June 9, 2015

What Are You Doing To ‘Leave Your Mark’?

Aliza Licht is the SVP of Global Communications for Donna Karan New York & DKNY. I started keeping tabs on her timeline after she live tweeted an episode of Scandal a while back. As a fellow gladiator, she got major cool points. After following her, she has become my new E-Mentor. Not only does she know MORE than a few things about the fashion industry; she is full of golden nuggets of advice that she has long given to her Twitter followers but is now making accessible for everyone in her new book.

“Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill it in Your Career. Rock Social Media,” hit shelves recently and it is absolutely divine! It is packed with some great advice and I have already gifted this book to two graduates. However, whether you are in college, a recent graduate, someone looking to switch careers or knee deep in your chosen career path; this is a great career book that should be kept on your shelf.

leave your mark aliza licht

The advice is colored with stories from her career but is cut throat and straight to the point in a way that makes you stop and retain all of the information.

Without giving too much away, as I want everyone to read this book, here are some of my favorite jewels from this book.

follow your passion

….even if you feel it might be too late.

It is important that we all find the career path. This is what we will be doing for the rest of our lives and it is important that we love what we do. Aliza was studying pre-med and during a summer internship after her junior year is when it really hit her that she wasn’t doing what she really wanted. “That gut feeling, the one that pulls at you to get your attention, is definitely worth the time to examine.” She had that gut feeling, she followed it and it ultimately led her on a different path. “I had to be honest with myself and admit that it was OK to make a mistake. It’s by no means ideal, but it had to be OK.”  There are a lot of people right now that are not happy in their current field but are afraid to change or admit they are unhappy because they don’t want to seem like a failure. Realizing you are not happy and wanting to make changes does not make you a failure. Staying in a dreaded situation out of fear of disappointing someone or afraid to start over is the real failure. It is never to late to start realizing your dreams and it all boils down to finding out what your passions are and following them.

 Your job description doesn’t matter

“Your boss wants to know that you are passionate about the success of the business whether it’s in your job description or not.”

Too many times I have heard people say, “well that’s not part of my job description.” That is absolutely the wrong mentality to have. The only way you truly move up and continue to ascend in the ranks of your company is to continually put in the work. Your supervisor(s) want to see that you are willing to do more when needed, or even when it is not asked. The key is to make sure you are passionate. If you are passionate about your job and your career, you will be willing to go beyond. If you aren’t passionate, however, it may definitely be time to re-assess and re-evaluate.

Forget the long term goal

I was so happy when I saw this in the book because of a recent self-evaluation I had. In the past I would try to plan in detail the next five or ten years without thinking about next year, next month or the next day. Aliza isn’t saying to not have goals, hell I am not saying that either. What I am saying is be smart about the planning process. Aliza says, “nail what is in front of you and your next step will be crystal clear.”

Rock Social Media

Social media is indeed a place for us to be expressive but we cannot always say EXACTLY what we are thinking. “You never know whom you’re going to offend” so we must filter what we say. You know how we like to think that we can’t be judged for our personal feelings? Wrong. “You are 100 percent being judged.” Although there is a delete button on all social media outlets, nothing is ever really gone forever. Remember the art of the screen shot. Have fun, engage in conversations, be authentic but be careful.

“Leave Your Mark” is worth the read. From crafting a great resume and cover letter; to learning to suck your internship dry and building the brand that is you; it is a great career book.

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Natalya