20 Things Chick Flicks Can Teach You About Your First Job


For most of us, the end of summer means that temperatures are about to become more bearable again. But for some of you — those recent college grads who decided to spend your last summer of freedom living for free in your parents’ basement or slaving away at a thankless internship or traveling the world in order to find yourself — it signals the beginning of your official entry into the paid workforce. What words of wisdom we have for you can best be illustrated by a few familiar chick flicks. If you’ve got something to share, feel free to add to our list in the comments.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Even if you have a really crappy day, it is never OK to take it out on your cat (or dog/roommate/significant other). You’re better than that.

Bridget Jones’s Diary – As tempting as the free booze might be, it’s never a good idea to get drunk at an office party. Especially one that includes karaoke.

The Devil Wears Prada – Just because your boss is evil, doesn’t exclude him/her from being totally brilliant at what they do. Learn what you can from these people as quickly as you can, and then move on before you become evil too.

Dirty Dancing – Think before you speak, especially when you’re meeting your coworkers. An opening line like, “I carried a watermelon,” probably isn’t the kind of first impression that you’re hoping to make.

Eat Pray Love – If you can use your personal issues to get a free trip around the world, by all means, do it. Otherwise it’s best to leave them at home, because people find that kind of thing pretty annoying.

The First Wives Club – You might feel young and precocious now, but just you wait: There will be someone younger than you starting in a few months. Enjoy it while you can, Doogie Howser.

For Love of the Game – In most cases this won’t apply for at least a year or more, but be sure to recognize when it’s time for you to move on. Even the most perfect position has a shelf life.

A League of Their Own – There may be a time (or two) when you feel like crying at work, for either personal or professional reasons. It happens. Just don’t do it at your desk or in front of your boss.

Legally Blonde – That person who inexplicably hates you at first might actually become your friend later. Also: It is never appropriate to do the bend and snap in the office.

Love Story – You know that quote, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”? That goes double in the workplace. Nothing is more annoying than listening to a newbie constantly apologize for screwing up. Pipe down and let your actions speak for themselves.

Moonstruck – If you have to pick between a job that’s safe and stable (but involves doing something that you don’t really love) and one that you’re truly passionate about, always opt for the latter. Even if your mother disagrees.

Never Been Kissed – Pretending to be someone that you’re not almost never works out. If you’re using your work to fulfill some kind of childhood fantasy, eventually the real you will come out, and it won’t be pretty.

Nine to Five – Getting wasted with your disgruntled coworkers and then inviting them over to your house to smoke some pot may lead to shared fantasies of killing your boss. Especially if said boss happens to be a chauvinist pig.

The Notebook – Persistence can pay off. If you don’t land the first job you interview for at a company and another opening comes up, don’t be afraid to email them about it (just not 366 times in a row). Things could work out for you guys this time.

Now and Then – It’s highly possible that the crusty old dude or lady that you and your coworkers have a name for (ala Crazy Pete) is going to save your ass one of these days. Just something to think about.

Pretty Woman – It sucks, but the proper attire is essential if you want people to take you seriously (and/or let you shop).

Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion – If you’re going to make up a lie about your past work experience, keep it within the realm of possibility. So no pretending that you invented Post-Its.

Thelma & Louise – Don’t be a victim. If you find yourself in a nightmarish situation, do something to change it — but preferably something that doesn’t involve driving off of a cliff.

Whip It – If you’re struggling to decide what direction to go in, opt for whatever scares you the most. The best things happen when you go outside of your comfort zone.

Working Girl – Never let anyone steal your good ideas and pass them off as their own. Even if it’s a scary woman wielding a crutch.