4 Tips to Take From Leave Your Mark

At some point in our lives,
we realize that we want to continue learning – at least, I always do. It’s cold
and dreary out – super grey here in Ohio although it’ll be warm this week with
tons of rain – the weather is perfect reading weather. The rainy days that are
coming this week make me yearn to be in bed with a cup of tea and a great book.
Goodness, I love reading. There’s nothing like curling up in a fleece blanket
with a good book. As graduation loomed upon me, I moved on from my Non-Fiction
love and started reading books that correlate with my career. Don’t worry; I
still get my Sarah Dessen and Harry Potter fix. 


The book drew me in and
kept me fixated was Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht. Why was
this book important to me? As a soon to be graduate, I needed a book to help
point me in the right direction. I knew that I wanted to work in communications
and in a world that could reach multiple people at one time. I knew that what I
was going to do would let me network and meet people from all around. Fashion
was the first thing that deterred me to communications – I took a History of
Fashion class at The Ohio State University and was wowed every day but the
stitching and creativity that went into a piece. I knew I couldn’t put together
a piece like that but I could be the voice that talked it up and showed it off
to people. Heck, I was good at that – I was good at getting people in the know
and letting them know what was up and that’s how communications came into play
in my life. 

That’s where Aliza Licht
came in. I had seen so many ladies from The Lala (great place for you college
girls!!) post pictures with this book and I had to figure out what was so good
about this book. I regret not getting it sooner and I regret taking forever to
read it after I got it. My eyes were opened. I took her tips. I got a job. Now
if you don’t know who Aliza Licht is, you need to know. She was voice DKNY PR
Girl – a real life Gossip Girl… except she wasn’t spreading gossip, she
created a character with a pseudo name and brought to life a person that
intrigued everyone. When she finally revealed herself, her following stayed –
they didn’t turn on her because she was authentic and she related to her
audience. 

What is intriguing about
Aliza? Maybe it’s the fact that she made the switch from a Science major to
owning Communications in the fashion world. Or the fact that she detailed her
journey to get to where she was and she provided her own insight on how to
achieve that level – information that fed my mind and really drove me in the
next steps of process while I was transitioning from my first big girl job to a
career. This is the SVP of Global Communications at DKNY; well she was until
she moved on to consulting. Her position at DKNY was held for seventeen years
and if that doesn’t say a lot to you then I don’t know what will. We’re in the
age where people switch jobs a lot, Aliza even made the switch from the
editorial side of fashion to the public relations – she took a chance on growth
and new opportunities.

As I read this book, I
executed the ideas that Aliza shared. My cover letter went from talking about
why I deserved the position to a cover letter that talked about my experiences
and growth to get to this level. Instead of advertising myself, I introduced
myself and presented a much more authentic picture of myself. Aliza taught me
how to be irreplaceable and to go above and beyond with simple words rather
than demands that are thrown at us every day. I soaked up this book when I
wasn’t at my Marketing Assistant job and when I applied for my current job; I
applied the Aliza Outlook to everything. She brought up a good point that,
“If change doesn’t hurt a little, it’s not change. You have to
go beyond where you’re comfortable, or you’re not progressing” and that’s
currently my thing – dealing with change and learning to accept it while
conquering the uncomfortable. 

Luckily,
I took these four tips from the book – four tips that I feel will help anyone
who is about to step into the real world or change career paths. If you’re at a
job you love now, invest as well and take the advice because advice is usually
always helpful. 

Own Every Opportunity that
Comes Your Way

If you’re given an
opportunity, you better run it dry. Aliza talks about taking an internship that
wasn’t exactly what she wanted – it was in another department – but she killed
it and then reached out to that department to see if they needed help. She put
herself out there to let the head honchos know that she’s down to do whatever
to get to where she wants to be. An internship is meant for you to learn and
gain experience so why not get all the experience that you can get? If you go
out of your way and do more than what is expected of you, you’re going to leave
a lasting impression. 

Find a Mentor

There’s nothing better than
having someone guide you and keep it real with you. That person is going to
give you feedback and tell you what works and doesn’t work. You want this
person in your life. You want someone who is going to help you grow and map you
into the person you need to be. Like Aliza says, “Mentors
shape who we are. They guide us and let us learn from their successes and their
failures. They’re the ultimate big sisters in our professional lives. They give
you room to grow and help you realize who you are and what you’re capable of
doing. They give you that needed nudge, that sign of encouragement. They
challenge you to be your best, and if they’re good, they’re also tough on you.
Because mentors aren’t there to flatter you; they’re there to help you.”

Moving Through the Early
Stages

Aliza mentions that you
have your inner circle at work – the people that work in a similar area as you
– yet there are multiple layers to a company. Her analogy was an onion; you
have to peel the onion in order to see the different layers. There are
different possibilities surrounding you at your company and there are possible
roles for you to reach out for. Never put all your eggs in one basket if you
think you can excel at a different level. Don’t just stick to your circle at
work, break out and reach out to different people. You want to be able to work
with everyone around you and execute positive energy. 

Network and Put Yourself
Out There

As I read this book, I
began to realize how important networking is. We get told all the time that
it’s important but I find there’s alack in my city for what I want to do. Aliza
points out that you can network on social outlets and that never really
occurred to me. Social Media is a platform that surpasses privacy and puts
almost everything out there for the world to see. Put out great content and
connect with people who do things that you like. No matter who the person is,
gathering those connections can be helpful in the future. Someone might not be
in your field but they can hold a connection that you need in the future –
always take chances with people. In the words of Aliza, “No matter how or where
you choose to network, remember this: The most successful people are generous
in spirit and happy to make an introduction for someone else even though it has
no visible benefit to them. They’re called uber-connectors. Being an
uber-connector is good business karma and will only help you establish yourself
as someone in the know.”

Leave Your Mark is such a good book –
a book that has helped me be more of myself in my field and less of the
‘Perfect B’ I tried to create. It’s a book that I always flip through – from
when I’m in the parking lot at work to just sitting in a drive-thru – it’s
almost always with me. If you need advice and don’t know how to take the next
step, check this book out. I would never lead you in the wrong direction. 

Have you read Leave
Your Mark
? What are your thoughts on it? If you haven’t and know some other
good books, what are those? I love reading so share!

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