Graduate Blog

Working Girl


It is funny that we can draw inspiration from characters in films and novels. I always wonder why exactly as, ‘I am my problem, and I am my solution’, wonderful advice Megan aka one of the best Bridesmaids ever! Ooh you too, inspire me! Sometimes I think comfort can be taken from characters. We are inspired by how they handle situations; how they act and deal with their problems, even perhaps take inspiration from their taste in fashion. I guess it depends on what exactly inspires you. It is through them that we get drawn in to what a director or author is trying to say through their medium. That is the’ magic of the movies’; it calls out to a multitude of people over numerous different issues.

The film that most inspires me, especially in my day-to-day world of job search and applications, is Working Girl. This 80s movie follows a simple but meaningful plot of a young women – Tess – whose potential and intelligence is never fully realised being a working class female in a male dominated work force. Her male colleagues are promoted over her and play humiliating jokes on her resulting in her reassignment when she publicly insults and belittles one in front of the whole office. But before this starts to appear like I am going down a feminist route, which is most definitely a theme compatible with Nine to Five, Tess next battles with her new boss Katherine. It is clear that she is Tess’ superior not only in the working environment but in social status too. Discovering that her seemingly helpful and understanding boss has stolen her business plan, the film shifts into my inspiration, that is, how a person can fight against stigmas and demonstrate their worth and capabilities. Let’s face it, in this world of work; it really is all about selling yourself. You may know what you are capable of but you have to show and prove to others of one’s competencies.

The saying goes when you hit bottom there really is no other way to go but up. Throw in a cheating boyfriend and Tess really does hit rock bottom. Thus, her fight and journey not only to business executive, but, of personal development begins.  I find Tess’ character so endearing. You are cheering her on all the way as she shakes off her timidity and starts to believe in herself: ‘I make it happen’. She is the underdog (and we all love the underdog right?!) who makes and breaks the ‘rules’ to pitch her ideas and finally sees her business proposal come in to fruition. She demonstrates her determination and intelligence in a final ‘showdown’ with the ‘big player’ clients whilst fighting against Katherine to prove the business plan to be her idea, not Katherine’s. She proves that she is worthy and extremely capable to take her career to the next level. She has ‘fire in [her] belly’ and is rewarded accordingly with an entry level executive position in her client’s successful company.

The well-worn cliché of: you can achieve anything if you work hard is at the centre of this film, but it is a cliché that definitely resonates with us all. That is what is so inspiring about the film, there is no far-fetched lucky situation that only occurs in the world of films. It is simply someone who fights hard to make their life better, something everyone can relate to.

Working Girl on IMDB –


About the Author

Daniela Daniela

I received my Hons. Degree in English Literature then went on to complete my Masters - Literature, Culture and Place - both at Strathclyde University, Glasgow. I am hoping and working towards a future in publishing; editorial or production to satisfy my creative inklings would be the dream job! At the moment, I help to run the family restaurant business. I am training to work with the restaurant finances; including book keeping and calculating invoices. Presently my role is in the marketing discipline. I assist in writing up and pricing menus. I research the hospitality industry in order to think up new promotions and create advertisements to bring in new business. I also help to maintain the restaurant website.

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