Step 1: Be Italian
We’ve all seen "Goodfellas" and we know that Ray Liotta’s Henry Hill could never be a "made man" because he was half Irish and half Italian. The rule is, you’ve gotta be Italian to join the mob. Even if this wasn’t one of the principles of "La Cosa Nostra," you’d have to be a real douche to try to climb up the ranks of the mob with the last name "Hill." Can you imagine having a bunch of gorilla-sized, hairy-knuckled Italian dudes reporting to "Don Hill"?
Not gonna happen. If you’re not Italian, don’t waste your time with the Mafia like Hill and Jimmy Conway (the character played by Robert De Niro in "Goodfellas") did. There are plenty of other crime organizations with their own unique sets of guidelines you can try to join, like the Latin Kings, the Yakuza or the Bloods.
If you are Italian, ask around in your community and you should pretty easily be able to find a link to organized crime, be it an illegal card game or a sandwich spot that’s really a front for the mob. Once you’ve discovered your link, you’ll want to casually ingratiate yourself to the scene… don’t come on too strongly or they’ll think you’re a rat and they’ll most likely shoot you.
Step 2: Go to jail
Jail, like middle school, is a desperate place where lots of life-long relationships are forged. When you’re thrown in with the worst-of-the-worst, you have to prove you can hang with the big boys or the big boys will be shoving their big members down your throat.
If you’re an Italian-American guy who’s about to go to jail, turn that frown upside down. If you play your cards right, you can turn your bid into a lucrative new career. Quickly associate with the Italians behind bars and prove yourself a valuable member of their group. We won’t suggest any specific deeds you should do for liability reasons, so we’ll just say it should be something valuable and memorable.
Once you get out, your reputation will be cemented and you’ll be well on your way to a career in the loose network of Italian-American organized crime.
Step 3: Wait your turn
Everyone remembers Morrie from "Goodfellas," right? He’s the guy who wouldn’t shut up about getting his cut of the money the guys pulled off in their big heist. Well, take note of Morrie’s cautionary tale.
The Mafia is not like an Investment Banking job — being assertive doesn’t help you get promoted. If you step out of turn at your banking job, you’ll either get fired… or you’ll get promoted. If you step out of turn in the Mafia, you’ll either end up buried in concrete or buried in the woods outside Providence, RI.
Be a good earner, do as your boss asks, laugh at the right jokes, wince at the wrong ones and keep your head down and you should be fine.
Step 4: Have some balls
If you’ve been waiting your turn for quite some time and there’s been no movement, however, it’s time to go to plan b — grow a pair and pull a drastic move.
John Gotti became the head of the Gambino crime family after he orchestrated the murder of then-Gambino boss Paul Castellano. With the right guys and the right pair of balls, you can jump ahead in line. But you have to be ready and willing to get popped by just about everybody if you pursue this route.
Step 5: Keeps the rats and snakes away
If you’ve managed your way into the mob, congrats! You’re part of a select club that included Al Capone, Carlo Gambino and Lucky Luciano. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to rest easy from here on out. You’ll have to make sure you keep the cops, the rats and the snakes in check.
Distrust everyone, frequently plant confusing and false information and in general say as little as you humanly can. And at the end of the day, you’ll probably have to kill some people too.
Hey, we never said being in the Mafia would be easy.