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Movies Every Aspiring Entrepreneur or Career Driven Individual Should Watch

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

by Joycelyn Ong. |

When was the last time you were inspired by your career or a story about work? Whether you are fresh to the workforce, or bored with your current work, or preparing to start a business soon, here are four movie recommendations to inspire you at different stages of your career.

The Intern - Work with passion regardless of your position 

70 year old Ben Whittaker (Robert de Niro) proved that age is just a number when he applied for an internship position for senior citizens at a younger generation dominated e-commerce start-up.  Despite being labelled as “old school” initially, Ben’s enthusiasm for his new job and good work ethics eventually earned the full trust and respect of his CEO.

Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway) is the beautiful, young and modern female entrepreneur. Though she is struggling to juggle between her crazy busy schedule between work and family, she is passionate about her career. She personally communicates with her employees and checks the final products at the warehouse to guarantee its quality and customers’ satisfaction. Despite having some self- doubt, she eventually learned that she is the best candidate to sustain her business because she was the one who made the business work in the first place through her ideas and core values.

Whatever your position may be, it is important to remember what motivates and excites you in the first place. It will be good to keep a reflection journal to remind yourself about your beginnings, your ups and downs, your interests, your goals that you want to achieve in the coming season. This will serve as a constant encouragement throughout your journey and help you to overcome the little hurdles along the way.

The Devil Wears Prada - Progress is a result of clear purpose

While having a boss like Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) is no joke, we couldn’t help but agree when Miranda gave ignorant fresh graduate, Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) a piece of her mind when she was completely unfazed about the magazine and the impact of the industry that she was working at. The main reason for Andy behaving this way was simply the lack of purpose in her job, where she chose not to see the relevance and good sides of her job (where many girls would kill just to work there!).

Her increased progress at work was evident once she committed to perform well as an assistant, starting from her dressing and work attitude. It does not take long for her boss and colleagues to notice that despite their refusal to admit upfront. [Spoilers ahead] Andy’s transformation and her decision to choose to do the right thing eventually led to her dream writing job and an overdue but big recognition by her former ‘devil’  boss; proving that people start to care when you start to care.

Like Andy, you may arrive at a big city filled with dreams, and yet reality checks on you and you may land a job that just pays the rent. This is a good reminder for those who are perhaps ‘stuck’ at a first job you are not interested in. Find purpose by going the extra mile to excel in it (take online lessons, learn from a trustworthy, experienced colleague, master time management etc) because you may leave lasting impressions, which will grant you new opportunities!

Saving Mr. Banks –   The art of persuasion is a matter of perseverance 

A movie featuring one of the most well-known entrepreneurs of all time, Walt Disney! While Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) is not the main focus of this movie, his character certainly made an impression! A gifted storyteller, he believes in his instincts to persuade (this process went on for almost 20 years) the headstrong Mrs P.L Trevers (Emma Thompson) to seal a Disney movie deal.

The movie was Mary Poppins which went on to win 5 categories, including Best Actress for the Academy Awards in 1965.  In the process of persuading her, he granted her full liberty in terms of participating in the script writing and character illustration, respecting and agreeing to most of her requests, even before she officially signed the full movie rights agreement contract. He also showed sincerity and perseverance by flying from Los Angeles to London to understand the real reason of disagreement from her side and to get to the root of disappointment faced by his soon-to-be collaborator.

As an aspiring or a present entrepreneur, you might come across difficult clients or potential collaborations that might just be your next break. When approaching cases like this, it is important to always have a well-communicated face to face discussion by not rushing the parties involved in order to reach an agreement. Also, be consistent in relaying your stand when faced with impromptu meetings, and do not forget to conduct in depth research about your client(s)!

The Greatest Showman – A loyal partnership ensures a promising venture 

Loosely based on the real life story of P.T Barnum (Hugh Jackman), Barnum is a man with a million dreams who aspires to do something great and different. Despite not coming from a wealthy or business related background, he managed to secure a partnership with a group of talented people to be part of his circus business. He also recruited the young Philip Carlyle (Zac Efron) to be his co-partner in order for his business to be more financially stable.

As the business grew, Barnum was temporarily distracted by his new found fame and neglected his team, family and business partner. He finally came to his senses after his building was burnt and almost lost his family. Just when he thought all was lost, Carlyle chose to invest fully into his business and his former employees decided to return to re-invent the circus and managed to restore his business. Without loyal partnership from his employees and his business partner, Barnum would not have revived his almost dying business.

Whether you’re an employer or employee, it is important to remember that a sustainable business comprises of a loyal team that sticks with each other through thick and thin. So always keep in mind that although revenue is important, you must not forget to take care of your team members’ well-being! Make an effort to include everyone and be willing to listen to constructive suggestions.

We hope you’ll enjoy these movies and pick up on the lessons that come along with them. Happy watching! 

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