Career Talk

/ 4 years ago /

 Article by Brenda Wong

8 careers lessons we learnt from the Kardashians

It’s hard to believe Keeping Up With the Kardashians has been going for nearly ten years. For real. The reality show premiered in 2007, and has been running for a seriously impressive twelve seasons (wow).

We’ve all been through the gamut of emotions reacting to the Kardashian clan’s success. Jealousy, incredulity, boredom – the list goes ever on. But love them or hate them, you can’t deny it. They’re the most business-savvy family in the game.

Here’s what we’ve learnt from watching the Klan on our screens. World domination, here we come.

1. Your personal brand is everything

We can’t stress enough how important your personal brand is when it comes to careers success. The Kardashians have theirs down to a T. You always know exactly what to expect from their social media feeds, their products, their mobile games, even their selfie angles are uniquely ‘Kardashian’.

What this teaches us: Building a personal brand is about ensuring everything connected to your name is in your control. It has to look clean and  professional, visually stunning, and has to make a lasting impression. Personal branding affects things like the tone of voice for our Twitter feeds, our Instagram aesthetic – anything that changes the way the outside world sees you. Make that first impression count, and make all other impressions consistent.

2. You may be the face of your business, but without your team you’re nothing

You may have heard of Kim Kardashian. But have you heard of Stephanie Sheppard? She’s Kim K’s personal assistant and BFF, and is usually the photographer of any ~exclusive~ behind the scenes shots.

In the aftermath of Kim Kardashian’s attack in Paris, it was Sheppard who took it upon herself to be her best friend’s spokesperson in her time of need. No one is an island after all.

What this teaches us: Your work mates need to be your best mates. You often can’t choose who you work with, but make the effort to turn your colleagues into allies, and they’ll become your biggest cheerleaders.

3. Transparency is the latest careers buzzword

There are many things the Kardashian family are, but ‘shy’ isn’t one of them. It is to be expected, after all, especially when they’re filmed nearly 24/7.

But this level of transparency clearly works. We can deny it all we want, but our society’s obsession with the Kardashian family is at its peak. Whatever your opinion of them, the point is, you have one.

What this teaches us: Transparency and sharing can be two terrifying things. But try starting a blog – share your successes and failures with the world and reflect on your career experiences. A carefully written and curated account will reflect on how you are learning and developing as an employee, and is extremely attractive to potential employers.

4. You shouldn’t be ashamed of your humble beginnings

The Kardashians

Remember that time on the Simple Life when Paris Hilton essentially made Kim Kardashian her personal assistant? Now that’s a throwback Kim desperately wants us all to forget.

What this teaches us: I mean, look at Kim Kardashian now! The founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, once said “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

Kim Kardashian had bit parts on the Simple Life, the Hills, and more before her big break on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. It doesn’t matter how you start, as long as you do. 

5. Businesses make mistakes, especially in a period of change


When Kylie Cosmetics first launched it was beleaguered by a string of commercial disasters. The lip kits were slammed for poor quality control, dissed by influencers on social media, and was given a harsh ‘F’ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Those teething problems seem to have been just that, though. Since then, youngest of the family Kylie Jenner has amassed a legitimate cosmetics empire, with her latest stocks selling out in a matter of seconds.

What this teaches us: Mistakes are only bad if you don’t learn from them. It’s important to be adaptable, and apologetic when things go wrong. Kylie Cosmetics stepped up to the business challenge and turned a side project into the biggest cosmetics phenomenon of 2016. Kudos, Kylie.

6. Strategic partnerships are the key to growth

We laughed at Kanye West and Kim Kardashian once. But they’re now up there with the likes of legendary celebrity couples like Brangelina (RIP) and of course, Beyonce and Jay Z.

Everything they now touch turns to gold. Kanye’s Pablo fashion line is amplified by the social media feeds of his new extended family. Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ Kanye/Kim wedding spectacular drew in a whopping 2.7 million in television ratings. They’re the real thing.

What this teaches us: Sometimes it’s important to consider who best to team up with. Synergy is when two entities combine and produce something even greater than the sum of their separate parts. Kimye is the best example of what a great partnership is: alone they’re OK. Together, they’re unstoppable.

7. You can monetize basically anything

A photo posted by GOOD AMERICAN (@goodamerican) on

Khloe Kardashian has recently launched her own line of body-inclusive jeans. Now, it’s not as if those don’t already exist, but what she’s doing is capitalising on her personal brand by selling a product she can authentically promote.

What this teaches us: This point is semi-tied to the personal brand point a while back. If your personal brand is strong, you can tie that to a product. Marrying the two could yield amazing results – see also Kylie Jenner and her lip kits.

Being entrepreneurial means seeing a need and filling a need. If you utilize your personal brand to do it, you could have a success on your hands.

8. Don’t let the haters get you down

The KardashiansThe Kardashians are not without their share of controversy. Everyone from Piers Morgan to Mariah Carey have thrown shade at the family. Whether righteously or not, the Kardashian family have had to take the insults in their stride.

What this teaches us: Michelle Obama once said “When they go low, you go high.” Haters in your career could be that colleague who doesn’t want you to get that promotion, or a difficult boss, or business competitors determined to steal the limelight.

Focus on yourself. Ignore the rest. The only competition you should be having is with yourself – after all, it’s the only thing you can control.

Download the Debut app and you could totally grab yourself a summer internship way before anyone else.

Follow Brenda on Twitter @brendaisarebel
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