Last Updated on August 22, 2022 by Sean Donlevy
The new job is a useful plot device, it throws characters into unusual situations and we get to see how they react.
In the movies, as in life, a new job is often a catalyst for change.
Sometimes getting a job is the start of a character’s personal growth journey, sometimes it’s the beginning of the road to ruin.
Let’s take a look at some of the most watchable movies where one of the main characters gets a new job.
‘The Secret of My Success’ directed by Herbert Ross
Bradley Foster (Michael J. Fox) goes to New York to make it on his own.
His Uncle Howard gives him a job working in the mailroom.
‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ directed by Martin Scorsese
This is a movie based on the true story of Jordan Belfort who gets a new job as a stockbroker.
As well as documenting his rise in wealth and living a high life, the film also documents his downfall involving his involvement with crime, corruption, and the federal government.
By all means, begin your job search, but remember, money changes people, and sometimes it’s for the worst.
‘Get A Job’ directed by Dylan Kidd
Job seekers galore! This movie is a comedy about a group of friends who recently graduated and are trying to find employment.
Truth be told this film is a bit of a duffer, but it is almost entirely about getting a job, all the characters are searching for the right job for them, and it’s even titled ‘Get A Job’.
‘Big’ directed by Penny Marshall
Young Josh Baskin (David Moscow) wishes to be “big” while inserting a coin into a rare old arcade fortune-teller machine called Zoltar.
The next morning Josh has suddenly changed from a youngster to an adult played by Tom Hanks.
To survive as a child in an adult’s body Josh gets a job as a data entry clerk at the MacMillan Toy Company
Josh is soon promoted to Vice President of Product Development, where he gets paid to test toys.
If you think a child-like enthusiasm might help you get ahead in your career then watch Big! It’s a classic!
‘Career Opportunities’ directed by Bryan Gordon
When Josie McClellan (Jennifer Connelly) accidentally falls asleep in a dressing room one wild night ensues.
‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ directed by Gabriele Muccino
‘9 to 5’ directed by Colin Higgins
In the aftermath of her divorce, Judy Bernly is forced to find work at a company called Consolidated after her husband cheated on her with his secretary.
This movie is a story of gender bias in the workplace, getting a job sometimes means facing up to inequality.
It’s worth watching just because the film’s theme song, “9 to 5”, written and recorded by Parton, became one of her biggest hits of the decade.
You’ve probably heard it already!
Tumble out of bed and pour yourself a cup of ambition, then go get yourself a job, but watch this movie before you do it!
‘The Devil Wears Prada’ directed by David Frankel
Meryl Streep plays Miranda Priestly, a powerful fashion magazine editor, and Anne Hathaway portrays Andrea “Andy” Sachs, a college graduate who goes to New York City and becomes Priestly’s assistant.
The lessons here are that you might need to take a job in an area you don’t like and your relationships with your co-workers can help you get ahead.
A new job might change you and lead to conflict with your old friends and relationships.
Whatever job you end up in, try to make the most of it.
‘The Social Network’ directed by David Fincher
Why get a job when you can be the boss.
The Social Network is a biographical film about the birth of Facebook.
‘The Intouchables’ directed by Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano
Driss gets a new job as a live-in caregiver on a trial basis.
Often it’s through work that we meet new people and sometimes they become friends.
That’s what happens here, the Intouchables is feel good buddy movie that wouldn’t have come about without Driss taking on that new job.
‘The Fundamentals of Caring’ directed by Rob Burnett
Paul Rudd plays a caregiver who rebuilds his life after taking on new work.
‘Wall Street’ directed by Oliver Stone
In Wall Street a young stock broker is lured into an illegal world of insider trading.
‘The Intern’ directed by Nancy Meyers
Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro), 70, becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site.
‘Second Act’ directed by Peter Segal
When a friend creates a fake profile for street smart Maya (Jennifer Lopez) she lands a job at a corporate firm.
‘Legally Blonde’ directed by Robert Luketic
Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods ends up getting a job as an attorney.
‘View from the Top’ directed by Bruno Barreto
Donna Jensen (Gwyneth Paltrow) doesn’t let anything get in the way of her destiny.
That’s why she lives the dream of becoming a flight attendant.
‘A Star Is Born’ directed by Bradley Cooper
Ally Maine (Lady Gaga) is discovered by Jackson “Jack” Maine (Bradley Cooper) and creates a job for herself a job as a superstar singer.
‘Good Will Hunting’ directed by Gus Van Sant
Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has a job as a janitor, but he is capable of so much more.
Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) helps Will to work through his demons so he can finally fulfil a role that befits his talents.
‘Nightcrawler’ directed by Dan Gilroy
It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis “Lou” Bloom, a stringer who records violent events late at night in Los Angeles and sells the footage to a local television news station.
‘The Internship’ directed by Shawn Levy
Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson), two salesmen, find themselves unemployed in the digital world. After landing an internship at Google, they compete against some tech-savvy geniuses to prove their abilities.
‘Adventureland’ directed by Greg Mottola
There are big plans in the works for James Brennan (Eisenberg) to tour Europe and pursue a career in journalism by attending graduate school.
But he can’t travel abroad since he has money problems.
In the movie, he finds work at Adventureland, a run-down amusement park based loosely on Farmingdale, New York’s “Adventureland” theme park.
Emily Lewin (Kristen Stewart) is a coworker with whom he strikes up a friendly rapport right away.
‘The Way Way Back’ directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash
The film is about an awkward teen named Duncan (Liam James) who gets a job at a water park so he can avoid his mother’s boyfriend.
Duncan is taking care of the slides and pools of the deteriorating park, where he meets wisecracking park manager Owen (Sam Rockwell) at a time when he needs a father figure.
‘Goodfellas’ directed by Martin Scorsese
Widely regarded as one of the greatest films every made.
Young Henry Hill begins working with the mafia and works his way up through the ranks of the organization.
It’s not the type of job your mom would approve of but Goodfellas is a career movie all the same.
That’s the end of our watchlist of movies about getting a job.
I hope you’ll agree we put together a good list that had a few more names than the usual suspects.
If the movies are anything to go by getting a new job will be the beginning of a new chapter in your life.
You’ll either find love and it will be hilarious…
Or you’ll be sowing the seeds of greed, lust, and excess that will ultimately lead to your untimely death or incarceration.
Happy job hunting!