It seems that us ladies have been in career training all of our lives. Those nights spent in with a gaggle of girls, a good DVD and a tub of cookie dough were not wasted in the slightest. The reason for this is what we have secretly been learning about careers from our favourite movies.
1 Bridget Jones’s Diary
For most women, beautiful Bridget is one of the most relatable characters of the last twenty years. But what have we have we learnt from our wine-guzzling, chain-smoking, magnificently awkward sister? The first thing is probably that no matter how painfully hot your boss may seem, the results of sleeping with them will be at the very least severe awkwardness and at the very worst they will turn out to be a royal a-hole and you’ll have to leave your job. The second is, you will in all likelihood sound like someone swinging a bag of cats if you decide to sing on karaoke at the office Christmas party. And, if public speaking isn’t your forte just don’t do it. If only the people who make Imodium did a pill for verbal diarrhoea…
Really though, jolly Miss Jones has taught us that it is possible to turn your life around, no matter how much of a lonely old spinster you have come to be by your mid-30s. You can use your best attributes to help make a career change, and by that I mean your personality rather than your cleavage! It wasn’t Bridget’s fault that her next boss was (also) a pervert worse than Mr Titspervert himself.
2 The Devil Wears Prada
This movie makes the road to success very clear. All a nerdy girl needs to do to get ahead is number one, go against everything she believes in, number two ditch all of her friends in favour of wealthy skinny, and/or catty new ones and finally get a makeover so that she looks like everybody else. It’s very simple really. And the dieting tips! All we need to do is avoid eating until we’re about to pass out and then nibble at a cube of cheese.
What we really learned – stay true to yourself. If that means wearing vegan shoes and constantly discussing your passion for Dr Who, then do it.
3 Erin Brockovich
Giant-mouthed beauty Julia Roberts plays a ballsy working mother in this movie, which is actually very moving by the way. Unlike the often timid, mousy female leads who should be seen and not heard, Erin Brockovich demands respect from her co-workers, and she demands it while dropping the f-bomb because she just doesn’t give a crap. If she wants to wear a see-through leopard print blouse to the office then she goes ahead and does it. If she wants to trespass on private property and climb down a well then she goes ahead and does it.
This feisty, independent woman gets the job done (and she probably would’ve had it done much quicker if it wasn’t for her whiney demon-child Matthew). We learnt a lot about humanity from Brockovich however. Plus, there’s the fact that the ability to relate to others can be much more productive than shiny qualifications.
4 Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
Romy and Michelle are facing a moment that many of us dread. Picture the scene, you’re at your high school reunion and are approached by a fellow alumnus. “Oh, so you’ve got a good job at a Fortune 500 company have you? Well… uhm… I once got a tweet from RuPaul…” Nobody wants to look like a failure.
With their fly dance moves and fashion-forward outfits (probably how a sci-fi movie would depict us in 50 years time), it’s hard not to fall in love with this ridiculously funny duo. They taught us that if you’re going to make something up then you should at least google it first – Arthur Fry invented Post-Its. But the real moral of the story is that you can turn your talents into a thriving success.
5 Working Girl
This movie had to be mentioned of course! The first lesson we learn is that although mixing tequila and valium may seem like a great laugh to begin with, you’ll be passed out before you can say “get your bony ass out of my sight!” The other great lesson of the movie is that taking advantage of a situation, lying and scheming will get you a deal with a top client and into bed with Harrison Ford apparently.
If you can put the image of Melanie Griffith’s frizzy mullet out of your mind for just a few seconds then there really is a lot to be learnt from Tess McGill in Working Girl. If you’ve got a first-class idea then you should certainly pursue it.
So the next time someone tries to persuade you to watch that super artsy cool new indie flick instead of a cheesy chick flick you can feel good about refusing.