My “to read” pile is big. Huge, really. I am definitely behind on my reading. But as soon as I read a pre-release excerpt of Leave Your Mark, by Aliza Licht, I knew I would have to fall just a little further behind. Ms. Licht’s approach and tone hooked me and I immediately navigated to Amazon and pre-ordered the book, which instantly landed at the top of the ever-growing tower of titles.
You see, while Leave Your Mark is a perfect read for a twentysomething just figuring out their passions and their career paths, it’s also an ideal read for someone like me, who finds themselves in need of some inspiration, and a change of course. A re-launch, so to speak.
The advice in Leave Your Mark is the best, most serious you’ll find available. But what sets this career guide apart from the rest is that beyond being so sensible, it’s highly accessible and engaging as well.
Ms. Licht shares many stories from her career and highlights myriad examples of what to do, what not to do, and essential “Insider Tips,” not one of which should be ignored. As the author states herself, this isn’t a “how-to” book, it’s a “must-do” book.
Like Ms. Licht, I started working in New York in the same pre-internet era and went through many of the same career growing pains. Those starting out today can’t comprehend how different things were, how much more effort was required for the most basic tasks.
As she describes in her book, in order to land a job in the magazine industry she had to load up on recent issues from her local newsstand and find editors names in the magazines masthead (no Google!). Resumes and cover letters were actually printed out on paper, and the process from application to offer seemed endless.
Reading Leave Your Mark reminded me of where I’ve been and all that I’ve accomplished. It inspired me to review and reevaluate the various phases in my career, and it reaffirmed the value of the workplace wisdom I’ve accrued over the years. (Thank you, Ms. Licht!)
Leaving your mark in today’s job market almost always requires some kind of social media presence, and by presence I don’t just mean that you have a Twitter feed or a Facebook or LinkedIn profile void of content.
A social media profile is something that needs to be curated in order yield results, and there’s no better person than Aliza Licht to help you engage and and build your network online.
Ms. Licht is honest (at times, I’m sure, painfully for some) about what it takes to get where you want to be in your career and encourages that honesty from the reader, providing opportunities for self-evaluation.
Throughout the book, Licht includes “Take a Selfie” sections in which she asks the reader questions essential to figuring out when and if to take the next step. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others–especially when we are all sharing so much online–that self-evaluation is especially vital now.
Ms. Licht offers the best kind of constructive criticism: the kind that points out the potential problem while simultaneously offering the reader a solution. She also urges readers to discover and foster their own strengths and creativity.
You may not know why what you’re currently doing isn’t providing you with the results you’re seeking. After reading Leave Your Mark you will. You might even have a brainstorm or two.
Another critical issue that Leave Your Mark addresses is the (often overlooked) difference between social/casual communication and professional correspondence. It’s easy to forget in this era of text-speak that even though you may be using the same medium to communicate with both friends and potential employers and colleagues, there remains a vast difference in the way one should construct these messages. Take a cue from Ms. Licht on what to say and how to say it.
Just because Ms. Licht is a social media maven, the voice of twitter’s DKNY PR Girl (with over half a million followers), don’t think for a second that she accomplished all that she has using the same friendly (and sometimes cheeky) tone that she uses in her tweets.
I won’t go on and on (though I could) because Leave Your Mark is simply a book that you #MUSTREAD (and learn from) for yourself, and I won’t presume to paraphrase Ms. Licht any further.
Ms. Licht should not merely be respected for her success, she should be admired for her work ethic, her dedication, and her generosity. The advice and experience shared in Leave Your Mark is a rare gift to anyone who is serious about their career success, and who is both humble and hungry enough to earn it.