From Minion to Sidekick: A Guide to an Evil Career
So you landed your dream job, working for the next big bad, but how do you climb the slippery (and occasionally slimy) career ladder? Frequently to get a toe in the door to working for an evil overlord you will be starting right at the bottom as a humble, low-paid minion. Expect long hours, poor (if any) pay, and have to put up with frequently being a test subject for the inventions that the evil genius has come up with. With little to no job security as you may be fired, fired at or caught in the cross-fire when those goodies come to put a stop to everything you want to get out of the minion-status pronto, become a henchman quickly and then aim for the heady heights of being numero uno sidekick. Don’t worry, with a lot of dedication and hard work you can achieve your goals if you follow our fool proof guide.
Step 1: Understand your job role at every stage
Minions are there to do the grunt work and be test subjects for the higher ups. Your job here is to not get your career cut short by either the goodie-two shoes heroes, or by your bosses. Aim to spend as little time as possible in this position, it is hard and dangerous work.
As a henchman you are there to make everybody above you look better than they are. This means you need to act the fool and make stupid mistakes at every opportunity. This gives your direct managers the ability to look competent in comparison and make your evil overlord seem even more of a wicked genius. Of course, in this role you also need to secure your position and get a promotion, so strike a good balance of being effective most of the time and foolish some of the time. Perfect this and you will go far.
As a sidekick your role is often to provide the comic element to the team, so make sure you are up to speed with your puns and one-liners. You are also in charge of day-today operations and the nitty-gritty parts of the big plan. You are also there to say yes to everything your boss says (see point X) and to prove a thorn in the side of any annoying hero who wants to save the day by scuppering your dastardly plans. However, do not engage with any heroes in serious combat – this is the job of your boss and he won’t thank you for trying to take over.
Step 2: Become indispensable
You are going to want to work on this very quickly – you will be up against steep competition and have an irrational and tempestuous employer. Make sure you carve a niche for yourself which means no one can get rid of you without facing problems. Perhaps you are the only one who knows the order of switches to turn on the big-evil-o-matic, or the only one capable of using the neopoint extractor. If so, your rise up the ladder is going to be swift and assured. You need to guard your secrets carefully however to prevent others taking your place. Don’t worry if you don’t have anything obvious – find out someone else’s secret! You can also make sure you pay close attention to any new developments and get involved early to create these opportunities. Don’t stop at one either – the more things only you know, the more indispensable you become.
Step 3: Stand out, but not too much
You want to be noticed and invisible. You need to show that you are a good player in this game and be positively thought of by your superiors, but you don’t want them to think about you too much (until you’re prepared). Too much attention is problematic for multiple reasons: creating jealousy amongst co-workers, making your line-manager worried about their job security, and those that get noticed often tend to be the ones who get ‘randomly selected’ for invention testing. You might end up being turned into a pool of slime, just when you thought you were employee of the month. So take care to find the right balance, until you’ve lined up your ducks and are ready to jump.
Step 4: Be vigilant
You are going to make some enemies, but let’s face it – you aren’t going into the evil business looking to make friends! If you are determined to succeed you will face tough competition from others who will be looking to take your place by any means necessary so you need to keep alert. You also need to be alert to any threats from your evil overlord, if they are having a bad day then keep well out of the way lest they take out their frustrations on you. There is also a constant worry of any possible ‘heroes’ who may try and stop the overlord’s plans. This means you may get caught up in any conflict – as a minion be prepared to take cover and be ready to fill the shoes of those who aren’t as clever – you might just get an unexpected promotion.
Step 5: Work hard and reap rewards
You may think that ‘Working hard’ is hardly a tip worth saying. However, you need to remember step 3: working too hard may make you stand out. So what I mean here is that you need to work hard behind the scenes, on your own little plans. Yes don’t get caught loafing around, and pull your weight, but if you want to rise through the ranks then you have a lot of work to do. You need to make strategic allies, plan every move you make in advance and find your niche. You need to make sure you are always in the right place at the right time, ready to take advantage of any unexpected opportunities and that you are never, never in the wrong place at the wrong time. This takes skill, strategy and no small amount of luck, so be prepared to be working long hours over and above your day job to make sure that it is you that gets that promotion.
Step 6: Don’t be averse to creating promotion opportunities / job openings
Perhaps you are doing everything right, but there is no movement of people above you for you to progress in your new career. Well, if the so-called heroes don’t take care of this for you, then who is to say you couldn’t arrange a little ‘accident’ in order to get some job openings. Of course, you must plan this very carefully, we don’t want any repercussions coming back on you if things go wrong. Don’t worry about your overlord finding out though – they like to see this kind of creative thinking initiative from their workers so successfully achieving this can be a very good career move in the long run. Plus any colleague was thinking about taking you on is likely to think twice if you have proven your effectiveness.
Step 7: Don’t get too good, or too arrogant
Once you reach the heady heights of sidekick you will be feeling pretty good about yourself. Well, don’t overdo it – your boss may think you are trying to take over from him and will nip any perceived threat in the bud quickly. Remain humble in their company and don’t get too efficient. Aim to be shouted at once a week to maintain a good balance of being the best sidekick but still maintaining the balance of not being too good.
Step 8: Your boss is always right
Many despotic leaders have fragile egos and powerful weapons so it is very important to manage your communications well. Many a sidekick wannabe has had their career cut short with a poorly timed criticism of the plan. Of course, constructive criticism may help the plans progress, but be very, very careful. Approach at the right time, say how much you like about the plan and blame anyone else but your boss for the minor flaws (this is a good time to get rid of any pesky colleagues) and suggest slight changes – give your boss credit for these ideas even though you thought of them. The answer is always yes, or blame a colleague.
In short, you have chosen a tough career, but one with many opportunities for those who are smart enough to create them. You will find the rise from humble minion to evil sidekick is thoroughly enjoyable and very rewarding to those who succeed. Be careful, plan well and don’t make any mistakes. Your overlord is waiting.