Did Rihanna Provide the Career Success Blueprint?



Did you watch the Super Bowl?

I did not. I didn’t even know which teams were playing – I’m not a football fan at all. I’m a DC girl, so unless Washington or Dallas is the playing games don’t even catch my attention.

I accidentally caught the first half of Rihanna’s half-time performance. She has songs that I know but I’m not a fan of her music and I’ve never seen her perform in person. I do respect her as an entertainer and a businesswoman though. Even without the baby bump (which I saw immediately), I thought being suspended in the air was entertaining. Fireworks, backup dancers, multiple suspended stages…all cool. Rihanna wasn’t grinding or dressed sexy, but the simplicity of the red amid the white focused all eyes on her.

Some people loved it, and others hated it. People had interesting expectations – special guests, more intense dancing, wardrobe changes, and certain songs. I’m exhausted just thinking about what it would take to please everyone.

This was not a Rihanna concert; it was a performance with a strict time limit. No time for a wardrobe change, but definitely time for Fenty product placement. You have to admit that was a boss move!

Rihanna was the star of this show. She didn’t bring out any guests because she understood that she was the prize.

When you think about your social work administration/management career, are you as confident in your worth and the value you bring? Are you the star of the show?

  • Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.
  • There will always be someone who doesn’t see your worth. Don’t let it be you.

Rihanna performed her performance in her own way. She did not mimic past performances. She did not follow someone else’s Super Bowl performance blueprint. She defined performance/career success on her own terms.

REMINDER: Do you, be you, for you! When you’re in your own lane there is no competition. #authenticity

What is your social work career lane?

My Brand Promise: I help high-performing women of color in social work walk in their power, leverage their expertise, and claim a seat at the decision-making table.

The On My Terms private coaching program takes women leaders through my 3 step Strategic Career Management career coaching framework – Clarity, Credibility, Congruency – with discussion and activities to enhance personal, professional, and leadership skills. Work one-on-one with me in the program to focus on common career challenges including mindset, confidence, job search strategy, brand development, networking, and interviewing.

My signature BE A LADY leadership program modules will allow you to:

  1. Define Success on Your Own Terms
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Career success is possible for you and available to you! Let’s Do This!



Nicki Sanders, MSW, supports high-performing women of color in social work leadership in developing careers that feed their hearts, minds, and wallets. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams, volunteer recruitment and retention, and social impact programming. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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