I love a good career read, and no one can argue that in the past few years, self-help books centered around women and career have skyrocketed. but the more I read, the more skeptical I am of newer books. how much of their information is actually new and useful? the book reviews on the lily honey life try to be two things – informative on the content and honest. here’s my take on the newest bestseller book, “Leave Your Mark” by Aliza Licht.
the gist of the book – work hard, do what you love, and succeed. this book is similar to other recently published books, mirroring the consumer demand for books centered on young women and career. it’s also similar to a few other books, including this one that I reviewed last year, because it’s written by a fashion executive. when are we going to start reading books by female engineers or lawyers?! I digress.
the target audience – any young woman between the ages of 18 and 30. I found that the later part of the book more interesting and useful than the beginning part purely because the beginning of the book was geared more towards things like “how to interview for the first time”. still, even the repetitive advice as a useful reminder.
1. find what you love and work as hard as possible to be a badass in it. Licht spent a lot of time explaining the route that took her to fashion pr, and her honesty was refreshing. a lot of the authors behind career books talk about how they had one focus their entire lives and never considered anything else. but Licht specifically outlines how she thought she wanted to be a doctor her entire life, only to find out that she really wanted to do fashion! much to her parent’s dismay, she went for what she felt was right.
once you find what you’re passionate about, you should work as hard as you possibly can to be awesome at it. this was a consistent theme throughout the book and it resonated with me more than most of it. a lot of young people expect to get their foot in the door and then sit back and let the “awesome” happen to them. in fact, I’m still so surprised to meet up with a friend who spends the whole evening whining about their job and talking about how they can’t possibly work more than 8 hours per day.
2. ”people who tell you how they mapped out their five-year plan are full of it” – this made me laugh out loud!! in fact, I only have one friend who has known their 5 year plan for years and years and has happily executed on the plan at hand. most of us, think we might have a plan for the next year or two, but let’s face it, if you’re anywhere in your twenties, you probably don’t know everything yet. here’s the thing – I think it’s a great idea to map out a plan. heck, map out 5 plans! if you feel more comfortable having a plan, then go ahead and make one. but be as aware as possible that you will almost certainly move off of that plan and that is totally okay.
2. make sure you’re cocktail party ready:
- if you’re going to a big event or meeting, make sure you know who is who ahead of time – especially the host!!
- read the news. don’t be the dud who doesn’t know any current events
- ask and tell: make sure to ask questions about others and then insert some things about you that relate to the topic. no one likes a one sided conversation or a talker.
- if you get someone’s contact at a party, email them the next day. I’ve often had a hard time doing this because I often feel like I don’t have anything to say. but, if you don’t reach out quickly, the person you met will forget about you and will have a hard time making the connection later.
that’s my high level recap. main point – not an absolute “must read” book in my opinion, but a good short read that has some nice tips. I also really appreciate Licht’s positive energy and work ethic, she’s a great example of what I think all of us should be doing for something we love – working our butts off.