4 Career Lessons From “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Alex Macksoud

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Image Credit: Wolf of Wall Street on Bigstock

Image Credit: Wolf of Wall Street on Bigstock

Aside from breaking the world-record for most number of f-bombs dropped in a movie (506), “The Wolf of Wall Street” is an award-laden cinema masterpiece with a number of hidden career lessons.

The movie, according to IMDB, follows the “…true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.” Even if you’re not in sales or investing, this is a wildly entertaining movie sure to capture your attention from start to finish.

Whether you’re in the midst of a job search or looking to rise in your career, these four career tips from “The Wolf of Wall Street” will help you accomplish even the most difficult of goals. (WARNING: Spoiler alert ahead.) And no, unlike the film, we won’t advise you to do anything illegal!

1. If you talk the talk, be able to walk the walk.

So you got big plans, eh? You’re planning on getting a job at the largest company in the industry. You’re planning on getting promoted or moving jobs by five years. Making plans is the easy part — it’s the following-through that really gets people.

In “The Wolf of Wall Street”, Jordan Belfort was determined to live a life of success and achievement. In the beginning, he was humble yet confident in his abilities, and he used his skills and determination to get what he wanted. When his shot at a big break came to an abrupt halt, he didn’t give up there. He used what he learned on Wall Street to restart his career and make it the behemoth he knew it would be.

When you say you’re going to do something, give yourself the full credit you deserve and do whatever it takes to make it happen. When obstacles get in the way of your goals, don’t give up! When you’re determined, other people can see that and gain a new sense of admiration and respect for you.

2. Don’t give up.

From being forced into unemployment in his prime, to having to make the best of transitioning from a great job to a bad one, to juggling multiple women and covering up illegal activity from the FBI — Jordan Belfort had many obstacles to overcome in “The Wolf of Wall Street”.

And you know what? He made it through each obstacle stronger than ever. Even at the end of the movie, when Belfort got convicted, sent to federal prison, and kicked out of the company he started, he still didn’t give up — continuing his legacy of teaching people the tools needed to have it all.

When your job search results in rejection after rejection, keep trying! When your coworker gets the promotion you’ve always wanted, keep trying! Accepting failure only leads to disappointment and regret — if you’re really passionate about achieving your goals, persistence is key.

3. Have your priorities straight.

In the movie (here’s that spoiler!), Belfort divorces his wife, Teresa, in order to “trade up” for a more attractive one named Naomi. He had a vision of what successful people were supposed to have, and Teresa did not fit that model, whether Jordan loved her or not.

Jordan sacrificed love for shallow pleasures and success almost immediately after the film began, showing him with prostitutes and doing drugs. While he had fun with it for a while, it wasn’t until his marriage with Naomi started to fail that he began realizing his life didn’t truly make him happy. Eventually, he realized what truly made him happy was being able to have an influence on people’s lives, and when he was released from prison, he found a legal means of being able to do it.

You may be failing to reach your career goals because you place too little importance on them. Having just a little more determination and passion could be the difference in making those goals a reality.

4. Wolf up.

In a world run by sharks and wolves, Jordan Belfort knew he had to become one to become anything. Like a wolf, Jordan Belfort devoured every opportunity and enemy that came his way. He found the key to Fort Knox in a script he created that persuaded even the filthy rich to invest in garbage, and he turned that into a multi-billion dollar company that made him a fortune. Belfort didn’t just seize opportunities — he created them.

When he met his match in the form of an FBI agent named Patrick Denham, he fought and fought to keep the rewards he wrongfully reaped until he was unable to fight any longer. And even after he was released from prison and still unable to return to his own company, he created more opportunities for himself when he started the lecture series at the end.

When you’re in an interview or promotion meeting, wolf up! Seize the opportunity and take what (in your mind) is rightfully yours through your own skills, knowledge, and intuition. Being humble sometimes only means you’re happy where you are in life and don’t wish to go further, so it’s vital to have that confidence to balance it out and reach your goals.

What other lessons has ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ taught you about your career?

Alex Macksoud

Alex Macksoud is a senior at Central Michigan University studying advertising with a minor in marketing. Aside from being a content creator trainee, Alex is also a social media trainee at Come Recommended. He has heaps of experience in advertising, social media, public relations, content creation, SEO, and marketing - mainly from internships and leadership roles in student organizations.