Unhappy with where your career is going? Itching for a change? This weekend, as you’re crafting cover letters, sending out resumes, and researching potential contacts, take a break and get some career inspiration from your TV screen. Watch (or re-watch) these job-hating classics for important lessons on getting out of a rut and into a new gig.
1. It’s OK to Quit a Job That’s Sucking Your Soul
Maybe you have a position that everyone tells you is a dream job. Maybe it’s a job you’ve always wanted. But as Andrea Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada learned, sometimes a dream job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If you wake up miserable every day and cry yourself to sleep every night, it’s not worth it—no matter your how fancy your title or how big your salary. Time to start looking for a new gig.
2. Remember Your Passions
In High Fidelity, Rob Gordon ends up managing a record store, a far cry from his dreams of becoming a producer at Atlantic Records or writing for the New Musical Express. Gordon never quite snags his dream job by the end of the movie—but that doesn’t mean you can’t. If you’re willing to work hard, it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. If you’re truly unhappy in your current career path, consider how you can switch positions, companies, or industries—or even turn your passions into a business.
3. If You’re Not Treated Well—Do Something
Poor Milton Waddams from Office Space. His desk is moved to the basement. His paychecks are cut off. Worse still, everyone keeps touching his beloved red Swingline stapler. So what does he do? He burns down the office building.
The moral of this story is not to do the same (seriously, please don’t) but rather to channel your frustration with your current job into your motivation for finding a new one. If you think your company doesn’t pay you enough, find a job that pays more. If you think your company doesn’t treat employees well, find one that values employee happiness. You get the idea. Being frustrated with your current job can only take you so far—eventually, you have to be the one to make a change.
4. There’s No Such Thing as a Perfect Job
At the end of Horrible Bosses, Nick Hendricks gets a long-awaited promotion, then discovers that the company’s CEO, who he will now report to, is just as evil as his old supervisor. While that’s a little extreme (you can—and should—find an alternative to working for a sadist), it’s good to remember that even the best job in the world will have slow days. Or boring days. Or horrible days. That’s just part of life. There’s no perfect job, there’s no perfect boss, and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the office door. So prioritize the job details that are most important to you, change the things you can about your situation, and then make the best of the ones you can’t.