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.
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.
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.
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.
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.