Stellar career tips from your fave queeros


Are you all out of motivational mojo, struggling to navigate a sexist office culture or just keep getting sidetracked from your side hustle? Whatever your workplace woe, this must-have advice from lez/bi badasses is guaranteed to reinvigorate your career and help you get where you want to be.

Lilly Singh

Entertainer, superwoman, author of How To Be A Bawse: A Guide To Conquering Life

While Lilly’s chapter titles are a tad baffling – “Play Nintendo”, “The alphabet is a lie”, “You are not a parking ticket” – her advice is spot on and, as fans of her YouTube channel will already know, she can’t be beaten for a no-nonsense pep talk. Think of Lilly as your very own life coach. While you’re digesting her words of wisdom, imagine the Rocky theme tune playing in the background.

1. No shortcuts, just hard graft

“Success, happiness, and everything else that feels great in life have no escalators. There are only stairs.”

Oof, that sounds exhausting, but the truth is there’s simply no substitute for good old fashioned hard work. Lilly makes no secret of the fact that she’s achieved her extraordinary career by busting her ass. For more inspo, check out her powerful YouTube vid, My Secret To Success.

2. Focus FFS

“You’re a bawse now, and you need to spend less energy stalking your ex on Instagram and more energy making phenomenal first impressions.”

Yes, there are a million and one things to distract you, but remember your end game. If you want to achieve awesomeness, fix your eye on the prize and keep on grinding, baby. Don’t let relationship angst or reality TV take up too much of your valuable time. As Lilly points out, “Procrastination is a hustler’s worst enemy”.

3. You don’t have to expose everything

“Don’t give away all your secrets or reveal all your vulnerabilities… it’s up to you to decide what you reveal and when.”

Lilly stresses that your boss and co-workers don’t need to know every last thing about you. She promotes the idea of “selective secrecy”, reminding you there’s no obligation to disclose all your strengths and weaknesses. Her number one intel-withholding icon? Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen.

Mary Portas

Broadcaster, queen of shops, author of Work Like A Woman: A Manifesto For Change

Mary advocates a new way of working, explaining, “I don’t want to lean into a system that is entrenched in a working world that’s quite frankly dated, limited and controlling. It’s bloody well time it changed.” If her ethos floats your boat, download her podcast, Work Like A Woman, to hear Mary chatting to the people placing kindness at the heart of their business.

1. Use your voice

“Move away from an outdated alpha culture.”

Mary recommends speaking up when there’s something you’re unhappy about. If you’re nervous to broach it with your boss, she suggests writing some notes, telling them there’s something you wish to discuss, putting your thoughts out there, then taking a moment to breathe and wait for their response.

2. Go with your gut

“Always trust your instinct.”

The business guru cites her biggest career mistakes as the times she’s ignored her own judgement. She quotes feminist Gloria Steinem: “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck, but you think it’s a pig, then it’s a pig.”

3. Be true to yourself

“Bring your whole self to work.”

It’s Mary’s view that you have to connect with how you think when you are at your very best. Resist trying to be who you feel you need to be in order to fit in, and above all never sacrifice who you are because of workplace pressures.

Rose Ellen Dix and Rosie Spaughton

YouTubers, presenters, authors of Overshare

While it’s not strictly speaking a career manual, the power couple’s debut book does contain some excellent tips you can totally apply to your working life. Your fave married influencers are particularly passionate about feminism and promoting a culture where women support each another. As an added bonus, all their advice is served with a side of LOLs.

1. Choose inspirational heroes

“Women are making waves, rejecting norms and speaking out.” – Rose

Rosie’s celeb icons include Evan Rachel Wood, Reese Witherspoon and Serena Williams. For Rose, it’s women in Hollywood who don’t fit the stereotypical mould, like Elliot Page, Rebel Wilson and Kristen Stewart. Seek out the people who resonate with you and make it your mission to apply their passion, ideals or drive to your own professional life.

2. Don’t be scared to speak about salary

“Help each other out and talk about pay.” – Rosie

Rosie reveals that she and Rose often chat to other female YouTubers about the financial side of the biz. That way they can help one another ensure they’re being paid fairly and avoid being royally ripped off.

3. Support other women

“The more successful women out there, the more opportunities we all get!” – Rosie

In the battle against oppression, it’s important to remember that other women are not your enemy, so don’t get caught up in bitching. Instead concentrate on championing other women and cheering them on when they do well. As Rosie puts it, “Teamwork makes the dream work”.

This article originally featured in the July 2019 issue of DIVA – grab your digital copy right here!

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