Navigating the professional world as a young adult can be daunting. We can experience a lot of uncertainty, doubt, and difficulty in building meaningful relationships with mentors and peers. Fortunately, there is a great source of knowledge and advice that we can learn from: drag queens. As an art form, drag has been around for centuries, with performers demonstrating a great deal of wisdom and advice that can be applied in the world of business and networking. In this blog post, I will provide an overview of the four key lessons about mentoring and networking that I have learned from drag queens. From the importance of developing strong relationships with mentors to the importance of embracing creativity and authenticity, these lessons will provide the reader with a deeper understanding of the craft of networking and mentorship. Additionally, these lessons can be applied to many aspects of our lives and can help us to become better professionals and more successful people.
1. The importance of having a support system
One of the most important lessons I learned from drag queens is the importance of having a support system. Drag queens are often part of a supportive community that provides resources, mentorship, and emotional support. This is invaluable in helping them develop the resilience and confidence needed to be successful in their art. Having a supportive network of peers, mentors, and friends is essential for any creative endeavor. It can help to provide guidance, motivation, and resources when needed, which can in turn lead to better outcomes.
2. How to be your true self
As drag queens, they are not afraid to be their true selves, no matter how much it might surprise or shock people. This type of self confidence and self assurance is something I want to embody, and something I always strive for. By mentorship and networking with drag queens, I’ve been able to become more open and truthful about who I am, and I’ve been able to pursue the things I want without fear.
3. The power of vulnerability
Realizing the power of vulnerability is another key aspect I learned from drag queens. Being vulnerable requires you to open up and share your experiences, your dreams, and your struggles. This can often be a scary prospect, as it means being vulnerable in front of someone else and risking being judged or feeling embarrassed. However, once you take that risk, you open yourself up to closer connection. Drag queens know this well, as they have to be vulnerable in order to reveal their true selves. Through this vulnerability, they are able to build stronger relationships, mentor and network with their peers, and ultimately find success in their artistic endeavors.
4. How to create a safe space for others
Creating a safe space for others is essential for successful mentoring and networking. In the drag community, a safe space is more than just a physical area where people can feel comfortable; it’s an environment that is supportive and accepting of all identities and backgrounds. As a mentor or networker, you should strive to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and respected, regardless of their age, gender, race, or sexual orientation. Offer guidance and advice in a way that doesn’t come off as preachy or judgmental. Also, ask before giving unsolicited advice, as different people may have different needs. Finally, make sure to listen actively and respond supportively. This will help others feel heard and respected.
5. The importance of maintaining relationships
The last thing I learned from drag queens was the value of keeping relationships going. Although it can be easy to make connections with people in the moment and not follow up on them, it’s important to keep in touch with people you meet and keep nurturing those relationships. Drag queens are experts at this, and they understand that the people they meet in their line of work can be invaluable resources for the future. If you want to make the most out of your relationships, always remember to prioritize maintaining them.
6. The impact of strong communication skills
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from drag queens is the importance of clear and confident communication. Drag queens know how to command an audience’s attention and they understand the importance of being able to communicate clearly and effectively. Strong communication skills are essential in any field, especially in any kind of professional setting. Drag queens have mastered the art of communicating their message and making sure that their audience is paying attention and understanding what they are saying. Being able to effectively convey your message is essential in any kind of mentoring or networking situation and is something that drag queens have mastered.
7. The importance of being bold and taking risks
Drag queens are no strangers to taking risks. Their career requires them to be bold and unafraid of failure and rejection. That’s why one of the biggest lessons I learned from them is the importance of being bold and taking risks. As drag diva RuPaul puts it, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” It’s important to take risks if you want to achieve anything worthwhile. Confidence helps you overcome fear. This could mean anything from asking for a promotion to trying out a new career or even changing your style. Taking risks is scary, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.
8. The importance of setting boundaries
Setting boundaries is an important lesson for anyone who wants to be successful at anything. Drag queens are constantly engaging with people in the community, and this can be overwhelming if you don’t set boundaries for yourself. Drag queens understand that their time, energy, and resources are limited, so they make sure to protect themselves by setting boundaries. They know when to say “no” and when to take a break. This is a lesson that I’ve applied to my own mentoring and networking practices as well. Knowing when to say “no” and taking time to rest and recharge has helped me to be more focused and resilient in my work.
I have learned an incredible amount about mentoring and networking from drag queens. I have learned to be confident and unafraid to take risks, to be authentic and honest with my intentions, to be generous with my time and resources, and to be supportive of others. These lessons are invaluable and I will take them with me into all of my future relationships.