Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

Leave Your MarkAliza Licht, a highly successful communications executive in the fashion industry, brings us Leave Your Mark. This book is a how-to guide explaining the foundation needed to get ahead in your career, on social media and with your personal brand, through her own experiences. I don’t typically read how-to books, usually choosing much shorter online articles with a list of tips, but I really enjoyed this one!

With a conversational tone, I felt slightly like I was have an extended coffee date with Licht as she explained her top tips for succeeding in any industry as a professional. Her casual tone was very easy to read and engage with. Her advice ranged from broad categories of how to find your passion to writing a short follow-up email. Slightly sassy in tone, I respect Licht’s tell-it-how-it-is attitude because there are some things in life that just shouldn’t be tiptoed around!

As the new year begins, I’m going to do my best to take some of the advice from this book to heart. Here are a few pieces of advice from Leave Your Mark that I think are the most insightful and beneficial:

– “Anticipate your boss’s needs.”
– “You don’t get a promotion for doing your job; you get a promotion for going above and beyond your job.”
– “Don’t just learn your job, learn everyone else’s.”

I graduated from college last spring and as someone entering the business world, I found her advice to be both intelligent and perceptive. Whether it’s applying this advice for my career, on social media platforms like WordPress and Instagram, or while communicating with other professionals, I’m glad to have read Leave Your Mark.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

I’m a bit behind the game and only just finished Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg. Despite being reminded of this one by friends and business professors for the past couple of years, I only just got to it. Throughout the book, Sandberg shares many personal insights into the high power business positions that she has held, at places including Google, Facebook, and the United States Treasury Department. She is a strong role model for all, both women and men, young and old, to be ambitious in whatever you do and to lean in. Regardless of whether that ambition is to stay home or to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

One of the key points that Sandberg makes is to pick a partner who supports your decisions and vice versa. She mentions her husband Dave many times throughout the book, explaining that he is the reason that she is able to do what she does. It is heartbreaking to read these passages of love and gratitude while knowing that her husband, Dave Goldberg, passed away earlier this year. My heart goes out to Sandberg and her family.

Lean In is a great read (and not too long, a bit under 200 pages) teaching us to lean in with everything we’ve got.

To watch Sandberg’s TED talk (with over 5 million views!) click here.