Adam Sandler is the undisputed king of comedy. For the past 20 years he has dedicated his career to starring in and directing movies which sometimes feature zany characters, many of them created by Adam himself. As a result, movie studios can be safe in the knowledge that any project which has his name attached to it will draw a huge crowd. It’s difficult to think that the average career person can really identify with most of his crazy characters, but on the contrary, I’ve learned some valuable career lessons from watching Adam Sandler movies. Here are the main ones:
#1 Even career talents you haven’t used in a while can be unearthed for your benefit
In Big Daddy, Adam finds himself in a legal dispute over a child that he has been looking after. To defend himself, he unearths his rarely used legal skills and represents himself in court. He enjoys the challenge so much that he ends up going back to practice law again after the case is over. It shows that any skills that you learn throughout your career can be used to your advantage when you least expect it; no skill is useless.
#2 Don’t take your personal problems into work
Adam’s character in the Wedding Singer is a kind-hearted, unassuming guy who is going through a bad time in his personal life. Devastated after being jilted at the altar, he takes the advice to go back to work to take his mind off the heartbreak. Unfortunately, this leads to him screaming the lyrics of an angry, self-penned song to a group of baffled wedding guests. It’s sometimes really difficult to switch off from your personal issues, but try not to bring them into work with you. Inevitably, you will end up taking your anger out on your co-workers - or your boss.
#3 Don’t be such a workaholic that you neglect the people that matter
In Click, Adam plays a workaholic architect who constantly puts work before his family. He wants to make as much money as possible in order to give his family possessions that he never had himself. When he finds a magical remote control that allows him to pause and fast forward through moments in his life, he learns a few lessons about what is really important to him. Whilst it’s pretty unlikely that you will find a remote control like this (and if you do let me know where), sometimes being completely dedicated to work can mean you will miss out on important events and moments. It’s fine being committed, but know what is important to you and which moments you will never get back - there is nothing worse than having regrets over things you've missed out on.
#4 Being underestimated can be motivating
In The Waterboy, Adam plays an underdog. As the waterboy for a college football team, his character is ridiculed by his fellow players and not really well thought of by the coach. However, the coach soon unearths a talent he has for tackling people bigger than him. In our careers, people will often underestimate us but the important thing is to prove them wrong by showing them what we can really do. Sometimes we work harder when we know that people are not expecting much from us, as we are motivated to prove them wrong.
#5 Power and money sometimes bring problems
Mr Deeds is the ultimate movie which proves to us that money and power aren’t everything. In this 2002 movie, Adam’s character learns the hard way that money can change people for the worst. When he inherits $40 billion from his deceased uncle, he is suddenly surrounded by people who want to get their hands on the money and can’t be sure who to trust anymore. The main lesson I took away from Mr Deeds was don’t let money change you as a person. If you do get to the stage where you are earning a huge amount of money, stay true and humble - it doesn’t always bring happiness.
Adam’s characters can teach us a lot about how to act in our careers. He has developed a talent for playing caring characters, sometimes underdogs who have something to learn from their career disasters. So, if you're looking for a few career pointers, indulge yourself in some Adam Sandler movies - you'll be guaranteed a few laughs along the way too.