When you hear the name ‘Nicki Minaj,’ a few thoughts probably come to mind: maybe you think of her alter ego, “Roman”, or you start singing one of her catchy songs like “Super Bass” or “Starships” in your head. You may even remember one of her crazy outfits or colorful hairstyles.
With the possible exception of aspiring music artists, most people probably don’t consider Nicki Minaj’s music for professional advice. That doesn’t mean her lyrics don’t contain a few words of wisdom about building a successful career, (sometimes squeezed between less appropriate lines!). Although I don’t consider Nicki a career expert by any means, I’ve found a few motivating lines. Let’s take a look at a few of the most helpful:
“Class is in session” from “Right Thru Me”
So, it’s summer vacation and you finally get a break from classes and studying. Or maybe you’ve graduated and are looking forward to no more all-nighters in the library. Even if you’re done with school, however, you’re not done learning.
You will never be. There will always be something you don’t know, or a way to do something better. Walk into your job the same way you walked into class: like you have to learn.
Class will always be in session, and realizing that is the first assignment.
“Should’ve sent a thank you note” from “Roman’s Revenge”
Never underestimate the power of a ‘thank you’.
Expressing gratitude is important to building and maintaining successful professional relationships. If you’re a student and met someone for an informational interview, send a note afterward thanking them for the great insight and advice. If you just interviewed at your dream company for a job or internship, thank the interviewer for their time and consideration.
Even if you’ve already landed a great job, maintain your professional contacts with occasional correspondence, especially when someone does you a favor.
Handwritten thank you notes are ideal, but some circumstances may call for an email. For example, if you just interviewed for a job and know that a decision will be made before a letter could get there, send a well-thought-out, personal email within 24 hours of the interview.
Of course, the best option is to combine a handwritten thank you with the occasional email, tweet, or LinkedIn request. Just don’t bombard them with several messages at once!
“I represent an entire generation” from “Fly”
Gen Y doesn’t have the best reputation in the workforce. Among our litany of stereotypes, people think we are lazy, rely too much on technology and have an unearned sense of entitlement. Obviously not every millennial fits these generalizations. Unfortunately, your employer has probably worked with or met someone who has reinforced these stereotypes. Although they may have low expectations for you at first, by no means does this mean you should coast.
In fact, this means you have to try even harder to prove yourself.
Dress professionally, use technology as a resource instead of a distraction, and take initiative. People will then begin to see you as the amazing worker you really are – and may lead them to think twice about the way they percieve our generation.
Career advice can take many forms… even Nicki Minaj! There have been so many moments when I’ve been rapping along to the radio in my car and realized that the song is about so much more than what the lyrics say.
Has a song or lyric ever changed the way you look at your life, or career? Sound off in the comments!
About the Author: Brittany Berger is a 2012 graduate of the University of Delaware who studied communication and interactive media. She now resides in Newark, DE and works as a Public Relations Specialist at eZanga.com, a search engine specializing in online marketing and services. She loves social media and blogging and can be found on LinkedIn or tweeting.