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If you haven’t seen La La Land yet, beware, this article contains *SPOILERS* look away and come back to us as soon as you leave the movie theatre.

La La Land has captivated the heart and soul of not only the Hollywood Foreign Press, but the entire world as evidenced by sporadic shoe-scuffing renditions of “city of stars…” breaking out across the nation and the wheelbarrow loads of awards, director Damien Chazelle, is calling his own. 

The debate so far, (apart from trying to convince your friends who don’t ‘get’ musicals to give it a try) has been over the bittersweet love-ending. Which I won’t discuss here. You’re on LinkedIn, not Facebook and you’re probably wondering what a recruitment consultant, is doing wailing on about musicals anyway.

So, I’ll get to the point.

La La Land is plunging people into an existential life crisis and it doesn’t have to be this way.

Hollywood has been entertaining us with love stories since the dawn of time. They vary from saccharine to tragic, we’re used to it. Much rarer, is the movie which successfully champions the issues of job satisfaction and career aspirations as La La Land does.

Yes, the movie tracks the love affair of Seb and Mia, but the real star of the show are their respective careers. Their wildest career goals are realised in beautiful technicolour before our very eyes and after the curtain closes many of us had to answer hard questions about our own career choices. Seb and Mia put their career aspirations before their relationship, and it worked. Would that have worked for any of us?

As a recruitment consultant, I’ve spoken to many candidates relocating for love. We get to know our candidates well and give people space to discuss important career and life-changing decisions with their partners/ cats/family and friends. The impetus for a job search is often powered by a change in people’s circumstances: contractors becoming parents and wanting to take on permanent roles near a good school, permanent staffers wanting to ease themselves away from full-time work with contract positions, or simply looking for more frequent salary increases with more mouths to feed.

It would be careless not to acknowledge the impact that our relationships have on our career choices, but studies are showing that the modern candidate may be moving closer to the ‘career fulfilment’ approach, somewhere between the Seb & Mia career-first model and the traditional relationship-first approach.

That is, people are pursuing their dreams and getting job satisfaction in inventive ways by supplementing a steady paycheck with a job of passion. Dual-industry candidates are on the rise and we don’t see it subsiding.

In an age where there is an online tutorial for anything you could possibly want to learn, free MOOCs starting every month and even online certifications, the bright lights of your wildest career aspirations are closer and closer.

What’s more is that dual-careerism isn’t just for young candidates. Any candidate who has come out of La La Land feeling that their ambitions were dwarfed by Mia’s persistence to continue auditioning after 6 years of rejections, doesn’t have to despair.

You don’t have to be willing to live from a piano tip jar to get more work-fulfilment. Start with simple questions. Which job of passion would you make time for? What are the steps, courses or actions you’ll need to take to get? Then think about how you make it work with your current career.

Jacques de la Bouillerie, MD of Coople predicts that in 2017

“companies will start waking up to the value of not only providing flexible working hours, but respecting flexible careers that mean employees work for more than one industry simultaneously.”


Join a tap dancing troupe, meetup with coders, sign-up to a mooc and who knows where you’ll be in 5 years’ time.  Damien Chazelle released the highly acclaimed Whiplash only 5 years after his directorial debut- who knows what you’ll be able to accomplish.

*fades out whilst humming “city of stars…” *




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