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Lessons From Cardi B. We Can Apply To Our Own Career

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Jun. 5 2019, Published 4:35 a.m. ET

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Your career is about more than finding a seat at the table, it’s about figuring out how to bring a uniqueness that only you embody.

It’s a constant tension, trying to balance authenticity while achieving success within workplace cultures. In fact, 33% of respondents for a Deloitte survey said that being authentic is one of “the biggest accelerators helping your personal career advancement.” To explore this notion, let’s consider, entertainer Cardi B.

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According to National Public Radio (NPR), The Cardi B. effect is:

“A branding power rooted in specific authenticity, created and permeated by rapper Cardi B. Behaviors associated with the Cardi B. effect include blunt honesty, rapping, laughing, mild to moderate twerking, tongue-curling, teeth-kissing, chart-topping and regular degular Bronx girl antics.”

It goes without saying that most of these behaviors are not seen in your typical workplace, but maybe there is something to consider here. In what ways can your own “antics” emerge as you evolve in your career? A ForbesWomen article by Joan Kuhl, Dear Women, Stop Stifling Your Authenticity, affirms that bringing your truth contributes to a more dynamically inclusive workplace.

So, who do you say you are? And what are the values, motives, passions, and visions you have for yourself and our world? Success in your career must be grounded in knowing what your “north star” (goal and mission) is, according to, Watchen Nyanue, Vice President of Marketing Partnerships for the WNBA’s Chicago Sky, and Founder of I Choose The Ladder. Keeping your ‘why’ in mind will bring you closer to that north star.

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With that, let’s see how lessons from the Cardi B. can align with your career:

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  • Authenticity: It is alright to be you. The journey towards yourself is ongoing and filled with constant self-discovery, so make sure to do this with loved ones near. Nyanue shared that the character of the people that you surround yourself with is critical, emphasizing “my circle has never ever let me hit the ground”. Your journey happens alongside those that are working to make the tough moments in your career a little more manageable.
  • Create and permeate: You have to believe in your innate ability to create, it is invaluable. A great source for tapping into this is the book The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron. As you create and continue learning the “boundaries of the environment” that you work with, as Nyanue puts it, you’ll find how to bring your antics in.
  • Blunt honesty: This comes from knowing your truth. This is important to note, as being honest is supported by tuning in to the stories, experiences, and perspectives that you hold within yourself. Take the time to know them and find practices that support your continued development. Mental wellness is important in your career.
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  • Rap, laugh, twerk, tongue curl, and teeth-kiss: Not literally, of course (although a good dance session is always needed). Take a moment to google “Okurr” and sit with the more than one million Cardi B. references. Also, also note that she is seeking to trademark this expression). What will your trademark be?
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  • Be regular: Who you are is enough. Even when you encounter your hardest moments, and are pushed to challenging points, the most regular you is still a big and powerful you. This does not mean being impermeable to your own change (remember the balance between yourself and the workplace environment). Embrace your regularity.
Being authentic at work

As you work to establish your authenticity in your career, know that there won’t always be a perfect partnership between self and industry, but there is potential. 72% of respondents in the Deloitte study also put forth that “we need a new definition of what a leader is in today’s world.” You are the leader we need for this world–you’re only one antic away.

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By: Tiffany Curtis

Tiffany is a certified transformational coach and facilitator, currently living in Rwanda. Her work is driven by building sacred communities inspired by the intersections of equity, diasporic identity, dialogue, spirituality, and mental wellness. To learn about her latest programming, take a look at her website (tiffanycurtis.com); or connect through Instagram (@tiffanyacurtis) and Twitter (_tiffanyacurtis).

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