No one runs a career race alone, especially one filled with wins. Whether it's a mentor, work buddy, office husband, colleague, or professor, we've all gotten great guidance from those who have either made mistakes and can tell us the real, or those who have the golden touch of achievement. Following a good piece of advice can mean the difference between leveling up or being stuck in professional purgatory longer than you needed to be.
We talked to four super-successful black women who shared the best career advice they've ever received that has helped them not only secure the bag but increase it:
Lara Adekola, Social Media Strategist
Image by Andrew Madrid
On Real Networking That Leads To Connections:
Lara Adekola has worked for the majors in publishing including Allure magazine, Teen Vogue, Ebony, and Nylon, and she's even worked in fashion for luxury retail powerhouse Bergdorf Goodman. She's also led social media strategy for brands including Fenty Beauty. Now, out on her own, she works with brands including Hyper Skin, cultivating messaging and campaigns. A confident and fashion-forward go-getter in her own right, Adekola has mastered the true art of cultivating and building relationships.
"A great piece of networking advice I received from a mentor was to always come prepared! Whether it be a potential employer or colleague, do your background research and have thoughtful questions ready. Additionally, make sure to stay up-to-date on current industry trends. It will show that you're passionate and tapped into the field versus being an outsider looking in."
Dyann Scarlett, Human Resources Business Partner, Estee Lauder
Image courtesy of Dyann Scarlett
On Bagging the Promotion:
Dyann Scarlett has built a career working for esteemed companies including Grey Group, one of the top global advertising firms serving Fortune 500 companies. Now, as a human resources leader at international beauty giant Estée Lauder, she knows what's really good about moving up the ranks and not getting stuck in a position rut at work.
"I have been with The Estée Lauder Cos for five years and have been promoted three times. I am proud of all that I have accomplished, but to say it was easy would be a lie. And I still have so much more to do. The best advice I have gotten is to always advocate for yourself and own your story. As Black women in the corporate world, we already face many setbacks and roadblocks, so it is imperative that we own our career, keep a goal in mind, and work toward it. I tell my team all that time, 'Your career is yours. I am happy to guide you and give constructive feedback, however, own your story and don't be afraid to ask questions. If you don't ask at all, you'll miss out.'"
Shante Bacon-Cius, Founder & CEO, One/35 Agency
Image courtesy of Shante Bacon
On Ensuring Your Career Lasts the Test of Time:
Shante Bacon-Cius, dubbed both a "Woman to Watch" and "influencer" by Advertising Age, has been specializing in digital strategy, brand communications and experiential marketing for the past 15 years, and her company, One/35 Agency (formerly 135th Street Agency) has a client roster that includes Google and the Oprah Winfrey Network.
"This advice came from my former boss at Def Jam, Kevin Liles: Don't get jaded, no matter what happens. The workplace is going to try you. Always wake up and come in the next day with a fresh perspective. When you allow yourself to get jaded and despondent, and you start becoming pessimistic and carrying the burden of all of the experiences that were unfair, the load gets heavier and heavier and it starts to choke the life out of all of your enthusiasm, creativity, and your ability to inspire and re-inspire yourself on a daily basis."
Saptosa Foster, Managing Partner, One/35 Agency
Image by Cherise Richards for ONE35
On Building and Leading a Team:
Saptosa Foster, the second half of the dynamic duo that heads One/35, is another leader in the communications game, having been a strategist for more than a decade. As managing partner, she oversees campaigns for their top-tier clients. The Spelman graduate has helped execute creative client visions and secured major national media placements at outlets including ABC's The Chew, CNN and People magazine. She's also led campaigns including premiere events for OWN's The Haves and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor.
"When you start a business, you have a lot of big ideas, but even if you have years of experience in that industry, it is still going to be different when you're steering your own ship. Usually the things you didn't expect or didn't see coming have nothing to do with the actual delivery of the service or the making of a product. It comes in the actual mechanics of business—your legal situation, your staffing, or your capital. If you're not an expert on other realities of running a business, become an expert or gather people around you who can help support what you're trying to do."
Read more about work and career tips here.
Featured image via Lara Adekola
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There are moments on our health journey when our bodies are bugging us to hit the reset button.
With life, we can start to see slips in our diet, irregular exercising, and inconsistent sleep schedules, and our mental health can suffer because of it. But what many people come to find is that with just a few adjustments — as opposed to restrictions — being made to their food intake, we can see a focus more on eating “the right” calories and less on being on a restrictive diet.
"Raw Till 4" is a dietary concept and lifestyle associated with the raw vegan and high-carb, low-fat vegan (HCLF) movements. Created by Australian blogger and YouTube star known as 'Freelee the Banana Girl', the method suggests eating raw, uncooked plant-based foods until 4 p.m. each day and then having a cooked, vegan meal in the evening.
The Raw Till 4 lifestyle follows the guidelines of vegan and rawist eating and involves consuming fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains in an uncooked, natural state until the designated time of 4 p.m. or around one’s typical dinner time. After 4 p.m., a cooked vegan meal is consumed, which may include foods like steamed vegetables, grains, legumes, and plant-based sources of protein like tofu or tempeh.
On TikTok, creator Adina Yaffa is repopularizing the trend, sharing how it’s helped to improve digestion, boost energy levels, and support weight loss.
Replying to @🌜kat🌛 here is what I eat in a day on a raw till 4 lifestyle. I eat with the sun and according to the circadian rhythm that out bodies follow on a typical day. Where i drink liquids during the first 8 hours, then juicy fruits, then smoothies, more dense building fats, proteins and veggies! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass #rawtill4
“During the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., your body is in an elimination phase and needs all the help it can get,” Yaffa says in the clip. “So what you’re going to do is drink coconut water, citrus juices, and green juices during this time, and around 8 a.m., you can break your fast with some fruit. I suggest juicing fruits, and then after that, I suggest having a smoothie or a bowl with berries and granola so you can get your fats and healthy proteins in.”
Raw till 4 has so many benefits including better digestion, nutrients, belly fat and bloat elimination, snatched waist, more energy and so much more! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass
On the official Raw Till 4 website, Freelee the Banana Girl shares tips on how to get the best outcomes of this lifestyle change, which include:
- “Stay hydrated! You should pee about 8-12 times per day, and your urine should be clear. Drink 1 liter of water when you wake up in the morning, and 1 liter of water about 30 minutes before each meal for optimal results.”
- “Fragmented sodium (salt) should be kept to a minimum. Use herbs, lemon juice, etc. wherever possible in place of salt.”
- “Eat unlimited calories at every meal, no restriction. The majority of your calories each day should come from fruit. Don’t under-eat on fruit during the day or 'save up' your calories for dinner time. RT4 is about abundance at every meal.”
- “Move your body daily. Find an activity you love and make it your playful exercise.”
- “Make sure to get lots of rest, relaxation, and good sleep. Learning to incorporate good rest, early nights, and regular sleeping patterns into your life will greatly improve your overall health.”
- “Practice gratitude and peaceful emotions at mealtime, and get a vision book started! Be sure to enjoy this journey. Focus on long-term health instead of short-term results.”
Critics argue that it can be challenging to get all the necessary nutrients from a raw vegan diet and that it may not be suitable for everyone, especially over the long term.
As with any diet, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant dietary changes to ensure that it meets your individual nutritional needs and health goals.
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Featured image by FreshSplash/Getty Images