Kim Kardashian signing a photo

Five career lessons from Kim Kardashian

Melissa Allen|

I admit it, I’m a huge Kim Kardashian fan, and whether or not you want to admit it, I’m not alone. So how did she go from relative obscurity to international phenomenon? In a recent issue of GQ Magazine, Kim’s husband, hip hop artist Kanye West, hinted at “Kim K skills” being key to her success, and how he’s going to apply them to his own life. Here are five basic tools Kim Kardashian leveraged to exponentially boost her start power… no sex tape required.

    1. Get a champion

    Kim Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner, became her “momager” a.k.a. mother who acts as their offspring’s professional manager. Kris Jenner is a hard-working women with an incredible business savvy and has been a driving force in shaping the Kardashian brand. The fact is, to be successful, in any line of work, you very likely need some sort of mentor or champion, who has a vested interested in your career and will go to bat for you time and time again.

    2. Take care of your appearance

    In a sea of size zero blondes, Kim Kardashian is not the conventional Hollywood stunner, but uses her “unique” looks in her favour and has cultivated an eye-catching sense of style that makes the most of her features. A good friend of mine is similarly stylish (although her budget is more outlet mall than Rodeo Drive, but she could make a paper bag look good) because she believes that “if you present your best self to the world, the world will treat you accordingly.” She’s right, when you demonstrate that you’re confident and care about yourself, other people will care too.

    3. Humility: no task is beneath you

    Did you know that Kim Kardashian grew up with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie? Before that sex tape was released and K.K. and family landed their own reality show, she was actually Paris Hilton’s personal assistant. Kim was also some sort of closet organization consultant for her socialite friends, and a stylist for the pop R&B singer Brandy (which is how she met Ray J, the younger brother of Brandy, and who would become her first husband and co-star in the tape). Though she had family wealth, Kim Kardashian was not satisfied with that, she saw bigger things in her future, and no task was “beneath” her if it meant bringing her closer to her goals.

    4. Surround yourself with people you admire

    Kim Kardashian’s current roster of BFFs is pretty diverse, from former-strippers-turned-musician’s-wife to French fashion icon Carine Roitfeld, which is no coincidence considering her husband is one of the most famous rappers today, and they’re both determined to become a style icons in their own right.

    5. Understand that it takes a village

    Having a tight-knit family and/or group of friends, are what will help you weather even the rockiest of storms, and I’m convinced that it’s the support of the Jenner-Kardashian family that gave Kim the strength to not only move past the sex tape scandal, but to turn it into an empire worth tens of millions of dollars at a time when Paris Hilton has faded into relative obscurity (at least by the media’s standards). The lesson: cultivate and nurture your tribe, because sometimes, that’s all you’ll have to lean on.

Having a mentor, taking care of your appearance, getting your foot in the door—any door—and keeping supportive friends and family close by are steps that I encourage everyone to take in order to move their career forward and achieve their goals. Hey, it’s worked for Kim Kardashian so far.

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Melissa Allen writes for Workopolis and appears on the Workopolis 180. She tweets @manifique.

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  • Bev Allen

    This is an excellent piece Melissa!

  • Kelly Escobar

    I really enjoyed reading this article. As a huge Kim Kardashian West fan, I thought the article summed up Kim’s appeal and why she has been able to continue generate interest from the media. Just one error in the story; Kim was never married to Ray J.
    Her first husband was Damon Thomas, a music producer, they were married from 2000 to 2004. Ray J was just her boyfriend.