There’s no doubt that Jenna Lyons has had a monumental career trajectory that many of us can only dream of. So, when J. Crew’s badass head honcho shares the secret to her success, one must pay close attention and take her advice to heart. During a Hearst Master Class held on February 26, Lyons said that when it comes to advancing your career, commitment to work — minus the shortcuts — should top your list of priorities. Her rule of thumb: show up to work before the boss arrives and plan to go home only after she has left the office. Yes, Jenna Lyons wants you to be a workaholic.
“If you’re trying to get somewhere because it’s important to you to get somewhere, those are often the people I don’t promote,” she said. “People who are in my office asking for a raise, asking for a promotion, I’m not going to promote you first. I’m going to promote the person who is still there when I leave at 6:30, and is there when I come in the next morning, and instead of going home says, ‘Can I do anything else?’ is so obsessed with what they’re doing, surprises me, helps other people.”
While the thought of putting your career first sounds like such a huge task, Lyons delivered her thoughts on how to get ahead in the workforce in such a genuine, unflinching way that one truly can’t help but follow her lead.
“Think about what you want to do and what you love,” Lyons said. “Because you will never be successful if you spend too much time thinking about how you’re going to get ahead. It doesn’t work that way. The way you get ahead is by doing something that you love and committing to yourself to do that, because then you’ll be happy, and you’ll work hard, and you’ll get noticed for that.”
Coming from someone as fearless, fabulous, and Solange's BFF-worthy as Lyons, these tips truly are nothing short of life goals.