Movie Lines and Careers

If you're a bird

Movies are a part of our lives, everyone loves a good movie.  I begin thinking of how I could use my love of pop culture and movies to relate to careers to teach my students.   I begin hearing all of these classic movie lines and how they could apply to careers and career development.  It was actually fun and I begin trying to create a workshop around it.  Here are 5 movies that jumped out at me with lines  that can teach us career lessons, there are dozens more that may become a future blog.

The Godfather, 1972

“Great men are not born great, they grow great” Don Vito Corleone 

Lesson 1:To truly succeed in your career, you must think of learning as a life long process and not an overnight event. You must always challenge yourself and push yourself forward. Go out of your comfort zone, try new things, tall to someone new. In order to grow and become what you want to become, you have to first try.

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Don Vito Corleone– 

Lesson 2: This popped out to me as a self marketing tool, when you go for a job interview, you need to be the offer the employer can’t refuse. You must be able to sell yourself in an interview to land your dream job. Be the best they’ve seen! 

Dirty Dancing, 1987

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” Johnny Castle

 Lesson 3: I must admit, this is one of my favorite lines of all time!  As I begin to think about what it really meant, it dawned on me that what was being said was that no one should be labeled or placed in a corner when they have so much potential. Don’t let anyone corner you in your career or life. Be who you are and accept yourself.In your career, you will deal with negative people who will try and bring you down, don’t let them win. Always be yourself and do your best.

“I carried a Watermelon”  Francis “Baby” Houseman

  Lesson 4: We will all have embarrassing incidences at work or make mistakes. That is okay, correct what you can and move on!  Hopefully you get a second chance to redeem yourself and try again. Many people have had a “I carried a watermelon moment and survived, I know I have.

Toy Story, 1995

“To infinity and beyond”- Buzz Lightyear

 Lesson 5: To me, this means go big or go home as Kate White teaches in her book, “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This.”  When you are working on an assignment, go the extra mile even if it’s a lot of work. Show what you can do, think outside the box. Be okay being or thinking different. I read of a workplace where everyone sat around and threw their ideas for projects no matter how crazy or far-fetched they seemed, everyone got a chance to share their ideas. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas to go big or go home.

Reach for the sky”- Woody

  Lesson 6: As adults, we become jaded at times and put away childhood dreams we wanted to accomplish because we feel they aren’t possible.  I say that we still need to reach for the sky and reach for what we really want- go for the big promotion or open that new cake decorating business you always wanted to open.  Write a book or take a class in a subject of interest. Remember,  from lesson 1, you don’t have to do everything overnight, carve out time each day to work on your big dream- Kate White teaches that too.

The Notebook, 2004

“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird” Noah Calhoun

Lesson 7: Another one of my favorite lines. Noah and Allie loved each other truly and they did argue a lot, but they also supported each other. Find someone to support your career goals and dreams who will push you to do your best. It can be a significant other, a parent, or sibling or you may find “your person” at work like Christina Yang and Meredith Grey did. Whoever it is, give each other support and pep talks when needed. Don’t give up on each other or yourselves.

“Stop thinking about what I want, what he wants, what your parents want. What do you want? Noah Calhoun

 Lesson 8:This is something I often talk to my students about, what do they want from their career, what are their hopes and dreams? Your career should be yours, not anyone else’s. It is important that you know what you want and if you don’t, then do all you can to find out. Go see a career counselor, take an assessment, and write down what you find. Once you know what you want, do all you can to make it happen.

Fast and Furious 6, 2013

Who’s got a plan B?  Roman

Plan B? We need a plan C, D, E. We need more alphabets! Tej Parker

Hey, we do what we do best. We improvise, all right? Brian O’Conner

Lesson 9: At times in work and in your career you will need a back up plan and to be able to improvise. Things happen, people get sick or you forget something you were supposed to do. It’s life, so don’t panic, monitor and adjust. This is a soft skill that all people need, to be able to adapt to changes and various situations. If you can keep your cool and be level headed, people will take notice and turn to you when things go south.

You know what they say, Stasiak, if you want the career-changing big fish, you gotta be willing to put on the big boy panties and sail out to the deep water.

Brian O’ Conner

Lesson 10: I think this quote sums things up nicely! It encompasses trying new things, growing and learning, challenging yourself, and not being afraid to take risks- all things needed in your career development.

Thanks for reading!

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