Sandra Bullock has had an amazing career spanning two decades, which has seen her portray a range of characters, often hard-working, tough career women. She’s played women in careers ranging from a tollbooth attendant to astronaut and brings the same warmth and humour to all of her roles. Her overwhelming success as one of the highest paid actresses of our time is testament to her ongoing achievements on screem. So, it seems only fitting to draw some valuable lessons from her much loved movies.
Here are 5 career lessons I learned from watching Sandra bullock movies.
1. There’s more to life than work
In Miss Congeniality, Sandra took on the role of tough-talking cop Gracie Hart who puts work before everything else, resulting in her leading a lonely life with no friends and only a microwave meal for one to keep her company at home. It’s not until Gracie goes undercover as a contestant in a beauty pageant that she starts to see there may be more to life than work. It’s a good lesson to remember - there’s nothing wrong with working hard in your career, but don’t push your family and friends aside in the process.
2. Sometimes it’s only when you quit your job that your boss appreciates you
Sandra played an environmental lawyer in 2 Weeks Notice who is treated like a personal slave by her charming, self-obsessed boss, played by Hugh Grant. He calls her in the middle of the night with problems in his love life, interrupts a wedding she was attending to help him pick an outfit and generally used her as a confidant about everything. However, it’s only after she hands in her resignation that he realises what he’s got. Unfortunately, this can be the same with real-life employment too. Often it’s only when someone has left their job that we realise how much value they actually did bring to the company, but by then it’s too late.
3. Having trouble bonding with co-workers? Try going to a bar with them!
In The Heat, Sandra played yet another woman who was unpopular with her colleagues for her arrogance. When she met fellow police cop Mullins, the two clashed immediately. However, a night out at a bar with lots of shots and drunken dancing led to the two women realising their mutual respect for each other. It’s the same in real life workplaces. Have you ever noticed how colleagues get along much better on a night out than they do when they are in the office? Of course, the new “best friends” that you make on a work night out may well ignore you in the office on Monday morning once the alcohol glow has worn off.
4. Treat your assistant well, as you may need them to help you out sometime
Sandra plays the boss from hell in The Proposal. She’s rude, dismissive and treats her assistant Andrew terribly. In fact, Andrew is so afraid of her that when he picks up her morning latte, he purchases two just in case he spills one before he makes it back to the office. However, it’s Andrew who helps Sandra’s character out when she is about to be deported and has to convince him to marry her. Treat all colleagues and your subordinates with respect because you never know when you will need them to do you a favour in the future.
5. Even when things seem hopeless, never give up
A more serious part in 2013 space movie Gravity saw Sandra playing an astronaut, Ryan, who has to overcome a lot of adversity as she struggles with the challenges that are thrown her way in space. She is about to give up when she finds the strength (and a pep talk from George Clooney of course) to keep going and eventually return to earth safely. Throughout our careers, there are bound to be setbacks and challenges will make things seem impossible. However, if we stay strong and keep trying, we will have a much better chance of achieving success.
As well as playing strong, driven characters, Sandra’s real-life career is also admirable. She’s a sharp businesswoman who always combines humour with talent and her down-to-earth nature. She’s overcome a marriage breakdown, a stalker incident and various other problems but still remains a successful actress who creates strong characters with great careers. Of course, even a movie star like Sandra makes mistakes – she readily admits that she shouldn’t have starred in Speed 2 and Miss Congeniality 2 was also questionable. But as Sandra herself was once quoted as saying, “I’d rather take risks than make something that’s cookie cutter.”