhaustive, I’m sure you’ve probably watched other movies and have taken some form of inspiration from them.

Nevertheless, we hope that if you’re feeling like you’re in a career slump at the moment, that one of our top 5 movies for career inspiration will be just ticket to helping you feel inspired and get you back on track.