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8 documentaries to watch to help further your career

The most successful people make sure to keep learning, which is why they tend to be big readers.

If business and career books don't hit home for you, you have another great option: Films. Here are eight documentaries that will make you smarter about leadership, business and money and provide plenty of entertainment, too.

"Freakonomics"

The 2010 film, based on the bestselling book by journalist Stephen Dubner and economist Steven Levitt, sheds light on human behavior through hilarious, and oftentimes provocative, case studies.

You'll learn what learn what motivates you as a consumer, and what motivates your customers, employees, bosses and colleagues, too.

Stream it on Netflix

"Steve Jobs: One Last Thing"

The visionary co-founder of Apple did things his own way. Jobs, who was obsessed with product details and marketing, has been credited with transforming Apple and changing several industries, including technology, retail and entertainment. He was also a driven and sometimes ruthless manager.

The 2011 PBS documentary will give you a glimpse into Jobs' talent, management style and imagination, and teach you how marketing is as important as the product you're selling.

Rent it from Amazon

"One Week Job"

Still have no idea what you want to do with your life? After graduating from college, Sean Aiken struggled with that exact question, so he decided to work 52 jobs in 52 weeks to determine his passion.

The 2010 documentary follows him as he explores professions ranging from Hollywood producer and stock trader to NHL mascot and real estate agent. To get closer to answering the question, "What do I want to do with my life?" Aiken asks himself and his employers about the nature of success and real meaning of happiness.

Rent it from Amazon

"Iris"

Albert Maysles' documentary about the life of 95-year-old fashion icon Iris Apfel is a story about the power of creativity. Apfel, who worked on interior and restoration design projects for nine presidents in the White House, built her empire by following her own quirky style and breaking rules along the way.

Despite her great success, the quick-witted icon continues to value hard work, which she says is her fountain of youth. "There's always a way," Apfel tells CNBC. "There is always a way for anything. Period. If you want something badly enough and you work hard at it, you achieve it. I absolutely guarantee it."

Stream it on Netflix

"Jiro Dreams of Sushi"

The 2011 documentary profiles Jiro Ono, the first sushi chef to receive three Michelin stars. Japan has called him a "national treasure," and yet the 91-year-old master says he still has room to improve: "Even at my age, in my work I haven't reached perfection. ... I'll continue to climb, trying to reach the top, but no one knows where the top is!"

The documentary reveals how dedication and hard work can pay off.

Stream it on Netflix

"Somm"

If you're looking to turn your passion into a career, this documentary will inspire you. "Somm" follows a group of four men attempting to pass the notoriously difficult master sommelier, or wine steward, exam, a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world.

Plus, you'll get a glimpse into the particulars of wine production and consumption around the world.

Stream it on Netflix

"Don't Look Down"

There's rarely a dull moment with Richard Branson. This 2016 documentary tells the story behind the billionaire's attempt to break world records crossing the Atlantic and Pacific in a hot air balloon.

"These epic adventures and brushes with death have shaped me to become the person I am today in fact they have been pivotal to my success in life; teaching me so many valuable skills and lessons, which I have applied to both business and every day life," the entrepreneur writes on his blog.

Rent it from Amazon

"Broke"

Part of ESPN's 30 for 30 series, this 2012 documentary reveals how professional athletes have gone from rags to riches and back again in only a few years.

Their stories teach an important lesson about lifestyle inflation — and although "Broke" focuses on high-profile athletes, it makes clear that anyone is susceptible to financial ruin.

Rent it from Amazon

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