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5 Professional Things Sable B., Creator Of Real Brown Girls, Taught Me

Professional brown girls need professional development.

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Sable B. created Real Brown Girls in 2014, and I’ve been a follower and avid supporter since 2016. It’s one of the few websites and online spaces I’ve found with professional career-driven advice and resources that are specifically for women of color.

Here are 5 professional things I've learned from Sable B throughout the years.

1. It’s okay to make a professional lateral move

I always thought it was a bad thing to make a lateral move. That is until I learned that the focus is on the long term goal and sometimes it might take a strategic lateral move to reach the your ultimate career goal.

2. Don’t let anyone mispronounce my name or give me a nickname

I don’t have a name that is hard to pronounce. However, I’ve witnessed individuals, primarily white people, give women of color nicknames before even attempting to say their name correctly. It always made me uncomfortable, but I couldn’t articulate why. When Sable highlighted they do have the ability to pronounce any name, I recognized the sheer disrespect in saying our names are hard to pronounce. If they can say Zechowski and Sokolov, they can say ours. End of story.

3. Choosing to be an entrepreneur is a personal choice and it’s OK if it’s not for me

There was a point when those of us who had nine to fives were practically demoralized. It felt like a war on employees. It was so bizarre to me, but when your popular influencers are singing in harmony, it’s hard to change keys. Sable held her ground, defending those of us who didn’t care to be entrepreneurs. Oddly enough, in the year 2018, some of those same people have switched their tune. I appreciate Sable not being afraid to stand her ground and have the unpopular opinion. I needed her and I’m sure other women needed her too.  

4. Stop apologizing for existing

Confession time: I’m someone who apologizes too much. I didn’t realize this until Sable put up post on Instagram that said, ‘’Stop Apologizing for Existing.’’ It was a game changer for me, as someone who defaults to saying, ‘’I’m sorry’’ even when I did nothing wrong. I haven’t stopped completely, but I wouldn’t have realized I was giving away my power had Sable not said something.

5. Negotiate each and every time like my retirement depends on it

Now listen, I’ve negotiated my salary in the past, but there have been times I haven’t, though the reasons have varied. When I read the post that simply said negotiate as if my retirement depends on it, I immediately recognized I wasn’t doing myself any favors by not negotiating those times I had decided against it. It’s easy to say Black women are underpaid because we are, but we also have to be willing to stand up for ourselves during periods of negotiation. That’s not on anyone but us, that’s on no one but me. I understand that now.

Sable is a professional gem. May you find her tokens of wisdom to be just as useful to me as they have been to me.


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