Happy Hump Day! As most of my followers know my last day working at InStyle was last Friday. Leaving was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my young career, but I was itching to grow so I took a leap. Not only did InStyle send me off in the most loving way, but I left with so many lessons and I want to share them with you. Here are the top 5 things that will forever stay with me—
1.Never be “too good” for menial tasks
My boss, Laura Brown (LB), the Editor in Chief of InStyle is so big on this. Everyday I waited on line for her lunch, most days I made sure she ate lunch before I even thought about snagging a bite myself. One of LB’s tag lines is “Get the lunch.” When you prove that you are never too good for anything people will notice and you also get extra time with the boss and the opportunity to build a bond.
2. SHOW UP
Showing up is different to everyone; for me it’s staying late when you’re not asked, arriving before the boss to ensure their day goes smooth, and going the extra mile every single time. I’ll never forget the one time Imani (previous co-worker, now very good friend) and I stayed late to help Kahlana [Barfield-Brown] with a project. She told us she’d be right back and hours later at almost 10pm she came back and didn’t expect us to be there, but we were and neither one of us complained. We were just happy to help. The little things get you remembered.
3. Talk to everyone
I made friends with EVERYONE! The security guards, the building custodians, the chefs, and the editors. Every single person is human and no one deserves more recognition than the other. Sometimes I have really horrible days and have negative energy hovering over me, but I still make sure to smile and be a shining light in anyone’s day. A lot of times the restaurant where I got Laura’s lunch would just give me the food for free because I approached them with a smile everyday and said hello. The florist carrier brought me a personal arrangement once because every time I picked up Laura’s flowers I greeted him with a cheerful hello and a smile. Humble yourself and give everyone the same energy, it will take you far.
4. Network Across
This is something I’ve always known, but in the past year it’s been drilled into my head even more. It’s natural to want to be mentored by the winners in the game right now and you should always respect who came before you, but don’t sleep on those who are on the same level as you. Your goal should be to come up TOGETHER with those around you, never get in the door and close it behind you. The ones on your level can sometimes help you more than people who are over you. Reach across and network with your peers more and see how far it takes you.
5. Don’t limit yourself
Sounds cliché, I know. It’s easy to say you won’t limit yourself, but it’s also easy to get caught up in your everyday tasks. My day-to-day at InStyle was surrounded with Laura’s life but I didn't let that limit me. I got the chance to host Beauty School episodes for InStyle.com, attend events, write articles, and more that was beyond my assignment.
Moral of the story is put in the work. We live in a generation where everything revolves around social media and a lot of times the grind seems glamorous. It’s very cool to attend fun events, run the same circles as celebs, and sip on free champagne, but you can’t reap the rewards of the work you didn’t put in. I never posted getting Laura’s lunch everyday or the tedious tasks I had to do, but I still did them. One of my #1 tips when coming into the industry is to look beyond social media, if it was all as cute and fun as IG made it seem things would be a lot different. Put in the work and you will reap the rewards. I’m just getting started, thank you for riding with me!
To InStyle, thank you for being everything and more to me. Few are chosen, and I’m happy that I was amongst that few. Only up from here!