Pixar IRL: Career Lessons to Live By

There’s something special about Pixar movies. Whether it’s a space ranger learning what it means to be a toy, an elderly man rediscovering friendship, or the personification of joy learning about sadness, these films tug at our heartstrings and teach us incredible lessons. But did you know that these life lessons can also apply to your job search? Here’s how.

“Finding Nemo”Find Something You Love

“I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy.” – Dory

Dory is memorable because … well, because most things aren’t memorable for her. She forgets most things in a matter of minutes, but that doesn’t stop her from living life to the fullest. She loves everything, like the tiny jellyfish she dubs Squishy.

In your career, you need to find your Squishy. Even if your job isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, you want something to look forward to every day. It could be your co-workers, a certain project you’re working on, or the way you decorate your workspace. Finding something to love can give you a reason to keep going, even on your off days.

“Up” – Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New

Adventure is out there!” – Charles Muntz (and also Ellie)

In Up, Carl Fredricksen suffers from depression due to the death of his wife Ellie. She was everything to him, and life lost its glow without her. In a way, he stopped living when she did. But he rediscovers the whimsy and magic of life when the rambunctious Russel (and a couple hundred balloons) enters his life.

When it comes to your career, you can’t be afraid to take risks. Ask your boss to work on that project, make new networking connections every day, or submit an application for that new position. If you aren’t finding what you want in your current job, look into finding a new one. Your career moves as fast as you make it move.

“The Incredibles” – Don’t Live in the Past

“I never look back, darling. It distracts me from the now” – Edna Mode

As a costume designer for superheroes, Edna Mode fears no one. She is the absolute best at what she does, and she knows it. She is unapologetically herself, and lives life in a stylish way only she can. She didn’t get to where she is by dwelling on the past, but by focusing on the future.

You should look at your career in the same way. You can’t change the past. If you said something weird in a meeting or flunked an interview, there’s nothing you can do to erase that. It happened. But we can learn from those mistakes and not make them in the future.

Pixar movies are incredible because, through toys, living emotions, bugs, and robots, they teach us lessons about what it means to be human. And these lessons are something you can absolutely implement in your career.

Do you have any favorite Pixar movies? Let us know in the comments section below!

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