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Quit Being a Valet and Be THE Concierge

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For years, agents and brokers were valets. Their value proposition was that they held the key to the room with all the information in it and you had to go through them to get in. They also held the key to get into any house that was on the market. Basically, they just opened doors.

Though there are still many agents that still want to be valets, the days of valet agents is coming to an end.

 It’s time to be the concierge of real estate in your area as well as your area in general.

Not the mediocre one at a mediocre hotel who grabs your bags from storage or hands you a pamphlet with stuff to do in the area and says “Here you go. Good luck.” I’m talking about the concierge that knows everybody in town and can get you into places that only the ones “in the know” know about and can get into. The concierge that knows every club doorman, every hostess and restuarant manager and every tour director in town. The one who everyone wants to turn to to get the “insider” information on what’s going on in the area, where to go and how to get in.

A great concierge will ask you, “What are you looking for?”, suggest one or several places to go or things to do and make sure you get in and are taken care of. At the end of the day (or night), you’ll be saying, “That concierge sure picked the right place to go to based on what I was looking for. He/she is definitely the go-to person for finding out what to do and where to go in this town!”

How do your clients view you?

Your clients should view you the same way when it comes to real estate and your community. You should be the one that knows everything and anything real estate and community related in your area that people can turn to for answers and guidance.

If there’s a rumor of a new shopping mall being built in the future, you should know whether it’s true or not and what stores are going in and when.

If a house just came on the market, you should know what all the ones that sold before it on that street looked like, how much they sold for and how they compare. 

If there’s going to be a lot release by a builder in your area, you should know about the release date, which models will be available and what incentives you can negotiate before anyone else.

If there are foreclosures and short-sales in your market place (which is most likely the case), you should know the ins and outs of how the process works and how to effectively negotiate an offer with the bank.

If someone in your area wants to know this kind of information, they should automatically want to turn to you because the word on the street is that you’re the one “in the know”…the one who’s got their finger on the pulse of real estate in the area…the one who knows how to negotiate more effectively and better than the rest of them.

Work at it to earn it…

In order to earn this type of credibility and notoriety, you have to put in a lot of work to earn it. That concierge didn’t stumble into those hook-ups and strong connections by accident. That took, and continues to take, a lot of dedication and effort. It takes up a lot of time each and every day. It requires constant communication with those in the community. It takes staying on top of what’s going on at all times. And then it takes satisfied people telling all their friends and even those they don’t know about him/her.

If you want to a be a great concierge agent rather than just another valet agent, you have to put in the same type of work and dedication. You have to impress your clients with your knowledge and expertise so that they tell their friends, coworkers and even those they just met, “(your name) is the one to talk to when it comes to real estate in (your town) and to find out what’s going on”.

Much like a great concierge makes a ton of tip money from people coming in to pick their brain for advice, you’ll find yourself with a steady stream of clients and commissions as the local expert. And just like the valet watches the concierge’s success in disbelief, the agents who think that opening doors is enough will wonder why you have so many clients and how you’re closing so many deals in this market.

Danilo Bogdanovic is a Real Estate Consultant/REALTOR(R) in Northern Virginia and author/owner of LoudounScene.com and LoudounForeclosures.com. Danilo serves on various committees with the Dulles Area Association of REALTORS(R) and the Virginia Association of REALTORS(R).

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Bob

    October 8, 2008 at 8:13 am

    If there’s a rumor of a new shopping mall being built in the future, you should know whether it’s true or not and what stores are going in and when.

    If a house just came on the market, you should know what all the ones that sold before it on that street looked like, how much they sold for and how they compare.

    If there’s going to be a lot release by a builder in your area, you should know about the release date, which models will be available and what incentives you can negotiate before anyone else.

    This isn’t practical in a large market.

  2. Heather Elias

    October 8, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Absolutely. Taking ‘local expert’ to the next level…when your client asks a question and you can say “I talked wth that builder’s rep last week, she said..” or “the Five Guys pizza is going to open in three weeks” without having to say “Let me find out and call you back” ; that’s instant credibility and they appreciate it.

    Bob, maybe you are covering too large of an area if you can’t keep track of local information? I know Danilo covers a large, growing county, and still knows all those details. No, it’s not easy, yes, it’s time consuming. But it sure does pay off…

  3. Danilo Bogdanovic

    October 8, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Bob, Not sure what you mean by “large market”. I’m in a huge market (Northern VA), but my focus is on Eastern Loudoun County. If I were to try to know the entire Northern VA market, I would never be able to be an expert.

    Perhaps you should focus your farm area and be the “master of one trade” rather than the “jack of all”. That’s how you become the expert and the go-to-agent in your area. Much like you go see a specialist rather than a general medecine doctor when you have a specific ailment, consumers are seeking out agents who specialize in the specific area they’re moving within/to.

    Just my .02.

  4. Steve Simon

    October 8, 2008 at 8:37 am

    I will probably be flamed for this but after you’ve had twenty thousand students you are aware of the background of more than a few lawsuits. That being said I agree with the gist of the post. It is however extremely easy to raise yourself from “FOK” (fountain of knowledge) to target for someone with buyer’s remorse.
    If the buyer’s decision to buy was based in part on something you said will happen, and it does not happen, the buyer only has to persuade the court that the information you relayed to them was a material factor in their mind when they decided to buy. It is very subjective, and may not be easy for the buyer to prove, but you (the agent) will not want to be in this game…
    So, practice good risk avoidance procedure:
    If you are telling people about malls in the future, make it abundantly clear that any future development is not guaranteed. Do not speak for the intentions of developers you’ve never met.
    Once you start spouting off, it is very easy to get carried away…
    I’ll leave it there for this comment, I’ll wait to tell you about “Gratuitous Agency”, and “Attraction Nusance some other time:)

  5. Benn Rosales

    October 8, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Steve, I’ll concur on that, our expansion in the burbs very early on taught everyone in the profession and even those that arent to use the word proposed because it seems the politics in each little city would virtually stem even for sure things. So if it’s not complete and opened, it’s proposed, but the broader point I certainly agree with here.

  6. Danilo Bogdanovic

    October 8, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Steve and Benn – You are correct and I’m sorry that I didn’t touch upon that in the post. I always use the words “proposed” and “possibly”. I even share my source(s) with the client so that they understand that I’m just relaying what’s been told to me and so that they can chat with the source(s) on their own.

  7. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    October 8, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Danilo, so many people are using hyperlocal blogging as a means to show a tangible expertise and I love your examples of how to show your true knowledge. I’ve made moving decisions based on proposed expansion and taken that chance that the city would eventually expand out to the burbs and knowing what is proposed will always help OCD people like me help to make a decision because some people want as much control as possible over their biggest investment, and having an idea of what a neighborhood COULD look like in the coming years helps tremendously. Whether it’s knowing proposed retail, a home that isn’t on the MLS yet, or the new dress code of the local school, it all paints a broader picture- as an agent, if you have the ability to paint with a detailed brush instead of a mop, why wouldn’t you?

  8. Jim Duncan

    October 8, 2008 at 8:58 am

    Be the source of the source.

    I tell all of my clients that while I feel I know more than the average Realtor because of my involvement and writing, I still want them to verify and vet everything I tell them (they do anyway).

    Be definitive and confident, yet hedge everything. Much of planned development is rumor anyway … until they start pouring footers.

  9. Danilo Bogdanovic

    October 8, 2008 at 9:09 am

    “Be definitive and confident, yet hedge everything.” – Very well said Jim!

    “…having an idea of what a neighborhood COULD look like in the coming years helps tremendously.” – That’s the mentality 90% of the buyers I work with have. Seems like the same is true for you Lani.

  10. Rich Jacobson

    October 8, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Oh so true! There’s a boatload of dumbfounded valets out there right now, scratchin’ their heads, wondering why today’s sophisticated consumers aren’t asking them to park their cars. Differentiation through details.

  11. Brian Block

    October 8, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Danilo, what a fantastic analogy! While there’s nothing wrong with opening doors, those agents who only do that may feel it slam them in their behinds on their way out of the industry

  12. Missy Caulk

    October 8, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Danilo, one way to stay on top of “potential” condo’s, Whole food stores, or new restaurants is being active in the Chamber, in my area they always know the skinny. In this market we are should be a source for the consumers or at least know where to point them.

  13. Rod Rebello

    October 8, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    “…Much of planned development is rumor anyway … until they start pouring footers.”

    And even then, not a sure bet. There’s a shopping development just down the road that made it just past framing stage, and is dead in the water since they ran out of funds.

  14. Bob

    October 8, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    I learned from one of the best – Gregg Neuman. When asked where he sold real estate, Gregg would respond, I’m licensed in California, but I specialize in San Diego. I would bet that Russell Shaw would say something similar. No coincidence that they are both in Keller’s Millionaire Agent book and sell 100s of homes year in and year out.

    I suppose that if one thought this was the way a buyer agent should approach it, there would be some merit, but in a market like mine where buyers will look in 10 different zip codes, they would starve given present market conditions.

    With all due respect, it’s sounds good and high minded, but it isn’t practical. I don’t know any high powered teams that have their buyer agents follow this strategy.

  15. Danilo Bogdanovic

    October 9, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Bob,

    Gregg (and Russell) sell more in a year than some agents do the entire time they have their license so you definitely learned from some of the best. I learned from another one of the best too – Chris Cormack, also in Gary Keller’s Millionaire Agent book. I was on her team as a buyer’s agent for 4 years during which time 5 other agents and I sold up to 350 homes per year. And we did this in a farm area that only had about 200K people in it. (To give you perspective, the neighboring county, Fairax County, has over 1M people in it alone)

    The reason for our success was in fact because we focused on a specific area and followed the very strategy I described in my post. With all due respect, calling this strategy impratical is inaccurate and false.

  16. Bob

    October 12, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Danilo,

    In an area of 200,000, fine, but it is impractical in a market of 2,000,000.

    Like you said, it takes time and hard work to develop that knowledge. How easy was it to replace you when you left the team? How many excellent buyer agents would be passed over because they don’t have that knowledge?

    The more important question is how do you know that the same results couldn’t have been obtained with a team that just knew how to sell and close?

  17. Danilo Bogdanovic

    October 13, 2008 at 10:29 am

    It is impossible to be an expert of an area of that size (2M) so yes it is impractical.

    Neither the lead listing agent nor I have been replaced and their sales reflect that. And you can’t be an excellent buyer’s agent if you don’t have that knowledge. Just because you have great closing skills doesn’t make you a good buyer’s agent (nor listing agent).

    Being able to close is great. But if that’s all you can do, then you should stick with inside sales where people come to you (e.g. retail). Real estate is an outside and relationship sales business. You’re basically selling yourself and your expertise (e.g. lawyers, doctors). Being able to close is great, but you have to attract clients to you first. That’s where being able to sell yourself comes into play. That’s where being an expert is key. And the definition of what makes you an expert is where we differ in opinion. That is where we can agree to disagree.

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Opinion Editorials

There is honor in your job, be proud of that

(EDITORIAL) Regardless of what you are doing to make ends meet, whether you have a degree or not, the work you do matters, has honor, and you should be damn proud.

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honor at work

I was walking my dog the other day and as we were passing a construction site I saw a man in the process of cleaning a Port-A-Potty. My first thought was: “I could never do that.”

As quickly as my gag reflex kicked in, I replaced it with a feeling of respect for the man doing the work. I saw him doing his job and I gave him props because there is honor in work. And, just because I don’t think I could do his job doesn’t mean he shouldn’t feel good about his job.

Just like any employee, he was doing a job he may or may not like or enjoy. And, like any worker his job is providing him with funds to build a life. I don’t know his circumstances, but there is no reason to see him with anything but admiration – if only because so many people may think they are better than, smarter than and more deserving than someone taking on a “dirty job”.

When I was growing up in the Chicago area the steel mills were still open and employed thousands of people – mostly men. Then, the jobs moved overseas, the industry tanked and the mills were left vacant, like ghost towns.

So many workers were let go, including my uncle. He had to start over, but he didn’t let it get him down. He used his knowledge of management, recovered and found another position. Yet, many workers were destroyed when they lost their jobs because they felt unskilled And, at the time, the country was in crisis and there weren’t a lot of other jobs available.

Us kids, we saw the mills and thought, “Why would you want to do that?” It was hot, dirty and dangerous. But, for years those jobs provided steady income and benefits, allowing couples to have homes, build families and live decent lives. Those workers may have had many turn their noses up, but they were proud of what they did, because there was honor in it.

As time moved on, the next generation (X that would be) shied away from manufacturing and the trades. More of us bought into the idea of getting a college degree with the expectation we’d find security and high paying jobs.

ROFL!!!

I’d suggest our view of honor in work has been twisted over time. The idea that doing some types of work elevates a person and makes them superior. Or, as my mom would say, they think “their shit doesn’t stink” but it does.

As much as I believed everyone wanted to be rich and drive a Lambo, it wasn’t and isn’t true. Some folks are happy with the status quo. And, that is Okay. While it is quite a letdown to pursue a degree and then potentially end up in a market where your skills are undervalued, it doesn’t mean the work a person does is any less honorable. The experience of being between a rock and a hard place and surviving is much more honorable, in my mind. It requires a belief in oneself and tenacity. It also provides a great learning experience.

True, once upon a time you could get hired at a company, work there for 40 years and retire. But, no longer. Sometimes folks are required to work two part-time gigs and drive for Lyft or Uber, do Instacart to get by. Some folks love driving for ride services, others do it because there is no other option.

And, that is AOK.

Images perpetuated through movies, ads, social media, etc. have been pretty destructive because IMHO we as a society have this distorted view of what a good life is and what appears to be an honorable way to earn a living.

For young folks today, playing video games or starting a YouTube page with make-up tutorials seems like the way to fame and fortune. For others the stock market and clocking 80-hour weeks still seems rational. While others say, forget that, I’m starting my own business because there is no security.

Let me say: There never was security because things change. Appearances just made it appear as if security actually existed.

All of that aside, whatever you do to make ends meet, whatever work you are doing today and hope to do tomorrow, whether your future holds a Porsche or a Civic – or even a bicycle, whether you want to live in a penthouse or are just happy to have a roof over your head, whatever it is you are doing today to get you where you want to be, there is honor in it. Believe it. And, don’t let anyone else’s IG feed make you feel anything other than proud of who you are.

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Opinion Editorials

Could Facebook’s newest censorship tactic decimate an entire industry?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Facebook’s last line of defense seems to be platform censoring and they’re using it to demolish businesses and advocacy groups.

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In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, proclaimed that Facebook was meant to be a platform for all ideas. This was in response to the public’s theory that Zuckerberg was censoring political posts on Facebook. Even then, it was pretty clear that Facebook was, in fact, censoring by removing pages, profiles, and content related to political posts they saw as misleading or inaccurate.

But recently, Facebook seems to be playing both sides of the fence when it comes to censoring, favoring policies supported by well-known organizations like PETA (People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals), self-proclaimed “animal activists” who claim to focus on 4 main areas related to animals and mistreatment in labs, the food industry, the clothing trade, and the entertainment industry.

Of course, it’s also pretty commonly known that they expand beyond their definition pretty often, frequently attacking the beliefs and practices of some of the best pet owners and wildlife activists out there, like Steve Irwin. In February of 2019, PETA even went so far as to tweet a post on Twitter about how much they think Irwin did both before and during his untimely death.

In more recent news, PETA actually purchased Facebook shares. They did this because they were showing videos on Facebook that were gory, disheartening, and downright sad, which Facebook also censored by requiring a warning before their videos played. PETA obviously didn’t like this, so in a strategic retaliation to end the censoring of them, they bought shares in Facebook. This allowed them to attend shareholder meetings and to ask questions of executives.

This was actually a very clever idea on their part, but it is in no way a new idea. Indeed, they’ve purchased shares from companies like Levi, BooHoo, and Louis Vuitton in the past for similar reasons.

But now, with PETA’s involvement with Facebook, policies that previously went un-policed are quickly becoming top-of-mind for the tech giant. Facebook’s official policies have been notoriously obscure and are only really explained in-depth to Facebook employees or legal entities.

Plus, Facebook doesn’t really have a dedicated customer service team, so even if you found and vaguely understood their policies (again, mostly written in a way only a legal team or Facebook employee would understand) there’s no real avenue to get clarification. More recently though, Facebook posted their policies for all of its users to review.

One big policy that PETA’s involvement looks to be affecting is in relation to animal sales and rehoming. Facebook has had a rule against animal sales and rehoming for many years, but until now, many of its users (breeders, rescuers, and animal advocates included) weren’t aware or fearful of it.

That’s quickly changed over the last few months as Facebook’s vendetta against anyone selling, rehoming, or even reposting content with certain key words that remotely resemble animal sales or rehoming, has continued. Not only is Facebook now taking down pages, groups, profiles, Marketplace listings, and even comments. They’re also rejecting fundraisers, which we’ll talk about more in a few minutes.

Another scary thing they’re doing is putting some power in the hands of the typical Facebook user, in the form of a new content-reporting button, like the one below.

facebok report button

With that, it’s no surprise that legitimate and well-known animal breeders, rescues, and even long-time pages/groups are being affected negatively.

Facebook has historically been an outlet for pet owners, breeders, and rescuers alike, and it makes sense why. Facebook is supposed to be a platform where your friends, peers, enemies, and even “frenemies” come together to create an online community. It’s meant to support both the social and business aspects of a user’s life, but in recent months, it’s certainly not living up those standards. The result: Facebook is quickly being abandoned by users – especially animal lovers and those within the pet space.

Let’s take breeders as an example. Breeders often post animals on Facebook. In the past, they’ve posted photos and pricing. This is something they can no longer do.

Legitimate breeders are usually not too pushy, nor do they typically spam. They don’t usually sell on Facebook directly ether, which is what Facebook strictly prohibits. Instead, they opt for a 3rd party service like Paypal or Square, but that makes no difference to Facebook. Although the animals aren’t being sold on the website, just including a picture and a price are enough for them to take content down. In truth, they’re taking pages down left and right as a direct result of the metaphorical pitchfork they’ve handed users (the “report” button).

Now, not all breeders are good, just like not all taco stands are good, but does that really give Facebook the right to censor you or ultimately close your Facebook account down? I don’t think so, and neither do breeders.

I spoke with Scott Poe of Poe’s Pogonas in Corona, California this week, too. He’s a reputable breeder of high-quality Bearded Dragons (a very popular pet). When asked how Facebook’s policies have affected him, he said “It certainly has made it a little challenging to list Dragons as available for sale…”. He goes on to offer Facebook advice, suggesting that they certify vendors on their site to proactively vet through quality breeders who are looking to improve their niche’s gene pool, and not those who are simply looking to make a quick buck.

We agree that, of course, there are bad breeders out there, but putting a blanket policy over an entire niche of business owners is like prohibiting alcohol – it doesn’t work!

If we were to go a little further into this topic, we’d see that Facebook’s stance on policies is actually likely to deter many other business types that don’t sell exactly what Facebook deems to be “appropriate”. Obviously, this type of practice can have a major impact on those types of businesses.

To drive this point home further, ask yourself this: what if Facebook disagreed with the produce or service you provided. Would you be okay with them taking your page down, one you’ve worked hard at and one with a lot of followers? How would you feel if 3rd party users, who are not even Facebook employees, started reporting you based on their own beliefs?

It’s important to note that Facebook does seem to allow you to post if you are a brick and mortar, so pet stores, you may be safe… for now.

The same logic applies to animal rescuers, except that rescues are most often not for profit. Facebook doesn’t discriminate though, so if you do rescue (even as a person and not a group), they’ll treat you exactly the same way as they do for animal sales-related posts. What we know is that this will absolutely crush any attempts to re-home or adopt out animals in need.

There are a growing number of animals in need of homes, many of which will actually be put down at kill shelters if not adopted within a 3-5 day period, and with Facebook’s policies in place, it has essentially banned helping animals and their advocates through their platform.

To understand more clearly, I reached out to Jeff Stewart, one of the founders of Sunshine’s Shoulders Rescue in Tenaha, Texas, about their experience. He and his wife run a rescue out of their home. Stewart, like most other rescues, rely on donations from a few people to help feed and give care to their rescues, and while they have a vet that works with them on their bills, sometimes it’s not enough.

Stewart goes on to say that he used to do Facebook fundraisers, but there were two issues that forced him to stop. First, Facebook takes a cut of any fundraiser on Facebook, so if you’re donating to a charity, just know that all of those funds are not going to the charity of your choice and are, in reality, lining Facebook’s pockets. The second reason they stopped was due to Facebook’s declining of their fundraisers. Stewart said, “The past 3 times we have tried to have a fundraiser I have gotten a message telling me that it goes against community standards.”

He goes on to say that “the new [Facebook] policy also prevents us from finding adoptive homes for any of our animals through the FB platform.”

Due to the issues they’ve encountered with the platform, Stewart can no longer take in rescues. They’re costs for dog food alone are upwards of $500/month and their vet bills can get pretty extreme, too, reaching more than $2000 a times (even with the negotiated pricing from the vet). And it’s no wonder why they have to stop. Without the support from Facebook patrons, they’re paying for all rescue products and services 100% out of their own pocket.

To clarify though, Facebook’s policies surrounding rehoming are pretty vague. They strictly say no to “live animals”, but they don’t draw any conclusive lines as to what that could mean for a legitimate rescue who has paid their dues (literally) to become an official nonprofit organization. However, because the power now lies in the hands of the Facebook user, discretion seems to be up to them as to what they deem inappropriate.

Playing devil’s advocate here, there are many animals in need of homes as a direct result of a lack of regulation when it comes to pet ownership and breeding. I definitely agree that these things need to be monitored and regulated, but by censoring content for both entities, Facebook appears to be taking a very strong stance that they don’t want to be involved at all with animal-related content unless it’s funny, cute, or meme-worthy.

Finally, it’s important to know that although Facebook seems to want you to learn what you’re doing wrong, they definitely don’t act like they do. When a user is reported, Facebook will let you know. If you disagree with their assessment, you can appeal it. However, again, there’s no way (no easy way, at least) to talk to a real person. Often times the reported post will come back to the poster with some kind of vague warning that doesn’t go into details on what they did wrong. That means that even when your posts are taken down, you may have no idea as to why.

At the end of the day, Facebook does have the right to choose which policies to include and which to enforce, but it’s pretty clear that they don’t really have an understanding of how any of this is impacting their users.

I have one tip for Facebook: I invite you to take another look at your policies (as well as who’s supporting them and what their agenda is), reporting capabilities, and education on restrictions when reported and to consider lifting some of the bans on animal-related posts, groups, pages, and ads. It’s affecting the livelihoods of thousands of breeders and rescuers worldwide, as well as in-need animals that desperately need a home.

Note: The author has years of experience with breeding bearded dragons as well as marketing, and has unique insight into the aforementioned online niche.

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Opinion Editorials

Relax and refresh with our office life movie list

(EDITORIAL) Whether you are considering a new career path or not we have a movie list to pique your interest, and just maybe motivate as much as they entertain.

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Movie projector

It’s a new year! Woot! Maybe you’re feeling in a work funk and are rethinking your goals and future trajectory. Whether you need something to push you in a new direction, motivate you, make you think about where your career is going, or just to entertain, here are 10 movies about work, work ethic and how we can change our career path by just changing our mind.

Top 10 Movies About Work

1. Glengarry Glen Ross: This take on David Mamet’s play is at the top of the list. If you haven’t seen it, where have you been? If you have, it’s a good one to revisit. This ones got it all raw reality, ego, desperation and some surprising plot twists all with an outstanding cast. If you are in sales, don’t miss this. And, Millennials, take note. You will one day be in the same place as those old fogies – aka Boomers. Oh, and, remember, “Coffee is for closers.”

2. His Gal Friday: An oldie and a goodie with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell as an editor and reporter who worked together, married and then divorced. This slapstick movie is great for a peek inside media, especially journalism, because it shows the lengths that reporters and editors will go to in order to get the scoop. The movie has great dialog and is timeless. It also shows how fast things can move, which is still relevant today especially with social media and the life of a news story moves even faster.

3. Up In The Air: A hatchet man learns his job is being tweaked. He will no longer need to fly, and now the tables are turned and he is unhappy with his fate. This movie can be a challenge to watch if you recently lost a job. But, one lesson learned is that work isn’t everything, so live your life.

4. Office Space: A funny take on work and life and the balance between the two. Regardless of where you are employed, there are rules, regulations and office BS that can be on the one hand completely pathetic and on the other so laughable. It’s always better to laugh, rather than cry. Oh, and do not touch the red stapler.

5. Working Girl: Maybe you missed this one because it dates back to the days when shoulder pads ruled the workplace and women still wore nylons. Melanie Griffith portrays a secretary (remember this is before that changed to assistant) who is great at what she does. She’s got goals and dreams to take her career to the next level. But, she’s not taken seriously at the investment firm where she works. Sigourney Weaver is the boss and she will do whatever she needs to stay on top. Griffith has a twist-of-fate meeting with Harrison Ford, another executive and she takes a chance on herself and her future. This movie has big hair, humor and a love story to boot.

6. Good Will Hunting: Ok. This one isn’t necessarily about work. But, I picked it because it’s an example of what can happen when you let your past hold you back and you don’t pursue your dreams. We have Matt Damon (Will) a janitor at a prestigious university and his friend Ben Affleck, a brick layer. Damon portrays a guy with a rough past who is going through the motions until he has to work with a psychologist played by Robin Williams. He’s forced to consider his past and his future. He has a gift but what will he do? His friend, Affleck, wants him to pursue bigger things, but can Damon let go of his past and embrace his gift?

7. The Devil Wears Prada: Ah, the evil queen and the naïve princess. That may seem like a different story, but it is a similar plot line with a triumphant finish. Anne Hathaway portrays Andrea who is fresh out of school and lands a job at a prestigious fashion magazine. The fact that she had never read the magazine and got the job is beyond surprising, but regardless she lands the job and works for Miranda, played by Meryl Streep. Streep’s character is a Diva and a demanding and horrible boss. She challenges Andrea on multiple levels. Will Andrea become a workaholic like her boss? As they say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

8. 9-to-5: Way before the Me Too movement there was Fonda, Parton and Tomlin as three office employees who are sick and tired of their chauvinistic boss, played by Dabney Coleman. The women begin to plot for revenge and take their boss hostage in his home. In the meantime, they begin making changes at the office.

9. The Pursuit of Happyness: If you think your life is rough, maybe reconsider for a moment. This is a story about a man who was determined. He was pushing forward and as much as he was pushing, it seemed that he couldn’t get ahead. But he was resolved in the belief that he could and would make his life better for himself and his son. There is a great quote that says: “The harder I work, the luckier I am.” This movie shows that out.

10. Rocky: This movie made Sylvester Stallone. He wrote it and that my friends is a great story of tenacity too, because before Rocky Stallone was basically a nobody. Rocky is a nobody boxer who gets the chance to take on the reigning champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). He busts his ass and does whatever it takes to get the job done. This is a story of endurance, dedication and taking a chance on yourself.

This list is not comprehensive, but we hope you find inspiration, motivation and some laughs too. And, remember, work is not who you are, it’s what you do. Now, go get some popcorn and candy and take a break.

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