5 Inspirational Movies About Business

5-inspirational-movies-about-businessMovies might be fictional, but they can teach us about real life and about how strong, successful people overcome challenges. From a step-by-step guide on getting to the top by having everyone fired to a strong young woman who seizes one opportunity, these films show us what it takes to achieve success while staying true to yourself and your dreams just like one graduate does in the first story on the list.

“The Devil Wears Prada”

Life is all about how you handle tough decisions. That’s the essence of this film. For Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway), her so-called dream job is a nightmare. Working for Runway’s editor-in-chief (Meryl Streep) is not a picnic with her insults and nearly impossible demands. It’s not long before Andy is sacrificing her boyfriend, her wardrobe and her sense of self to battle through the job on her way to success. After all of her struggles, Andy learns that you don’t need to become someone else to land your dream job. You don’t need to push people out of the way to get ahead.

“Office Space”

Based on Mike Judge’s “Milton” comic strip, “Office Space” covers everything that workers love about their jobs, including slow traffic, obnoxious managers, dumb consultants and jammed printers. In a stroke of luck, our hero Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) is promoted for missing work. Then, the malcontent workers triumph when Lumbergh, the archetypical bad boss, is banished to the roach-infested basement. When the Initech building burns down, Gibbons finally finds a job that he enjoys doing, and Milton’s prized red stapler is returned to him. This cult classic reminds us that it’s never too late to do something you love.

“Jerry Maguire”

You don’t have to be a jet setting agent or celebrity to learn something from the fictional hero Jerry Maguire. Purportedly based on the real-life sports agent Leigh Steinberg, Jerry Maguire has an unrivaled passion about what he does. His “you can’t fire me” attitude goes a long, long way, especially when his protégé delivers the pink slip. Jerry’s biggest teaching is that you should never give up, and when you’re in a tough place, it’s time to fight even harder. As movie critic Roger Ebert said, the film has a cynical beginning but quickly warms your heart.

“How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying”

Conceived more than 60 years ago, “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” shows viewers how one man rises up to the top of the corporate world and the highest floor in the skyscraper. First, it was a book. Then, it was a Broadway musical, and finally, it was a musical film featuring the original stage actors plus choreography from the legendary Bob Fosse. This corporate Cinderella story follows J. Pierpont “Ponty” Finch (Robert Morse) as he uses dubious methods to work his way from mailroom clerk to vice president of advertising.

“Working Girl”

Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Cusack, Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin star in this 1988 power drama about women in business. After her despicable boss Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver) is injured in a skiing accident, secretary Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) seizes the opportunity to make things right. While impersonating her boss, Tess shows everyone that she’s better at business and romance. In the end, everything works for the intrepid underdog. The film’s three leading ladies scored Oscar nominations, and Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run,” which is featured in the iconic opening sequence, won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

Sometimes, you don’t need to make sacrifices to achieve success. You just need to try hard and discover what you want. Business isn’t about pleasing parents or slaving away for a boss like Lumbergh. It’s about doing something you love to do.

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