10 Career Lessons From Disney Heroes

This article was originally published on ComeRecommended.com.

As kids, Disney films taught us lessons about life. From the princesses to the lions to the toys, each movie teaches something new about our reaching our dreams. Now that we’re grown up, we can still learn a lot from our favorite Disney stories. Many of these lessons can even be applied to the job search.

Here are 10 lessons from Disney heroes you can apply to your job search:

Embrace your quirks, like Belle. When Belle is first introduced in Beauty and the Beast, the townspeople sing about all of her oddities (like the fact that she reads books, the horror!). “No denying she’s a funny girl that Belle,” they sing. Despite all the things they say, Belle embraces the qualities that make her uncommon because they make her special. In your job search, make a note of the qualities that make you unique and use them to your advantage.


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Be One Jump Ahead, like Aladdin. Aladdin starts out as a street rat who is struggling to provide for himself. At the end of the song One Jump Ahead, he sings, ”Here goes, better throw my hand in. Wish me happy landin’. All I gotta do is jump!” Yes, the song is about stealing food, but if you put that aside, there’s still a lesson in there. If you’re not satisfied with your job (or lack of one), you need to put all of your effort into making yourself happy. Take the big jump.


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Hakuna Matata, like Timon and Pumba. It means no worries for the rest of your days. The important lesson here is to not let your job search stress you out too much. You’re going to be rejected occasionally, but you’re also going to have some wins. The best thing to do is be optimistic. You have the skills, now use them to impress hiring managers. Use the Hakuna Matata philosophy when you’re down to gain a new sense of motivation.

Hakuna Matata

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Stand Out, like Max. Goofy’s son Max puts on an epic performance at a school assembly where he lip-syncs to the song Stand Out. The song goes, “You’ve got to believe that I’ve got what it takes to stand out above the crowd, even if I’ve got to shout out loud. Til mine is the only face you see, I’m gonna stand out til you notice me.” These lyrics are words to live by for job seekers. Find what makes you stand out from other job seekers, based on your unique accomplishments or experiences, and show hiring managers why you are the best candidate.

A Goofy Movie

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Find a new perspective, like Pocahontas. It’s important not to get stuck focusing on one outlook in your career. Pocahontas and John Smith both learn, “If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.” Take this idea and apply it to your career. Find out what other professionals in your field are doing to get ahead. Bounce ideas off your peers and mentors. A fresh perspective can do wonders for your job outlook.


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Go to infinity and beyond, like Buzz Lightyear. Like Buzz and Woody learn, you can never set your sights too high. Set career goals and make them happen. Once you accomplish something, set your sights even higher. Woody didn’t believe in Buzz’s catch-phrase when they first met, but by the end, he realized the power behind it.

Toy Story

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Go the Distance, like Hercules. This song is full of empowering quotes, all of which could be applied to job seekers. For now, we’ll go with: ”I know every mile will be worth my while.” Through all of the struggles of your career, every step in your journey impacts where you’re headed. All of the set backs are worth just as much as the achievements. If you’re ever feeling defeated, listen to Go The Distance and you will just feel the motivation swimming back. Better yet, watch Hercules.


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Develop strong qualities, like Mulan. Everyone who has seen Mulan knows the qualities of being a man: “You must be swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, and all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon.” During the montage in this song, Mulan learns what is required, works really hard, and eventually embodies all of these qualities. Sure, these traits are a little bit meaningless, but in real life the necessary qualities for your career will be much clearer. Learn them and perfect them.


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Dig a Little Deeper, like Tiana. In The Princess and the Frog, Tiana and her friends go to visit Mama Odie who sings, ”When you find out who you are, you’ll find out what you need.” Your current career goals may not be exactly what’s best for you. “Dig a little deeper” inside yourself to find out what you need. It’s important to reevaluate your goals from time to time. Your happiness depends on it. “Blue skies and sunshine guaranteed.”

Princess and the Frog

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Leave your tower, like Rapunzel. In your career, it is important to step outside of your comfort zone. Rapunzel does this in Tangled when she decides to finally leave her tower. Looking for new experiences, even if they make you nervous is exactly what will amp up your career. Rapunzel’s journey paid off. Will yours?


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Disney movies provide an exhaustive list of good advice for your career. Whether you identify with Belle, Aladdin, or someone else, most of these characters learn to follow their dreams. Follow your dreams too and land the job you’ve always wanted.

What other job search lessons can we learn from Disney heroes?

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