I love a good read, especially when it comes to business and career advice that help you stay ahead of the game.
For that reason alone, I am obsessed with the book Leave Your Mark written by former DKNY PR Girl Aliza Licht. She once ran the popular fashion insider blog “DKNY PR Girl” while pioneering the connection between fashion and social media.
As an accessories intern at a style publication, I immediately gravitated towards this book because she specifically hit on the politics and nuances of the fashion industry. Fashion is one of the toughest industries to work in because it is littered with ego driven, attention hungry, crabs in a barrel. I’m an intern, which means I’m at the bottom of the industry totem pole. Some old school industry people treat interns like scum. They won’t even say hello to you in passing because you’re “just an intern” to them. Not an adult with a degree and industry receipts that have afforded you the opportunity to work alongside them. #Petty
Everyday I go to work and I have to know how to navigate around people and politics. This book has acted as a handbook for me. When I’m dealing with a specific work-related issue, I can crack it open and Aliza gets me right together! Her chapter on office politics and how to survive them…girllllllll, you’ve got to read it!
She spills first hand industry tea on everything from resumes to best practices for pitching your ideas, in this girl’s guide to industry take over. Aliza is like that one girlfriend who always knows how to say the right thing at the right time. This is SO not your mother’s career advice! She’s managed to package all of her career and branding advice into a funny and exciting package.
If you haven’t read it yet don’t fret! I’ve compiled 5 lessons I learned from Aliza Licht’s Leave Your Mark.
“Don’t expect a thank you or a pat on the back. Do a great job for YOURSELF.”
Aliza preached a word with that one sentence, chile! I work in fashion, which can be a very thankless industry. However, working for no other reason than to be great at what I do has helped me understand that we can’t expect to be praised for doing things that we are SUPPOSED to do, whether it be in life or at work. It’s like that time you asked your mama why she didn’t pay you for every A+ you got, like so-and-so’s mom did. Because getting A’s is what you were supposed to do and that doesn’t warrant a reward. It may be a long journey up the career ladder before someone truly appreciates what you contribute. But you have to know that you do add value, your work serves its purpose and that one day all of that work will amount to something great. Be great simply because YOU want to be great at what you do. Don’t just perform for an applause.
“Third party credibility is more powerful than anything you can ever say on your own behalf.”
#Preach. Third party credibility is like water, in abundance it can grow your career and when lacking your career, reputation and opportunities can dry up. Build a good repitoire with those who you work with and work for. The way I do this is by being all about the word YES. I volunteer to do all the tedious things no one likes to do. Whatever my boss asks of me I answer it with an enthusiastic yes. I also volunteer to help others in my office. Be all about yes. Take on challenges and handle all the little things that usaully get swept under the rug. When people ask others about you, if they don’t know anything else about you, they know you are always willing to help and go out of your way to make their job easier.
“When it comes to online content, if you don’t want to watch it, no one else will either.”
Your social media is an extension of your brand and can weigh heavily on how you are perceived in the office. Your social media accounts should not double as your diary. Generate equal parts information and inspiration. Never too much of one. Share information that’s relevant to your industry, interests and goals. I like to share fashion articles and career content because those things relate to what it is that I do. I’m not saying you can’t share what you ordered at Starbucks but understand people come for the fun posts but they STAY for the information.
“Suck it up and get the most out of the experience, no matter what.”
We’ve all had a terrible boss or two--been at a job we hate or just stopped mid-day and cried out “whyyyyy me?!”
[Tweet "The thing about career experiences is that they are lessons disguised as trials."]
These challenging times reveal something to us about ourselves that we didn’t previously know. One time I had an aweful internship in a news station. Even though I hated it, I discovered that news production wasn’t for me and I could reevaluate my career goals in order to move forward doing something I did like: business and fashion. See, lessons are in that trial. Stop and ask: What should I be learning from this?
“If you put it out there, it can be used against.”
Whether it’s a tweet, a post or something you casually mentioned to a co-worker, once you put it out there it’s out there. Be very careful how casually and freely you give out information. When I first started at my job my fellow intern began to interview for new positions at other companies. She talked about it with me, other interns and even our boss. A week later a new position opened and she was looked over for the promotion because she had already made it know n that she was looking to move on. Had she not disclosed that information she may have been promoted from within our company. Be very strategic about what you put out there. She was innocently mentioning her interview to us, but the information was used against her in the end. #GotstaBeMoCareful
Let me know what lessons “Leave Your Mark” taught you!