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
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Reginae Carter Opens Up About Dating And Why She Puts Herself First
Actress, reality star and entrepreneur Reginae Carter has demonstrated that she isn't afraid to speak her mind on a wide range of subjects, including dating and relationships.
In the past, the reason why Carter, the daughter of Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter and Toya Johnson-Rushing, has been vocal stems from her numerous high-profile unions—the 24-year-old previously dated rapper YFN Lucci on and off from 2018 to 2021. In recent years, Carter has been romantically linked to YouTuber Armon Warren.
To date, the current status of her relationship with Warren is unclear because Carter has since removed what appears to be all the posts, including the singer, on social media. Despite that, Carter was open to discussing dating and the topic of placeholding when she recently sat down with Revolt's Black Girls Stuff hosts.
According to Goalcast, a placeholder occurs when an individual non-exclusively dates someone for an extended period as they "wait for the one." In the May interview, Carter shared her insights on celebrity relationships and why she refuses to settle.
Reginae On Relationships
During the conversation, Carter shared that many people view placeholding as a way that benefits one person.
The Boxed In star claimed that despite the difference of opinion, she considers it beneficial for both parties in terms of celebrity dating because the couple could be placed holding each other for a come-up.
"Some people are looking at placeholding as if like you know you're benefiting off of them or they benefit off of you. Like, say, many celebrity relationships, I feel like they placehold each other to get up or get on top or clout chase," she said.
However, Carter added how "industry relationships" could be detrimental to the person being used as a placeholder. Carter revealed that the individual being used may feel like their time was wasted.
"It's a lot of industry relationships where they go to the 'it' girls when it's probably like a girl they've been messing with for a long time," she stated. "That girl may feel like, 'Damn, I was placeholding, just for you to go get a more lit b--h.'"
Reginae On Being A Placeholder And Not Settling In Relationships
As the discussion transitioned to if she ever had someone in a placeholder position, Carter said that because she is "a fairy tale lover," the only people she has been romantically linked to are those she considered special.
"I don't think I placehold. I'm like a fairy tale lover, and I just love. So I feel if you ever came close to even getting a place to hold, I guess, you are really something," she explained.
When the topic of men having placeholders out of fear of being alone came up, the Terror Lake Drive star expressed that although she doesn't believe that all "men cheat," she shared that some have placeholders for specific things like sex and companionship because women allow it.
"My opinion is, I feel like not every man cheat. But I feel like every man got a little placeholder that they can call up, and they holding some place," she said. "They might be holding the ‘Oh, I just sleep with you place.' Or they might be holding the wife one, because we allow that. We allow men to do that."
Carter wrapped up the interview by saying that she refuses to be in that predicament because of the amount of love she has for herself, and if it ever happened to her, she would leave.
"If somebody makes us mad or we find out, like 'no baby, you gone, bye.' I know me. I'm not about to keep letting you come... It's too much. I don't play about me.
“So it's like, I know you sleeping around, I'm not about to let you sleep in this bed," she stated.
Reginae Carter on Relationships, Placeholders, and Growth | Black Girl Stuff
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Feature image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images