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Glamour's EIC Cindi Leive's Career Tips: Ask For The Job You Want

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Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

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Glamour EIC Cindi Leive is featured in this week's New York Times "Corner Office" leadership column, and she drops some helpful career advice that could apply to everyone from new college graduates interviewing for their first jobs to veteran managers. Here are some of her best career tips (including real talk, like don't forget to have a life along the way):

Ask for the job you want: "I always ask people why they want the job. There’s not one right answer, but I want to see that there is a reason. Years ago, Leonard Lauder [the former C.E.O. of the Estée Lauder Companies] told me that somebody needs to ask for the job, to say something along the lines of: "I really want this position. I think I could do something great with it, and I’d be so excited to join your team. What else can I do to convince you?" If they haven’t said that, then they haven’t gone far enough. I’m always pleased when somebody does that."

Being firm and clear is the key to managing: "The big challenge for me was learning how to be firm and clear. It’s very reassuring for employees to understand what is expected of them. Otherwise, how will they know that they’re doing a good job? Finding a way to do that while also creating an office that is warm and friendly and engaging is a balancing act that it took me a while to master."

Praise matters: "Years ago, an executive editor of mine said, 'You should count the number of times you praise somebody and then double that.' Even the toughest, steeliest writer or editor often really wants to be told, 'Hey, that was a great piece.'"

Don’t downplay your ideas: "You can not when pitching an idea proceed it with, ‘Well, this probably a bad idea but…You might think I’m crazy…I’m sure someone else has already proposed this.’ I’ve never heard a man say any of those things to me in a meeting. A guy comes in to pitch an idea and he’s like ‘I’ve got it.’"

Be able to execute those ideas from beginning to end: "The people on my team who can come up with an idea, put together a plan and presentation for getting it done, pick up the phone and find partners, are gold."

No job is going to make you happy all the time: "The idea that your job is going to make your heart sing on a daily basis is just not true. If that’s the expectation of a 25-year-old today, they’re going to be sorely disappointed. But you can aim for a pretty good heart-singing-to-bummed-out ratio."

Have a life besides work: "I’m always curious about who people are outside of work, and I think you want to hire people who have something going on in their lives besides work. I have definitely seen that people who have full lives are not just happier but also tend to be better at their jobs. They don’t take everything so personally."

Don’t worry about having it all: "I can not stand the phrase having it all. I feel like I have a lot of the things that matter to me but I don’t have it all, and I could list 18 things for you at any given time that I’m not doing that I should be doing. I can’t stand the word juggling. That idea of a woman juggling it all. Because first of all, how is that an appealing metaphor? Juggling is this act that you do by yourself, and the whole goal is to keep these balls that are making you anxious in the air for the maximum length of time before they inevitably come crashing down on the ground. That’s not a great metaphor for how you are keeping your work life and family life together."