She doesn’t even need an introduction. She entered 2018 like a reckless storm and one of the few rappers in the industry who could probably give Nicki Minaj a run for her money. JUST KIDDING. We all #barbie lovers out here.
But Cardi is FIRE and there is no doubt that she has changed the way black women are perceived in the music industry. Last week I had to help run an internal status meeting for work and I was nervous like never before.
I’m talking sweaty palms, excessive stuttering and dilated pupils, and no I did not do a few sneaky ‘lines’ in the bathroom to help ease the stress. I’m a law-abiding citizen if someone from HR is reading this. So there I was in a room predominantly filled with males (perks of working in the tech industry) and two females including myself.
The bun to sausage ratio was seriously skewered.
You know that acronym WWJD? What Would Jesus Do?
When I have to take lead in a meeting I take a deep breath and ask myself. WWCD.
What Would Cardi Do?
Be extra AF
I’m talking all kinds of spicy. Most people tend to wear ‘soft’ colors that are more fitting when it comes to the corporate scene but I like to wear bright colors that make you stand out. I’m talking yellows, oranges and lighter shades of blue.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t like softer caramels and greys but I’m the kind of person who’s is affected by the way I perceive myself when I look in the mirror and when I wear brighter colors I feel more confident. So whenever I have to lead a meeting I do everything I can to be extra.
Like that weird highlighter in the office supply closet.
Embrace your unique traits and make them part of your identity
You know how Cardi has those signature sounds that have essentially molded her identity. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click HERE to watch Card’s interview with Jimmy Fallon. If this doesn’t give you life I don’t know what will.
I can’t make sounds like her even if I wanted to. So I embrace my ability to connect with people as though I’ve known them for years. I love being able to get past those boring water cooler conversations and really get to know the person.
So whenever I have to talk to clients in a somewhat formal setting I’ll try and relate to them on a personal level. If I’m onsite for a follow-up on a previous meeting where I found out that Emma from marketing likes to go to Yoga classes on the weekend I’ll bring that up and relate it to a personal experience of mine.
This allows me to connect with the client on a personal level before we get down to the serious stuff. When I first started interning at my workplace I’d suppress this part of me, but I quickly came to realize that this was one of my strengths and embraced it instead.
Speak your truth
This is so important. To speak your truth you gotta be loyal to your sense of identity. This can be daunting and in some cases people might not like what they see/hear but you’ve got to stand your ground.
One of the main reasons why I love Cardi B so damn much is because she is shamelessly raw and honest about her past. She’s honest about the fact that she was a stripper in the Bronx and she loved it, because it helped her move away from an abusive household and she genuinely enjoyed it. She knew the critics around her would judge her for her past but she stuck by her truth because it got her to where she is today.
And honestly it’s hard to keep tabs on people’s bullsh*t when the view from the top is that amazing.
There have been so many damn instances where I’ve had to hold back on an opinion or statement because it wouldn’t appeal to the client’s needs. But if you’ve f*cked up your security controls and got hacked AND try to ‘put me in my place’ because I’m just young ‘intern’ who probably doesn’t have much experience. I’m going to hand it to ya straight but in a strategic manner backed up with evidence and shit ton of confidence.