Growing up, many of us probably wanted to be ballerinas, or teachers, or policewomen, or actresses, but why didn’t any of us consider the job of a Charlie’s Angel? Judging from the TV series and movies, it appears that they have more rotating jobs than Barbie, making this ever-changing trio who we should actually aspire to be. Try fitting everything a Charlie’s Angel can do on a one-page CV.
So while we know they can kick butt and are usually super smart and each has some sort of must-need trait for times of crisis, what does a Charlies Angel actually do? Because while it sounds great to be able to put “saving the world” on your LinkedIn, you’re going to need a little bit more information than just that to secure your next role — unless you aspire to be someone behind the scenes, like a Bosley.
With the newly rebooted Charlie’s Angels now in cinemas and their girl power stronger than ever, it’s time to once and for all figure out what these ladies really do for a living, so we can then figure out how to submit our own CV for the position. Hopefully, they’re hiring!
The Original Series, 1976-1981
The original premise of the show is that three ladies had recently graduated from the police academy, but instead of being put out in the field they were assigned to be meter maids and crossing guards. Knowing they’ve got more skills, they’re recruited to work for the mysterious unseen Charlie Townsend. Here, it’s pretty cut and dry as to what they are: They’re former police officers putting their skills to different uses.
As the show continued and different cast members were rotated in and out, they all shared a common theme of being police academy graduates (but one of them was a former private investigator). But still, all generally from the same background and training, making it pretty easy to pick out qualified candidates.
The 2000 Movie
When the Angels make it to the big screen for the first time, they’re still working as private investigators for Charlie but now they’re coming from a wide variety of backgrounds.
There’s a whole scene at the beginning of the movie explaining how each Angel came to be — one of them brilliant and a skilled driver and pilot; another works for NASA in her spare time and is an expert at fencer; while the last is actually a former police trainee who was kicked out and has since held odd jobs here and there. So no real common thread for these ladies. It appears more as if they were sought out for their skills and recruited in to fill a hole Charlie needed rather than fitting a job description.
The 2019 Movie
No major spoilers for the latest Charlie’s Angels movie are ahead, I promise!
But once again, we’ve got three ladies who come together from different backgrounds, with one being a former MI-6 agent, and another a skilled scientist. Doesn’t sound like any of them come with a police history background, but they’re still fighting and stopping crime in their own way. The movie shows how the Townsend Agency has gone international, with hundred of Angels all over the world. It is also about how another Angel is recruited into their ranks, so we get to see firsthand the many, many, many steps of the Angel training process.
Okay, So What Is An Angel's Job, Actually?
Unless one of us gets the opportunity to sit down with writer/director Elizabeth Banks and ask her these tough questions, it certainly appears as if all these Angels have a skill set that includes kicking, punching, getting out of tight spots, and using their street and book smarts to stop bad guys. It certainly appears that none of them do follow-up paperwork or incident reports, so hopefully someone else is doing all their bookkeeping.
A true job description for them would probably be something incredibly vague, since you’re never going to post something on Indeed that just states “must be okay with espionage.” I'd wager, this wide open JD would read something like:
"Candidates should come with a highly desirable skill set in their respective field and be able to work under pressure, in a variety of environments. This role is very physically demanding. Must be willing to travel internationally."
And while the Angels rarely seem to pay for anything, from food to clothing, I'd wager the salary is way more than minimum wage and considering all the punches these gals take, I'm going to hope Charlie does have his most active Angels on the payroll and they’re receiving nice benefits and bonuses. A job that means almost dying every time you go to work should probably go ahead and provide health insurance. And definitely a 401k. Close that wage gap, Angels!