Ultimate Career Lessons From Taraji P. Henson AKA Empire’s Cookie


She’s become notoriously associated with her most famous character, Cookie from the TV show Empire. 

Taraji P. Henson is just as badass in real life and the lessons we’ve learned from her make us call her a Career Girl icon! The most inspiring among them are:

Share in the success of others

Studies have shown that there is a direct link between how happy a person you are and how easily you can be happy for others (for example, if your friend gets a raise, are you excited for her or jealous? Does your mind jump to “she really deserved this!” or “why aren’t I further along in my career?). Taraji owns this and is openly happy for her friends when they celebrate success.

She Instagrammed a picture when Jon Hamm won an Emmy, congratulating her old friend from the TV show The Division. And by now there’s no way you haven’t seen her reaction to fellow nominee Viola Davis when she won an Emmy:

Just a reminder: That’s what Taraji looks like when she’s losing. Way to support a fellow actress!

Know how to poke fun at yourself

Taraji’s most infamous character might be Cookie Lyon, but the actress seems to have a much more light-hearted approach. She posts videos of her and her costars goofing off on set, and even videos where she’s been caught on camera, rapping or striking poses while she wasn’t aware the camera was rolling. We love a Career Girl who can make light of herself while portraying a strong, take-no-prisoners character!

Stand up for what you believe in

Taraji’s social media feeds might be filled with pictures of herself living and loving life, but they’re also filled with messages about racism, school shootings, and feminism. Taraji stands up for what she believes in, which also seems to include empowering other women. That’s a cause we can all get behind!

Have as much fun as you can

Whatever your work is, you should be having fun doing it. Taraji has fun with her character—she’s said that Cookie never lets anyone get the last laugh, and has enjoyed improvising a lot of insults on the show. She’s spoken openly about the love she has for her work, and holds back nothing when giving candid interviews. She’s the epitome of “Do What You Love!”

If you need more inspiration, why not read about how the founders of Who What Wear built their company or find out why Kate Hudson is the ultimate career girl!

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