In my review/summary of Year of Yes, I realize that for me, Rhimes’ wisdom was a slow burn, requiring a bit of meditation, contemplation, and soul searching. In contrast, Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht, was like instant lightning.

Let me preface by saying, I didn’t know who Lict was before finding the book. I was also nervous it was going to be a repeat of Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, which I was not a fan of.  But, I started reading, and it was like watching someone blaze the very trail that I was nervously embarking on.

I had already navigated the first couple of steps, like being willing to take anything to get experience and sucking the internship dry, on my own.  Those pieces are the slow burn though, right? They’re about how you take on challenges and your overall work ethic. What I really appreciated about Licht’s book is that she had the slow burn stuff, along with quick, clear pieces I could incorporate the very next day.

“If I get a DM that says, “Thanks for following! You can also like me on Facebook!” I literally want to unfollow immediately.” ― Aliza Licht, Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media.

I think at this point, we’ve all developed a sort of sixth-sense for when social media is fully (or mostly) automated and know that’s not a good move. I also think we can all decipher which accounts and personalities are fake or solely professional accounts rather than accounts run by someone we can actually connect with. I’ve spent a lot of time going back and forth debating whether or not I needed professional social media accounts, and I ultimately decided against it.

Instead, I always do the headline test—would you be okay if your post was the headline of the front page of your news-source of choice tomorrow? If so, cool. If not, maybe reconsider the details of the post. It’s important that social media show not just your brand, but the person behind the brand because that’s who people want to know. People buy a product one time, but repeat customers stem from a relationship. And, social media is one of the easiest ways to build that relationship.

“If you can't recite your elevator pitch at the drop of a hat, stay home.”
― Aliza Licht, Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media.

Moment of truth? This is one that I still struggle with.

Part of me wants to explain it away— I technically work at two companies and have two job titles, so explaining the differences takes more than an elevator ride. Except, as the marketing and communications manager, it’s 100% my job to have an on-point elevator pitch if not for myself, then my job...erm, jobs.

The thing is, it’s really about knowing three or four key points that you can adjust for any situation or person. We all connect to people differently, and leaving room for that is key. I promise you that if you sound too rehearsed, whoever you’re talking to will feel like they aren’t special, and won’t want to keep talking to you. By having talking points at the ready, you’ll have something to say, and actually know the perfect time to say it.

“If you have to ask if someone is your mentor, chances are they’re not.” ― Aliza Licht, Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media.

There’s really nothing else to say beyond this. I remember being in supervision with my boss and current mentor, less than a week after reading that line, and him mentioning that we were starting to develop a mentorship relationship. My internal thought was “oh yeah, that was confirmed last week when I was reading”.

I definitely see the value in having a direct conversation, a sort of DTR if you will, so I’m glad I got confirmation that he and I were on the same page. But, the nature of mentorship being what it is, I think both people need to get the other on a specific level to know when to push, or pause. If you know your mentor well enough to know when you need to step up and put in some extra hours, chances are they know you well enough to know when you’re so stressed you may need a half-day off and some fried food.

And, if you don't have someone like that. Find one. (But that's another topic for another time.)