There is one thing all girls (and new age rappers) need: a clique. If you don't have one, get one.
As young professional women, having a team of friends, mentors, elders and newbies to consult about major life and career decisions is essential to our development and making thought-out, strategic moves on our path. While you want to make sure this team is constructed carefully with people who will help you, it doesn't always mean they will agree with every move you make or idea you have. We all need someone who will tell us when we’re on to something, when we’re missing the mark and when we just have absolutely no clue what is going on.
These individuals are the ones who will throw all the pixie dust and happy thoughts your way, which is essential when you are trying something new. Shafqat Islam, chief executive of NewsCred, once said, "As an entrepreneur, but almost in any form of work, I feel like you need to be irrationally optimistic about barriers you can break through, or things you can get accomplished, or projects that you can deliver in a certain amount of time." This is what your 'Yes Men' will do. They keep you irrationally optimistic to get over those barriers, and distract that negative voice in your head so you can focus on accomplishing the goal.
They will send you the motivational texts to remind you that you have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé (but also that she has about 1,000 people working for her so not to stress too much). 'Yes Men' are beneficial to have by your side because they will keep you going when moving along seems impossible.
While having 'Yes Men' to tell you that you’re always doing the right thing is encouraging, sometimes you need a dose of reality and someone to challenge you on your ideas to help you grow. The truth is that you could be on the verge of a huge mistake just because someone is validating a crazy idea, which can be just as detrimental as no support at all. How do you know if you should keep course or pivot slightly? Well, that’s when your 'No Men' take their mark.
As the name suggests, these are the members of your team that aren't afraid to tell you “no.” Sometimes they do it with a smile, sometimes with an eye roll but it’s always out of love and realness. 'No Men' see and understand all the different sides of you. They see what you don’t see because you’re too in your head sometimes, but don't worry because 'No Men' will set you straight.
They’ll tell you when you’re chasing something that is potentially disastrous and irreversible or when your decision to wear that sheer top to the networking event is probably not sending the right message. They will support you, but they will also make sure you face the facts first.
Whether they are optimists or realists, it's important to make sure your team is filled with people who want you to do well. If you suspect anyone on your team is not helping you grow in some way, you need to reevaluate their clique membership status because you only have space for motivators, not drainers.
Now that you’ve assembled your team, it’s good to assess what they can collectively bring to your life and vice versa. Whether they are there to enhance your professional life or your personal life, your team must balance out, which means you need an equal number of 'Yes Men' and 'No Men.' Having a diverse and supportive team is key to making sure you reach your goals in the best way possible. Whether it's your professor, your peer or your mother, just know you'll be better off working with a variety of people who really know you.