A Career Lesson from Taylor Swift

During the 58th Annual Grammy Awards held a while ago, we witnessed a drama of its kind. Not the anticipated kind but the kind that teaches you a lesson or two on the importance of taking ownership of your career.

The ongoing feud between Taylor Swift and Kanye West took to another level during the Album of the Year award acceptance speech by country-turned-pop star, Taylor.

Taylor said “As the first woman to win album of the year at the Grammys twice, I want to say to all the young women out there: There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame,” said Swift. “But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, some day when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.”

This speech was not all about the diss response to West’s lyrical claim to her fame in his new song, ‘Famous’. Rather I chose to look at it in how can job seekers and entrepreneurs can take ownership of their success. We are the sole proprietors of our success and it doesn’t matter who discovered you, you still hold your own destiny. Three lessons can be learnt from this Hollywood feud;

Wise usage of all resources at your disposal.

Companies offers a wide range of opportunities for personal and career development. A wise employee will take advantage of these opportunities to even create their own. Sometimes this means stepping out of your comfort zone. Take that extra tuition or enroll for a class, take a spot in that internal committee, volunteer for a project etc. The brainstorming sessions that many find boring and avoid at all cost, are actually an excellent opportunity to pitch your ideas. Your growth is in your hands and networking within the company and outside is all will get you somewhere.

Leave small stuff to small people.

Credit will not always be given where it’s due. But simply because you were not awarded for your efforts, creating a bad blood between you and your coworkers and your industry players will not take you far. Awards and recognition are just part of your journey but they are not the ultimate statement of your success.

First, establish yourself as a team player and create a collaborative environment. This will be your competitive advantage when time comes. Concentrate on learning from everyone, take on different perspectives, and conceive new ideas and fuel creativity. They’ll will come handy when you make it!

Set your mindset on a success mode

Fear, rejection and criticism are just a few things that can deter you from going on. Once you know what you want, soldier on, ignore the sideshows. Even if you fail, take your failures as learning opportunities and make a comeback, try again and again. In simple terms, shake it off, adapt and move on. To get where you want you’ll need yourself more than anything. Your confidence and courage will take you there!