10 Business Skills Every Young Professional Can Learn From Taylor Swift

Let’s be honest; even the self-proclaimed Taylor Swift “haters” have had one of Swift’s ridiculously catchy choruses stuck in their heads at some point – I guarantee it.

It’s no surprise that she’s one of the most famous people in the world at the moment. And love her or hate her, the undeniable talent writes her own songs, and plays the piano, guitar, banjo, and ukulele.

But the whole Taylor Swift draw goes way beyond her music.

Aside from her record-breaking music success, she should also win an award for being an amazing celebrity, personality, and business figure.

Like it or not, T-Swift is a (ridiculously successful) young professional – and one we could all learn a thing or ten from…

1. Be Adaptable
A good businessperson is able to recognize trends and wants in the market and adapt accordingly, just as Swift has. Swift’s transition from country singer into the larger pop market seemed so natural, it was almost undetectable. Far from her country roots, her most recent album, 1989, is entirely pop-focused. Swift also has a chameleon-like quality in her ability to adapt to a variety of looks; she can pull off the “red lip, classic, thing that you like,” just as seamlessly as the girl next door who wears t-shirts (and short-shorts).

2. Understand Social Media
Any good business figure uses social media as a platform to engage with consumers of their product in two-way banter. Unlike many of her Hollywood counterparts, Swift’s social media accounts don’t involve a self-indulgent, one-sided exchange between her and her followers (all 59 million of them on Twitter and 34 million on Instagram). She engages with them – whether to send birthday greetings or offer support for fans enduring tough times – and builds relationships with fans through social media. The best part about it is its authenticity, as Swift manages all of her accounts sans assistant. Of course, she’s also savvy in the social media department when it comes to marketing her music, often dropping clues about her upcoming albums.

3. Share the Stage
In business, you need to know when it makes sense to collaborate rather than compete. One thing Swift isn’t is an attention whore – but I guess when you get so much of it without trying, you don’t really have to be. Not only does she collaborate with other megastars in her music, she also features them in her videos. Case in point: her video for “Bad Blood” features fellow megastars like Selena Gomez, Karlie Kloss, Jessica Alba, Ellie Goulding, Lily Aldridge, Gigi Hadid, Lena Dunham, and Cindy Crawford – just to name a few. At the end of the day, it’s a PR win for all of them.

4. Stay Loyal
It’s easy to let success get to your head and to forget about your roots or your pre-success friends. But Swift hasn’t. One of her best friends is her childhood BFF Abigail Anderson (the one who gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind), who often tags along on the carpet as Swift’s ‘plus one’ and has appeared in a handful of her music videos.

5. Maintain Your Image
In an age of perpetually snapping cell phone cameras and social media, your professional image matters more than ever. That’s why you’ll never find any shots of Swift stumbling out of a club. No matter the occasion – from a red carpet to a Sunday morning coffee run – you’ll very rarely catch Swift looking sloppy, “off,” or anything other than the image she has going on. Of course, part of your image means aligning with the right people. Swift counts some Hollywood’s most respected names – like Lorde, Ed Sheeran, and Emma Stone – among her best friends.

6. Stand Up for Yourself
Just because she isn’t known to throw a tantrum every time someone pisses her off (ahem, Kanye) doesn’t mean Swift’s a pushover. You need to have a backbone in any type of business. Last year, Swift pulled all of her music from the streaming app Spotify, claiming that it’s not lucrative enough for artists and that there should be an inherent value placed on art.

7. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Careers are stressful enough, taking yourself too seriously is only going to stress you out further (and probably make others less interested in working with you). Swift never seems too calculated or uptight, and instead often makes fun of herself. She’s become known for her bang-on, impromptu impressions during interviews, sporadic social media jam sessions with friends, and for her surprising quick wit.

8. Be Compassionate
You know how there are those celebrities who show up at a charity event and think they’re doing their part to change the world, and others who use their platform to go beyond in making a difference? Swift is of the latter. She takes it a step further by visiting sick children in the hospital, and even writing the song “Ronan” in memory of 4-year-old Ronan Thompson who lost his battle to cancer, which she debuted in a teary-eyed performance at the 2012 Stand Up to Cancer event. And that’s what’s made people fall for her even more.

9. Be Amazing to Your Fans (or Customers and Consumers)
It’s not just the encouraging, heartfelt messages that Swift sends to her fans that make her pretty much the best celebrity in the fan department. No, Swift goes way beyond, sending fans care packages, surprising a fan with a bridal shower, and – most recently – crashing a super fan’s wedding in the best way ever.

10. Stay Humble
A huge part of Swift’s success comes from how relatable she is – whether thorough her brutally honest tales of heartbreak, love, and loss, or in person, when she doesn’t have to try very hard to be real. When you’re relatable, people like you. When people like you, they want to work with you.