10 Great Movies That Give You Career Inspiration

If you’re looking to start a career, or want to switch careers, chances are you might be fantasizing about your next move (i.e. a promotion, a two-week’s notice to escape your bad job, etc.). If that sounds like you, then you’re in luck! In fact, you can find a lot of movies with characters that get it – from wanting more in life, to pursuing a career, to anywhere in between.

Here are 10 great movies to watch right now for some needed career inspiration:

  1. Office Space (1999)

“Office Space satirizes work life with clever comedic writing and actors,” says Floy Callahan, a lifestyle writer at Study demic and Academ advisor. “If you hate your current job right now, then this movie is for you. It even gives you life lessons on how to navigate through the workforce.”

  1. Queen Of Katwe (2016)

Living in a slum in Kampala, a young girl meets a man who teaches her how to play chess. Soon, with practice and motivation, she would soon become a top player, thus helping her to be somebody outside of poverty. With a strong message for all the underdogs out there, this movie is a crowd-pleaser that can provide just enough motivation, that it shows you that you don’t have to be privileged to succeed in the world.

  1. Parasite (2019)

Critically-acclaimed, Parasite is a dark comedy thriller that follows two families of different backgrounds, who eventually form a symbiotic relationship. From the poor family’s scheme to become employed by the rich family, to the consequences of it, this movie is worth mentioning, and serves as a cautionary tale that networking and making connections should be put to good use.

  1. Working Girl (1988)

A revolutionary romantic comedy-drama film, Working Girl follows Tess McGill, a woman employee desperate to climb the corporate ladder. Despite facing multiple problems (professional and personal) along the way, she eventually finds success. The ultimate theme is how woman can succeed in the workforce as men do.

  1. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Wanting to become a journalist, Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway) lands a most-sought-out job in Runway. However, with her terror boss (Meryl Streep) and the tough expectations of being perfect, Andy, at first, struggles in her new job, until she learns the game and eventually wins her boss over.

  1. In A World… (2013)

This movie follows Carol Solomon, a vocal coach who has a passion for doing voice-over work for film trailers. With motivation from her retired voice-actor father, In A World… is a light and funny film on how we can all do anything that we set our minds on.

  1. La La Land (2016)

A musical dramedy, La La Land is a story about a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress who fall in love in Los Angeles while struggling to achieve their professional dreams. This movie is adamant in its message to keep pushing towards your goals, despite the challenges. At the same time, it makes you think about making sacrifices for the greater good.

  1. Chef (2014)

Renowned chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) goes from owning a big-time restaurant to starting a food-truck business. This film serves as a reminder that just because challenges are ever-present, doesn’t mean that you should quit your passions.

  1. The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013)

“An inspiring seize-the-day story with special effects and a predominant go-big-or-go-home message, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is more than just a motivational movie about leaving one’s career to travel,” says Elise Davey, a blogger at OX Essays and Via Writing. “When a negative assets manager secretly longs to go on big and exciting adventures, he finally gets his chance to escape into that world when his job is threatened. The movie’s main point is for one to step out of their comfort zone, and to embrace new opportunities.”

  1. The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006)

Considered one of the most inspiring movies to date, The Pursuit Of Happyness follows the real-life account of Chris Gardner (Will Smith), a struggling salesman and single father who eventually finds luck at a prestigious brokerage firm, where their lives would soon change for the better. Based on a true story, as well as critically-acclaimed, this film teaches that people should keep the faith, even in tough times.


As you check out these 10 films, not only will you be inspired career-wise, but also life-wise. They go to show that a good success story may be all you need to move forward.

Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at Top Canadian Writers and Academized. She is also a contributing writer for Boom Essays. As a marketing writer, she blogs about the latest trends in marketing, social media, and influencers.

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