How to Become a Helpful Little F*cker in 3 Easy Steps

Practical career advice for the naturally obstinate

I wasn't always the Helpful Little F*cker. After working many years to rise to the lower middle, my agency crumbled and I was forced to leave the cozy world of a staffer to become a freelancer. 

The biggest reason why I only climbed to the lower middle was my terrible attitude. And now, as a freelancer, it was obvious that I was unemployable by attitude alone. 

You see, naturally, I'm negative, lazy, hateful, spiteful and mean. Not the makings of a huge success story. I decided that if I wanted to keep working, I needed to kill what was most precious of all to me: myself. 

So I stopped being Steve Peckingham and became the Helpful Little F*cker, a pleasantly obsequious, energetic, positive, insightful, caring—and totally fake—character I play when I'm working. 

As it turns out, people love the Helpful Little F*cker. Even when they know he's fake. They can't help it. You know why? He makes their life easier.

You see, as the HLF, I can approach mind-numbing and soul-crushing tasks with a collaborative spirit and unbridled enthusiasm. Why? Because he's not me. Truthfully, he's made working a positive and productive experience. And the good news is, anyone can be a Helpful Little F*cker. 

All you have to do is fire your ego. 

Helpful Little Advice: Learn to Let Go

Sure, you and your ego have been together for a long time. Your ego has nursed your wounds many times after bad meetings and told you, "They were stupid." You know what? Your ego was lying to you. You were probably the one being stupid. Or at least, you misread the situation and delivered something they didn't want. You gave them what you and your fancy-pants ego wanted.

Eventually, you have a choice between you and your ego being unemployed or you being employed. When this happens, it's time for a parting of the ways.

Step 1: The Firing

Here's how you fire your ego. On a Friday afternoon or Monday morning, whichever day your company's HR department uses to fire people, ask your ego for "a quick chat." 

Keep it casual.

Your ego will have no idea what's coming. They typically have no aptitude for what others are thinking. Calmly, tell your ego that you are moving in a new direction and while you appreciate all the years of service, it's time to pack up a sadbox®, trademark Jaci Sisson 2015, and move on.

If your ego agrees to this, consider yourself lucky. Egos are rarely this accommodating.

They'll plead to keep their position. They'll beg. They'll promise things they can't deliver. That's what egos do. They're snakes. Rats. Ready to do anything to stay alive. 

Now, get ready for step two. I have never seen an ego leave on the first request. I don't expect yours will, either. After all, you've been clinging to this crutch forever. 

Step 2: The Beatdown

Your ego will keep coming to work like nothing ever happened. What an asshole! You knew being polite wouldn't work. You tried being civil. Time for a new tack.

From here, you can do it any way you'd like, but it loosely goes something like this. Follow your ego to its car, check to see if anyone is around, and if the coast is clear, give your ego a quick and severe beating and tell it if you ever see it around here again, things won't go so easily. 

Step 3: The Assassination

Your ego is tougher than you thought. The beating was probably a waste of time. Turns out that ego of yours is a real fighter. That's why you have to put it out of its misery. 

There's no way around it. If you want to be a Helpful Little F*cker, your ego must be killed. But not gangster style. That still has some ego in it. This deed must be done with sensitivity and respect. Take a moment and say some words about how you need to kill this ego to sustain your own life. It's a necessary evil. Then sneak into the room and put the pillow over the ego. It will fight. Stay strong. You are doing the right thing. When the struggling subsides, it is done.

You are free.

Now you can let the Helpful Little F*cker inside you blossom.

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Steve Peckingham
Steve Peckingham is perfectly suited for the advertising business due to unresolved parental issues that leave him perpetually seeking approval despite disappointment after bitter disappointment.

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