When it comes to dream jobs, Jenna Lyons is currently holding one that we are seriously coveting. The creative director of J.Crew is always in the spotlight for her spot-on style, but she’s also full of valuable career advice (some of which we’ve already shared with you). The boss lady (who started at J.Crew as an assistant to an assistant) recently sat down with Glamour’s editor-in-chief Cindi Leive to share some tips that you should definitely take along with you on your professional journey. If, for you, the pot of gold at the end of the job hunting rainbow is a position working under Ms. Lyons, read this checklist to see if you’d meet her employee requirements.
1. Do you send job inquiries via email? If so, then chances are you’ll have to move along on your career conquest. She tells Cindi Leive, “Send me some of your work or a nice letter, and tell me why you’re interested in working here. Don’t send me an email…. You have to be old-school.”
2. Do you want to be promoted ASAP? Don’t get us wrong — promotions are a necessary part of your career journey. But all too often young professionals are already thinking about moving up before they’ve really mastered their current position. “On to something bigger and better” is a good mentality to have, but within reason. Lyons says, “there’s this idea of having everything quickly, that you’re going to walk in the door, be a designer, and not have to do any of the grunt work. It’s just not realistic. The things you don’t learn in school are the skills you probably need more: what it’s like to work with other people, how you build a team and collaborate.”
3. Do you ask for feedback? Jenna says the key to moving up is to “make yourself indispensable.” She’s not the kind of boss that likes you to come at her saying something like, “I’ve done all this and I want X.” Instead, she prefers that employees hoping to progress in the company approach the conversation saying, “I’m ready to take the next step. What is it that I can do better?”
4. Do you freak out when you make a mistake? Obviously nobody enjoys making a big mistake at work, but you need to be okay and comfortable knowing that they are a natural and often necessary part of life. Jenna says, “if you look at business…the mistakes often end up being the best things that could have happened. The only sad part about down business is if you don’t learn from it, you know? Get in there and be humble.”
How’d did you fare with this checklist? Are you ready for a job with our favorite girl boss? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
(Photo via Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty)