Are you a Jordan Belfort or a Miranda Priestly? We’ve all emerged from a movie marathon inspired by the characters on the big screen and eager to implement their qualities in our own working lives.
Whether you consider yourself a big shot in business or you’re comfortable forging your career through unconventional means, each person’s path to career success is unique. And since there is no one way to achieve your working dreams, here at Primo Associates we celebrate and encourage an exploration and development of each of our distinctive qualities and skills. To fuel your motivational fire we’ve rummaged through our top Hollywood classics to present you our favourite characters and our favourite films about career success.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Plot: In 1987, Jordan Belfort loses his job as a stockbroker on Wall Street, leading him to start a brokerage firm, Stratford-Oakmont, with his partner Donny Azoff. If you can manage to bypass the debauchery and raucous parties of Jordan Belfort’s (Leonardo Di Caprio) personal life, there are useful business traits to be gleaned from this controversial character.
Jordan Belfort: Determined, single-minded, ruthless, entrepreneurial.
Best quote: “I want you to deal with your problems by becoming rich!”
Devil Wears Prada
Plot: Andy (Anne Hathaway) is an aspiring journalist who takes a job in the fashion industry at Runway magazine as Miranda Priestly’s assistant, a job ‘a million girls would kill for’. Andy struggles to keep up with the demands of the role on her professional and personal life, resulting in her realisation of what kind of journalist she wants to be.
Andy: Focussed, strong-minded, kind natured, sincere, fast learner, won’t compromise her integrity.
Best quote: “Ok…can you please spell Gabbana?”
Pursuit of Happiness
Plot: Based on a true story, Chris Gardner, salesman and family man, invests the family savings in bone density scanners, only to struggle to sell them when up against the market for cheaper x-ray machines. He endures his wife leaving him, and being made homeless before he lands success with a job as a stockbroker. Gardner demonstrates the difficulties of climbing the career ladder and the rewards to be reaped from hard work and determination.
Chris Gardner: Caring, brave, endearing, never gives up.
Best quote: “It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Plot: Following baseball manager Billy Beane from Michael Lewis’ best selling book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, Beane (Brad Pitt) takes a sophisticated and unconventional approach to towards scouting and analysing players to create a successful team.
Billy Beane: Analytical, risk-taker, visionary, pragmatic.
Best quote: “How can you not get romantic about baseball?”
9 to 5
Plot: Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda) is a housewife whose husband leaves her for his secretary, leading her to embark on her own career as a secretary at a large corporation. Bernly teams up with her co-workers to get revenge on their lying, egotistical and sexist boss. This is a light-hearted screwball comedy that explores sexism in the work place.
Jane Fonda: Feisty, empowering, courageous, precocious.
Best quote: “What are you, a man or a mouse? I mean, a woman or a wouse?”
To Kill a Mockingbird
Plot: Based on Harper Lee’s novel of the same name, the film adaptation of this classic is an excellent representation of race relations in depression-era America. Atticus Finch, a Southern attorney, fearlessly defends a black man accused of raping a white woman.
Atticus Finch: Sympathetic, unwavering, moral, honest.
Best quote: “If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
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