8 Career Lessons from Your Favourite Christmas Films

Phoebe Johnson

Disclaimer = May contain spoilers

Lesson 1: Klaus - Discover the why behind what you do

Klaus is a 2019 animation that tells a rather alternative tale of St Nicholas. When spoiled, entitled Jesper gets banished to a derelict, icy town by his Postmaster General father, he is given the seemingly impossible job of posting 6,000 letters. Smeerensburg, war torn and miserable, welcomes not the Christmas spirit but hatred and despair, a place where people clutch at pitchforks not post!

When Jesper discovers the joy that toys bring the children of Smeerensburg, he hatches a plan to inspire all the children of the neighbourhood to write letters to Klaus - a reclusive woodsman that Jesper convinces to donate his stock of wooden toys that he’s mysteriously created. Desperate to leave this dismal place, back to his ‘silk sheets’ Jesper works tirelessly to persuade children to ‘be good’ and write letters, which in turn fuels an array of good deeds and happiness around the town. 

As he hurtles towards hitting his target of 6,000 letters, he finds himselfs caring less about the number and more about the Christmas spirit he has unintentionally brought to Smeerensburg. As always, after the love of friends and the sparkle of a love interest, Jesper becomes a better man. We love a bit of festive romance at Christmastime! 

A lesson we can all learn from Jesper? Do your job because you truly love what you do! You will undoubtedly be happier, and will reap the benefits down the line!


Lesson 2: Home Alone - Always be prepared! 

This one is a 90’s classic, one we watch every year, Home Alone! This festive tale follows the antics of our favourite booby trap master, Kevin McCallister. He is accidentally left by himself when his mother leaves for a business trip, during this time, Kevin is distrurbed by some pesky burglars who get a little more than they bargained for. 

The film is staged around Kevin's clever and creative deterrents, from paint can bulldozers to the classic marble floor trick. His carefully wired contraptions are without a doubt an ode to the saying we often use in the recruitment world, ‘always be prepared.’

In any scenario of life, especially when in an interview, on your first day of your new job, or maybe even a big meeting with your superiors, being prepared will NEVER steer you wrong. We can all afford to be a little more like Kevin!

Lesson 3: Elf - Be yourself!

Silly, fun and ridiculous, but heartwarming all the same. What else could be expected from a Will Ferrel movie? Buddy, the syrup loving, carol singing human sized elf is new to our world after discovering that his real father is in fact not an elf, but a grumpy, stuffy manager at a book publishing company in New York. 

His lack of social skills becomes increasingly apparent as he journeys through the city to find his estranged father. Using a snow globe as a map, Buddy is eventually reunited with his father, who is embarrassed and confused by this giant man-elf that is claiming to be his son! Despite his fathers reluctance, Buddy is invited to stay in their home by his kind hearted wife who persuades Buddy’s dad to bring him to work. 

It’s fair to say his antics are received with slight reservation and are sometimes judged quite heavily by some of the less accepting characters. The moral of the story here is that, although Buddy is often a little strange and does things that we might not consider ‘normal’ by our societies standards, Buddy turns out to be a huge asset to his dad’s company and teaches his fellow characters about love and acceptance. Ahw. 

We might all be different and live life slightly differently, but we all have something special to give and that should be celebrated in any workplace! 


Lesson 4: Love Actually - Stick to your values 

Okay, if you’ve not seen this one, where have you been? It’s just not Christmas without Love Actually to warm the cockles. To give a synopsis of the whole movie would be a challenge as it’s a mash up of mini storylines, you guessed it, all centred around love. 

There is one scene in particular that strikes a chord with us. We follow the story of the Prime Minister, suitably portrayed by the smooth talk Hugh Grant, who ends up walking in on a rather awkward interaction between the American President and his young beautiful secretary. The PM ditches his original speech of unity and friendship with the states to a more fitting one, saying that he fears the relationship with the USA has ‘become bad’ and is a relationship based on ‘the president taking whatever he wants’ - go on Hugh you tell’em!

There are many lessons to be drawn from all the storylines but staying true to your core values and listening to your moral compass is a profound one indeed. We’ve all been in positions in our careers where our opinion might rock the boat, but remembering who you are and what you believe in is crucial to a fair and equal working environment. 


Lesson 5: The Holiday - With great risk often comes great reward

That little country cottage covered in snow, slippers, tea and cosy jumpers. The epitome of an idyllic British Christmas, and the iconic setting of The Holiday. This is the story of two women, fed up with life, with very different lives, swapping their homes for the Christmas period. Cameron Diaz plays a very wealthy hard nosed American woman called Amanda, who exchanges houses with the humble, ‘heart on sleeve’ British writer called Iris. The common denominator is a broken heart.

Both women experience very different journeys and find themselves in situations they never dreamed of. When mixing with different people and immersing themselves in the culture of each other's countries, they realise what’s really important in life, all cast against the backdrop of the sparkling romantic spirit of the Christmas season (of course!).

So, what are we banging on about? Try something new, put yourself out there, and be brave. Throwing yourself into the unknown can feel anxiety inducing but as the old saying goes, with great risk often comes great reward. Why not try it and see what happens! 


Lesson 6: The Grinch - Don’t be afraid to admit you’re wrong

You're a mean one,
You really are a heel,
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
You're as charming as an eel…

That’s right, not forgetting the meanie greenie himself, The Grinch. If you don’t already know the story, here's a quick low down. From a young age, The Grinch was teased and bullied for his appearance, so much so that one day he fled the village of Whoville and took refuge in the cold icy mountains where his legacy grew as a mean monster who hates Christmas. 

As is often the case, it is children that remind us of the simple joys of Christmas. When little Cindy Lou hears of The Grinch and his sad story, she makes it her mission to spread Christmas cheer all the way to his mountaintop lair. 

Her persistence and open mindedness eventually defrosts The Grinch's frozen heart and he is welcomed back into the Whoville community where they celebrate Christmas all together. So, the moral of the story? It’s never too late to admit you’re wrong. There is nothing wrong with being wrong, it’s being open minded enough and confident enough to change your mind. We forgive you Mr Grinch.

Lesson 7: The Nativity! - Team work really does make the dream work

Now, this one’s a real feel good film. It takes place in a school where teacher Mr Paul Maddens gets a little competitive with the neighbouring rival drama school over putting on the Christmas play. After bragging (and lying) that a Hollywood producer will be in attendance to said rival teacher, the lie spreads like wildfire around the entire town and low and behold it’s too late to turn back. 

The problem is, to put it politely, a lot of work is required to deliver a Hollywood standard performance from Paul’s student. But weird is wonderful, and of course, the underdogs prevail. The students support each other and throw themselves into the performance with heart and passion, and in the end, a Hollywood producer does indeed show up to celebrate the children's success - a Christmas miracle! 

At GCB Recruitment, there is nothing we like more than teamwork. Even if you’re used to working independently, it’s crucial you are able to gel with other people and encourage your peers around you to succeed. It really does make the world a better place and makes our jobs far more enjoyable when we work well as a unit. 

Lesson 8: Arthur Christmas - All it takes is passion

This story is really wholesome, and is a great one to finish with. Arthur Claus, aka Santa’s youngest and rather clumsy son, makes it his mission to personally deliver a present to a little girl called Gwen who’s present fell from his fathers tech delivery machine. 

Arthur’s brother and Santa himself disapprove of Arthur's desire to reunite the gift with Gwen in time for Christmas morning but that doesn't stop him from beginning the long journey to Cornwall with his enthusiastic elf sidekick and grand-Santa.

Despite the obstacles placed in his way and the hurdles he has to overcome, Arthur’s love of Christmas and passion for every child to experience the perfect Christmas morning helps him to succeed in his task. This just goes to show that you don’t have to have the best tech or be the smartest person in the room to achieve and succeed. You just need a little bit of passion and drive!

The start of the New Year can bring great new things and we look for candidates who have traits similar to what we’ve listed above. We’d love to be a part of your journey, if you’re thinking about a career change in the New Year or if you’re a business owner and looking to take on new staff members, upload your CV with us today or sign up to post a job listing? If you need any advice at all, give us a call today on 01603 667777.


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