With a new year comes new and exciting decisions. Whether you’re finishing college or well into your career, “Leave Your Mark” by Aliza Licht gives you some insights on how to direct your career. Ever since graduating college, I have been lost. Some people may get excited with all the possibilities that are out there to explore once you leave the close corners of a classroom. But I was not. I am still figuring out how to properly and successful navigate through adulthood. So I have been on a search for a guide of some sort to help shine some light on something that defines a big part of my identity: my career.
It is probably safe to say that Aliza Licht is officially my new career fairy godmother. Seriously. She packed tons of helpful tips and career advice into her book “Leave Your Mark” — with additional sass for good measure. She intertwines personal stories that are applicable to any job both in the fashion and non-fashion industries. I think a lot of 20-somethings can agree that adulting is hard. It’s confusing and half the time, we don’t even know what we’re doing. I’d be happy with knowing what’s for lunch tomorrow! Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but you get the point.
So I decided to list five key things on how to make your career count, with the help of Aliza.
Find Your Passion
I can’t stress it enough how important it is to dream big and go after what you really want in your career. You only have one life so don’t waste it in a job that you aren’t happy with. Remember, don’t settle. It is better to do a lot of self reflection early on in your career as it’ll make any change of direction that much smoother and worthwhile. Ask yourself the big, daunting questions. Throughout the book, Aliza implemented little areas cleverly called “selfies” where she asked us questions that we should all be asking ourselves. Then, once you find where you can grow and hone in your talents, I’d say it’s time for a little happy dance.
Think of the Big Picture
When it comes to career growth, you want to think of the overall picture. Not just the next step. Aliza reminded me that there is no time to waste. She notes how she thinks more highly of college students who have a number of internships under their belt prior to graduation. Those are the ones who did not want to waste their time. So kids, hard work pays off. Trust me. Sure you might have to miss a happy hour or two but the extra effort will show.
Don’t Feel Entitled
Early in your career, it’s time to pay your dues. Aliza has and so can you. Nowadays, a lot of millennials might feel a sense of entitlement once they start their career. Once you get your cap and gown, it is not a straight shot to that corner office. It is going to take time. Aliza went from one company to another and tried a few different areas of business until she found what she loved to do. So take your time and don’t be afraid to try something new. It’s going to be a slow and at times brutal climb up to the top, but the view will be worth it.
Know the Political Game
Politics isn’t just for the White House folks. Sure, it isn’t as ruthless as what you see on House of Cards but it is definitely something you cannot ignore. As Aliza says, take note of the hierarchy. You don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, especially being the new person in the office. Be very observant of your surroundings and take note. Aliza says it best: Keep your mouth shut and head down. You do not want to get yourself in an unnecessary sticky situation.
Be a Social (Media) Butterfly
But do so with caution. When the saying goes that nothing is ever fully deleted from the Internet, you best believe it is true. Be aware that what you post is a direct reflection back to you. Aliza really hits this topic right to the T. She gives us great examples and tips on how to be social savvy and smart about it. She then mentions how millennials nowadays love to look “cool” on the Internet. But is posting a photo from a crazy party last weekend just for likes worth it? Employers now check your social handles to get an in-depth look as to how you are as a whole. So be warned, don’t over share if you can avoid it.
Overall, “Leave Your Mark” was such a quick and helpful read. One that is perfect to leave on your desk in case you need a refresher from time to time. Especially for ones who are nearing the end of their college education or starting your career, it’s perfect. To give you a taste of her book, check out the video below from her TedTalk. Even though you think you may have the career game on lock, think again. “Leave Your Mark” has some tips and pointers that you might have overlooked or may have never even thought of. So with that said, what kind of mark do you want to leave?
Rating: 10 out of 10
Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (May 5th, 2015)
Genre: Business Life, Career