10 Career Lessons From Disney Villains

This article was originally published on ComeRecommended.com.

Obviously Disney villains are evil — that’s the whole point. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn some excellent career lessons from them. After all, most of them had excellent careers going until they met our heroes.

As a follow-up to last week’s lessons from Disney heroes, here are 10 lessons from Disney villains you can apply to your job search:

Do the work yourself, like the Evil Queen. In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Evil Queen starts off by using her huntsman to do her dirty work. When he lets her down, she takes matters into her own hands and decides to get the job done herself. In your job search, it’s OK to rely on others for help sometimes. But, it’s important to remember you are the only one who knows exactly what you want and how badly you want it.

 Evil Queen

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Turn your fears into motivation, like Captain Hook. Before we meet Captain Hook in Peter Pan, a lot has happened in his life. Apparently, Peter cut off Hook’s left hand during a fight and fed it to the crocodile. Now Hook is terrified of the crocodile, who has developed a taste for Hook. In your career, it is important to not to give up when your outlook seems bleak. Don’t give up when you lose an opportunity. Instead, use it as motivation to find an even better option.

Captain Hook

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Have a signature look, like Cruella de Vil. Ok, you obviously don’t want to look like Cruella. She has black and white hair and wears pounds of fur. But it is important to have a consistent, professional look. This mostly applies to your online profiles. All of your professional profiles should feature the same professional photo, or you should at least wear similar clothes in them. Consistency makes you memorable to recruiters.

Cruella de Vil

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Remember the importance of body language, like Ursula. During Ursula’s big number, Poor Unfortunate Souls, Ariel asks how she can possibly get Eric to fall in love with her if she can’t speak. Ursula tells her, “Don’t underestimate the importance of body language.” Yes, Ursula is evil and she is talking more about flirting than giving career advice, but it still stands. Eighty percent of communication is nonverbal. Remember that when you’re headed into job interviews and networking events.


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Brag about your accomplishments, like Gaston. Gaston has a whole song in Beauty and the Beast dedicated to his accomplishments. His adoring fans sing, “No one fights like Gaston, douses lights like Gaston. In a wrestling match nobody bites like Gaston. No one hits like Gaston, matches wits like Gaston. In a spitting match nobody spits like Gaston.” He also brags about eating five dozen eggs every day and using antlers in all of his decorating. Yes, Gaston goes way overboard on the bragging thing, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t do it at all. It’s important to be proud of the accomplishments in your career. Brag a little, enough to show your value to recruiters.


Image Credit: Tumblr

Be persistent, like Jafar. In Aladdin, Jafar never stops trying to get the magic lamp in order to be the most powerful in Agrabah. In order to gain power, he hypnotizes the Sultan. He searches for the Genie’s lamp, tricks Aladdin into retrieving it for him, tries to marry Jasmine, attempts to kill Aladdin by drowning him, steals the lamp, wishes for the throne, wishes to be a sorcerer, banishes Aladdin, and wishes to be a genie. No matter how many of these plans fail, Jafar continues trying. He says to Aladdin, ”How many times do I have to kill you, boy?” Persistence is an important quality in a job seeker. Don’t give up just because one path doesn’t work out. There are infinite roads to success.


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Be Prepared, like Scar. In The Lion King, Scar sings a whole song about being prepared. This goes for everything in your job search: interviews, networking events, new jobs, etc. Each of these experiences requires a different set of things you’ll need to prepare. Whether it’s research beforehand or physical things to bring with you, always be prepared.


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Take fate into your own hands, like Hades. At the beginning of Hercules, the Fates tell Hades that Hercules will thwart his plan to vanquish the gods if he fights in 18 years. Hades decides to control his fate by concocting an evil plan to make Hercules mortal. In your life, don’t listen to people who tell you how your career should be planned out. If you want something to happen, make it happen yourself. You control your own fate.


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Take a cue from the pros, like Syndrome. Buddy Pine, a.k.a. Syndrome, is the main villain in The Incredibles. As a child, he looked up to Mr. Incredible and wanted to be just like him. He channeled his childhood love for the superhero into his adult career as a weapons designer. In your own career, it’s a good idea to find a mentor. Channel your mentor and take cues from the things that make them so successful. Syndrome eventually takes it too far, attempting to destroy Mr. Incredible, but we know you won’t do anything like that.


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Sometimes Mother Knows Best, like Mother Gothel. When Rapunzel asks to leave the tower, in Tangled, Mother Gothel sings a lengthy song called Mother Knows Best. While we now know Mother Gothel does not know best, sometimes your mother just might. Whatever parental figure you have in your life, sometimes it is a good idea to ask them if you’re on the right path. You don’t always have to follow their advice, but they do have your best interest at heart. Their opinion might be just what you need to make that tough decision.

Mother Gothel

Image Credit: Tumblr

In Disney movies, the bad guys are always conquered by the heroes. That doesn’t mean job seekers can’t learn something from them. Just avoid taking following in their footsteps so literally.

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

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