leave your mark aliza licht

Aliza Licht’s ‘Leave Your Mark’: Honest Career and Life Advice

I will admit that I bought this book after hearing about it on the grapevine.

Friends of friends would talk about the vast career tips covered in Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job, Kill It In Your Career, Rock Social Media, a book that soon jumped to the top of Amazon’s Job Hunting/Career Guides chart. They said it was an easy read packed full of digestible tips that were straight forward and honest.

I started noticing its vibrant cover, and finally bought a copy myself.

Licht breaks down each part of the title of her book: ‘Land Your Dream Job’, ‘Kill It In Your Career’, ‘Rock Social Media’, plus a section dedicated to ‘Creating the Brand of You’ and a forward by Dona Karan. Each chapter also comes with ‘Insider Tips’ highlighted in bold, giving the reader a smattering of what other incredibly helpful advice Licht has to impart through stories of how she got to DKNY, and to being the mind behind DKNY Girl.

Here are the best lessons I learned that forced me to give myself a kick in the right direction. Licht’s honest, no-nonsense approach to talking about her experiences in the Public Relations world, and pioneering social media for a world famous fashion brand, is a must-read for ambitious millennial women:

1. Self-examination is key

The most difficult, yet best and most effective, part of this read is that it makes you take a hard look at yourself. It starts out with Licht making the decision to quit medical school because she knew she had to follow her passion of working in fashion. A difficult decision many of us face after college is, “Did I do the right thing? Am I willing to do what I love?” Licht makes you take a hard look at yourself (especially during her ‘Take A Selfie’ moments highlighted in each chapter) which is a large reason why her advice works.

2. A one size cover letter does not fit all

Cover letters are the most difficult thing about applying for a job. It forces you to not only self-examine in a non-pretentious way, but also is your one shot, along with your resume, at make a lasting impression. As someone who has cried over sending the wrong version of a cover letter to an employee, I paid careful attention to Licht’s advice about writing a killer cover letter, including reading it backwards. Yes, it works.

3. “Leadership is a combination of pushing and pulling”

‘When You Get to the Top, Don’t Be an Asshole’ is a chapter that serves everyone a slice of absolutely necessary humble pie. Licht talks about the need to “strike a balance” in order to be a likeable leader who is also able to confidently give orders, an important lesson to anyone who plans on being successful in their field.

4. The importance of confidence

Reiterated in Leave Your Mark is the idea that you have to believe in yourself and what you can provide before you can reach success. When it comes to personal branding, Licht reminds us to remember what it really is – personal: “Every day gives you an opportunity to reimagine yourself differently. If you are brave enough to really look at yourself with eyes wide open, you will be all the better for it. There is not right answer here. The closest you will get is being happy and proud in your own skin and to me, that’s worth a hell of a lot.”

These tips are a taste of the knowledge Licht packs into each section. My suggestion? Sit with some coffee, take some notes, and learn how to leave your mark.

Order Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job, Kill It In Your Career, Rock Social Media here.

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Written by:

Rebecca is a Corporate Communications Associate and freelance writer. Her words can be found on The Urban Realist and Culture Stocked, as well as My Little Black Book. Rebecca enjoys dark humour, good music, and a well-thought out pun. You'll find her drinking coffee with her sunglasses on at almost any given time.

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