The Most Motivational Films to Watch When You’re Unemployed

The Most Motivational Films to Watch When You’re Unemployed

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

When it comes to unemployment, I am an expert. I’ve been let go, fired, and I’ve quit, so trust me when I say, I know that being unemployed can be the most callous time you have in your life.

It’s hard keeping motivated. No matter how many jobs you apply for that are suitable for you, you get rejection after rejection, and it’s really hard to not take it personally.

‘Water off a duck’s back’ comes to mind, because unless you get tailored, specific feedback, you need to just believe that it’s not your fault if you didn’t get a job you’re qualified for. You might totally screw up the interview or application of course, but all sorts of reasons can contribute to a no interview or no hire situation that are beyond your control. You don’t know who you’re applying against and what’s happening behind the scenes in the company, so it’s more important than anything to not let those rejections get to you and stop them from ruining your confidence.

Easier said than done though. You need to keep a good mental head space when you’re job hunting, so while you’ve got a few more hours spare, watch these films after a long day of job seeking to really build the perspective, resilience and confidence you really need right now.

Into the Wild (2007)

I just ripped all the images off Google.

I’m not suggesting that if you hit a bump in the road you should say, “Fuck it!” and run away from your life. But Into the Wild (2007) sends the message that it’s okay to go against the grain and to look for personal, spiritual success over professional, monetary success. You will be hit with severe wanderlust after watching this, but also a profound sense of something that will motivate you to make your fantasy life a reality.

Tootsie (1982)

Every single one of them.

“I’m not psychotic I’m unemployed”. No words have been so accurate when you’re job seeking. If you’ve become unemployed very suddenly, odds are you’re just desperate to pay your bills in the immediate aftershock. So you start applying like you’re desperate, and you should apply like you’re desperate! There is no shame in doing a bad job well. This is a cracking film to watch to know that if it pays the rent and you know you can do it, it’s worth applying anyway, even if you don’t necessarily fit the bill of the job or think it’s a job you’ll love.

The Blind Side (2009)

Whatever, sue me if they’re your pictures.

I’m aware this is a very ‘white savior’ film, but it is a true story with a positive message. What you should take from this is that it is always worth your time to share your resources and help those who need it. If you’re unemployed or struggling, you can watch this and feel some hope that there are people out there who want to help you and want to see you succeed. Kindness can get you through this, remember that when you feel alone. Oh and there’s sports in it too, I guess.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Take me to court, I don’t care.

The ultimate example of patience paying off. This is easily one of the best films of all time, and it is unbelievable that it was a box office bomb upon its release. The slow but sure commercial success of the movie is motivational enough, but main character Andy Dufresne’s stoic patience, self-belief and resilience can inspire us all to hang on in there for a little while longer.

Whiplash (2014)

If they’re your images I will credit you.

This film is insane. Though yes, it might inspire you to keep pushing and working as hard as you fucking can for that one moment where you can go “I’VE GOT IT!” but I hope it doesn’t. I actually hope you can watch this film while you’re down on your luck from a higher perspective, one where you go “Jesus Christ, I might be struggling for now, but at least I’m not scary obsessive like these guys”. If working yourself to the bone puts everything else in your life into place then fine, but Whiplash (2014) makes us question; is it really possible and is it even worth it?

9 to 5 (1980)

Do you know how much time it takes to find out who the fuck took the pictures though?

One of the best movie examples of sticking it to the man. Something that has benefited me in interviews is going in with the mentality that the company has to attract you as well as you having to attract to them. Prepare, use the STAR technique, and don’t ever forget that you are a potential candidate because you have skills and experience the company needs. Don’t accept shit for nothing, and remember if Dolly Parton wouldn’t stand for it, neither should you.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Like seriously, credit for images etc. needs to be as easy to find as pornography.

Oh god, just know going in that this is an emotional one. Will Smith was absolutely snubbed for an Oscar for his performance in this film, and the fact that his own son, Jaden Smith, is playing the child relying on his father’s success just makes the heart-tugging moments hit harder than usual. This film really encapsulates the ups and downs of going into business with yourself. Hard times might be ahead and you need to be ready for that, but ultimately believing that it will work at some point (And of course it will; pet rocks made a profit, so can you!) and keeping yourself motivated triumphs over all in the end.

Rocky (1976)

Also know I have no assets if you want to sue me.

The ultimate underdog, rag-to-riches story. Sylvester Stallone’s story is legendary; from stealing jewelry and selling his own dog to make ends meet, he wrote one of the most iconic films to date with the most uplifting message for anyone down on their luck in life. Whether you’re into sports or not, the self-belief Rocky and his writer had to instill in themselves makes this one of the most motivational films of all time. Even more motivational when you learn that after the film’s success, Stallone was able to buy back that dog he sold during his meagre times!

The Intouchables (2011)

Like what you gonna take, my deodorant? Knock yourself out, it’s all I have.

This one is subtitled, but honestly unless you’re dyslexic or have visual issues, get over it. This film is feel-good and fun while reminding us we all need to ask for help from time to time, and that help might come from an unlikely place. Don’t be afraid to explore new opportunities and experiences as well, as Philippe would be able to tell you how rewarding taking those chances can be. As well as this, we can learn from Driss that even if you think a job’s not for you, your personality and charisma can make you a great fit, and fitting into the culture of a new workplace is a rare and valuable thing.

Mrs Doubtfire (1993)

Probably shouldn’t dare people to sue me if I’m already poor.

Another cross-dressing character, this guy needs a job enough to lie to his own kids. But there is some wisdom in there. You need to promote the skills you know you have, even if it means utilising them yourself. Think about what skills other people don’t have and what others have complimented you on in the past. Even things you don’t necessarily see as a skill, just market the fuck out of it anyway! Run with your strengths and apply for jobs under the premise ‘Hire for attitude, train for skills’.

Trading Places (1983)

My PayPal is on the ‘Contact’ page btw.

This film is underrated in all the categories it applies to. No one considers it a Christmas film, no one uses it as a fine example of Dan Ackroyd, Eddie Murphy or Jamie Lee Curtis’ work, and I think that is truly criminal. If you’ve been working for ‘the man’ your whole life, you’ll immediately feel this film shows exactly what the top dogs of your company are doing to the peasants below them. The reason I’m putting it on here apart from to further my communist agenda, is because it reminds you how futile it all is; you can jump from rags to riches if someone takes a chance on you, and you can lose it all in seconds as well.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

I’m actually just fine tho sweeties.

Sometimes “it is written”. No matter your background or expertise, sometimes you find yourself in a rare predicament where you think “Everything in my life has built up to this opportunity”. However in this day and age, a lot of people fall victim to imposter syndrome, or being too modest about their accomplishments. Slumdog Millionaire (2008) is a harrowing story about luck and destiny, that will make you realise that it’s not all about the work you put in, but sometimes it’s about being at the right place at the right time. A rarer circumstance than you’d think, but before you think an offer is too good to be true, just watch this film and remember, sometimes it’s simply meant to be.

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

As long as I don’t get sued anyway.

Can’t talk about this one for too long because I will cry. Although it might not end with a spring in its step, this film proves just how far you can go if you reach out for some mentoring. You might be at a crossroads or brick wall in your career, and despite your raw talent exceeding those around you, you can’t move past this block. Look to those with previous experience and ask for advice, and you just might find all your wishes come true.

Aladdin (1992)

Image: Google or some shit.

This Disney number ultimately carries the message that money and success won’t solve all your problems. I hope you get that job you want, but odds are, a career change won’t solve everything you think it will. We’ve been led to believe that if you change one thing in your life, the rest of your grievances will resolve themselves. Evaluate what you’re really unhappy about before you believe more money or more responsibilities will change it for the better, because as Aladdin (1992) shows, basically you can’t polish a turd or wipe everything clean in one go. Each separate component in your life deserves separate attention, and take it from me, if you’re in a break in your career and can afford to evaluate your own psyche and routines, I cannot describe how worth it that recentering is.

Do you think these movies would give you a boost when you needed it most? Or did I miss one that’s even more motivational? Let me know in the comments, and if you are facing some career uncertainty right now, keep the faith and reach out. It won’t last forever and you’re worth a decent livelihood.

The Best Meals for When You Feel a Bit Crummy

The Best Meals for When You Feel a Bit Crummy

A lot of people are finding themselves in a strange predicament during this COVID-19 quarantine; they are having to cook for themselves.

The broke and the self-sufficient among us will be annoyed to see a number of people looking for advice on just what to cook with these bare bones ingredients now that lavish restaurant meals and delivered goods are off the menu.

But despite my judgement against these people, I’m here to help. Not to mention that these are meals that help when you’re depressed, meals that help after a breakup, and food that makes you feel good emotionally, regardless of a global pandemic or not.

I’ve tried to include meals that are easy, cheap, and quick to make while being wholly comforting and good. Recipes are NOT included as you might want to zhuzh up or scale back as you see fit, and if you have allergies and the like, you can figure out some substitutions better than I can.

Gnocchi, pesto, parmesan

Gnocchi is amazing. It can be vegan, gluten free, dairy free, ALL the frees depending on what you do with it, and it can be frozen or cooked straight from scratch. You can have it with some cheese and a bit of oil, some veg, some sauce, whatever your little isolated heart desires! The ultimate staple is the combo above, but seriously, gnocchi goes with pretty much everything. It’s cheap to buy or you can make your own if you have potatoes, eggs and some form of flour. Gnocchi should be the president. Gnocchi, for your consideration.

Fish Finger Butty

Now, bread might be scarce but I’ve been told it’s possible to make your own without a breadmaker and using realtively common ingredients. But if you have a loaf stowed in the freezer or manage to get your hands on some, make sure you get a pack of fish fingers to go with it. Doorstop white bread and cheap, cheerful fingers are the ideal stock, but do what you like if you fancy being a hipster or a health nut about it. Vegan options do apparently exist as well as vegan sauce alternatives, but as long you have the fingers, the bread, the spread and some sauce (Salad cream or liberally peppered mayonnaise is my pick), you have a winning teatime meal on your hands.

Potato smileys, beans, turkey shapes

While we’re in the realm of school dinners, you cannot feel more taken care of than when you’ve just finished a plate of the above. Potato shapes and breadcrumbed shapes come in all sorts of entertaining forms and can be frozen for eons and should be in your freezer regardless of an epidemic. Baked beans may be in sort supply, but if you can’t find a dusty tin at the back of your cupboards, any saucy tinned pasta will do the trick. Healthier options do exist if you want it, but my pick would be the standard McCain’s Potato Smileys, Heinz Baked Beans, and Bernard Matthews Golden Drummers or Turkey Dinosaurs.

Brinner

In the iconic words of Christopher Duncan Turk in Scrubs (2001), “It’s kind of hard to beat brinner”. For those of you unfamiliar, ‘Brinner’ is simply breakfast for dinner. And who wouldn’t want to explore that world of possibilities? A fry up, toast, cereal, fruit and yogurt, the world truly is your oyster when it comes to brinner. If there’s a few of you in quarantine together, why not make a brinner banquet? My only rule would be you have to bring eggs. Speaking of which…

Baked Eggs

Huevos rancheros, shakshouka, menemen, whatever you call it, baking a few eggs in some tinned tomatoes has never felt more upmarket. You can customise this to feature additional veg of course and I personally like to get plenty of balsamic vinegar in the tomatoes, but it’s really up to you what you want to do here. Ideal with some crusty bread to dip straight into the pan, it’s a great dish to share with your isolation pals as well, and for all its impressive presentation warrants, it’s mega easy to make.

Omelette

Another egg-based dish, an omelette is ideal for using up fresh ingredients about to perish or maybe a little worse for wear already. Do you remember those adverts for BEIC? The ‘Red Lion Eggs’ and how versatile they could be when it looked like you had nothing in? The adverts (Directed by Tom Hooper in case you’re interested) showed families looking in near empty fridges but managing to cook up something wonderful with eggs and a couple of other ingredients. They were basically always omelettes, but it is still something that rings true to this day that even if it looks like there’s nothing in, you can probably make an omelette.

Soup

Vegans and non-vegans, unite! I don’t need to tell you how many varieties of soup there are. Fresh, tinned, homemade, you can make anything into a decent bowl of soup if you blend and season enough. In fact there are so many different flavours and forms of soup that I didn’t want to put a picture on this entry, but instead chose one of my favourite adverts from the king of soup, Heinz, that perfectly encapsulates how a hot bowl of soup puts everything in its place after a crummy day.

Crimble Crumble

I don’t know exactly why they call it crimble crumble on Friday Night Dinner (2011) but it’s now the only name I shall accept for the low-maintenance dessert. If you have flour, sugar and fruit (fresh or tinned), you can make some sort of crumble. Hopefully you can make or have some custard, cream or ice cream to go with it, but even the most basic recipe and presentation will hit your sweet-tooth appropriately, and wrap around you like a hug.

Stew

If you want to be fancy you can call it a casserole, but a stew is a stew because that’s what your ingredients are doing. I love a stew because you can use anything. All you need is a big pot or a slow cooker, some dry ingredients, seasoning and liquid, and you’re good to go. This can be meaty, veggie, or vegan, and there is no limit on what weird and wonderful combinations you can come up with for stew. My only advice is that this is a leisurely dinner that should be cooked low and slow, so you’re best not leaving it until you actually need to eat. Leave it in the slow cooker all day or start the cooking as early as you can for maximum flavour and tenderisation.

Pasta, bacon, cheese

Like gnocchi, pasta can be used in a million and one combinations but I think the above is the best for a quick meal you won’t judge yourself for. If you’re Italian, look away now, because I fully expect you to come for my head if you read what I’m about to say; you do not have to respect pasta! One of my old favourite pasta dishes was penne, barbecue sauce, and cheddar cheese. Done in about 10 minutes, and very filling. You can go down this route of sacrilege, or you can keep it authentic with old Italian recipes that make use of ingredients lying around the house. Either way, there’s a reason pasta is in demand right now and I hope you can grab some for tough times ahead.

Toasties

A superior comfort food if you have a toastie maker or sandwich press, but also acceptable by cooking on the stovetop. You can put whatever you want on a toastie and it will make you feel good. I require cheese on mine but I’m not fussy about what it’s paired with because in my opinion cheese goes with everything. I have seen people use brevilles to make desserts and pies out of chilled pastry as well, so it’s worth keeping that in mind during your self-isolation.

Noodles

Ramen should not be disrespected. What is known as ‘ramen’ in the US and UK is not ‘ramen’. They are instant noodles okay? Even in Japan, they call it ‘instant ramen’. INSTANT. But anyway, instant noodles are a godsend and you can jazz them up with liberal seasoning, sriracha, and a boiled egg sitting on top. Just don’t call it ramen though.

“Pies”

I do not like that shepard’s pies and cottage pies are called pies because they are not pies. But regardless of this, they are a great way to use up ingredients and fill your stomach. These are basically less liquidy stews with potato on top, and who wouldn’t love that?

Mince and Tatties

If you know what you’re doing here, this meal is bound to snap you out of your funk. You should always look to the Scots and other cold countries when it comes to comfort meals with minimal ingredients, because they will without a doubt have the best recipes with the smallest fuss. It’s all about the seasoning with this dish, so don’t be shy with your salt and pepper and whack some soy or Worcestershire sauce in there for extra purchase.

Cereal and flavoured milk

I’ll be the first to say I’m actually not a cereal fan. It’s my least favourite breakfast and I never understood Jerry’s obsession in Seinfeld (1989) until I tried Nesquik with chocolate almond milk. Shit! It was amazing! Since then I’m queen of the cereal combos. Some of my favourites include Lucky Charms with strawberry milk, peanut butter Crunchy Nut Clusters with banana milk, and Golden Nuggets with white chocolate milk (it does exist!). Experiment and change your life! The crazier the better!

Stir Fry

Like a lot of these meals, the best thing about a stir fry is that anything goes. If you are frying it on a high heat in a big pan and stirring as you fry, you are making a stir fry. Keeping it Chinese in flavour is my recommendation, with rice or noodles, vegetables, some sort of protein, seasoning and sweet chili sauce. Quick, easy, and super filling, I do not know how people survive without stir frys.

Cheese on Toast

The first. The last. Our everything. Cheese on toast might seem like a snack rather than a meal, but you’re not thinking outside the box. Even basic cheddar cheese on toast is great. Then add a bit of worcestershire sauce. Ooh? Little bit interesting? Then maybe put a little dijon mustard and ham underneath the cheese before grilling. Croque monsieur por moi? Ooh la la. Get really fancy and make Welsh rarebit! OH YES CHEESE ON TOAST, DO IT TO ME AGAIN! Never underestimate cheese on toast because it will never underestimate you. It’s a dish that’s truly what you want to make of it and it’s another great meal that lifts your spirits just when you need it

What do you reckon? Are these decent comfort foods or am I just a terrible cook? Let me know if I missed any or you’ve had these and they made you even more depressed!