Blame it on the copy of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In on our bedside table, but lately we’re all about finding ways to bring our A-game to the workplace (for proof, see our articles on how to dress for a job interview and what you should never wear to the office). Accordingly, we went to an esteemed group of fashion editors for their sage advice learned from years in the field. Don’t work in fashion or don’t have an office job? Never fear, we think these nuggets of life wisdom apply all around. Click through now for the tips your high school guidance counselor didn’t tell you.
"Yes, the masthead matters, but don't let worrying about titles and promotions get in your head. Be the editor-in-chief of your own role, in how hard you work, how professional you act, and how well you dress, and you will advance organically." – Mary Kate Steinmiller, Senior Fashion Market Editor, Teen Vogue
“Take pride in your work. There is great power in genuinely and truthfully doing the absolute best you can do for no reason other than to impress yourself. And be humble. Make sure you have the strength of character to admit having made a mistake.” – Rachael Wang, Fashion Market Director, Nylon
“At the end of the day, you represent your boss and your company, and the way you dress and conduct yourself is impactful. Though the line between work and play lines can blur, if you’re at a work event, always remember that the key word in that phrase is work, and behave accordingly.” – Hillary Kerr, Co-Founder, Who What Wear
"Be resourceful! Don't admit defeat if you haven't exhausted every option first. If you try hard enough, there's always a way to get it done. And don't rush through your tasks—it will show!" – Ray Siegel, Senior Online Editor, CR Fashion Book
"The easy road does not build character or substance. And never allow yourself to be marginalized. Being versatile is the key to many experiences that are invaluable—meaning always be willing to do what is out of your comfort zone." – Rajni Jacques, Fashion Features Editor, Glamour
"Find ways to help your company do better, even if it’s not part of your job (especially at a start-up!). If you take it upon yourself to improve something, whether it’s a process or a product, you will get noticed, and you will attract more responsibility. More responsibility leads to trust, which will lead to a much more important role." – Katherine Power, Co-Founder, Who What Wear
"Always accept opportunities, be confident in your abilities, and love the work you do—it will ensure you put your best effort in every project you do." – Sam Milner, Senior Market Editor and Manager, W
“Don't forget to praise your mentors and the people who helped you along the way. Do it loudly, and do it often. And try to be a mentor to others coming up through the ranks. Pay it forward, and help others succeed. After all, someone did it for you!” – Danielle Nussbaum, Entertainment Director, Who What Wear
“Be open to new opportunities, few career paths are straight.” – Courtney Weinblatt, Market Director, Marie Claire
"Be prompt and proactive. These are two habits that will always serve you well in the workplace." – Alex Taylor, Director of Content & Social Strategy, Who What Wear
Kat Collings has over 15 years of experience in the editorial fashion space, largely in digital publishing. She currently leads the vision for editorial content at WhoWhatWear.com as the site's editor in chief, having risen through the editorial ranks after joining the company in 2012. In her role, she primarily works on leading content strategy and also contributes trend direction for Who What Wear's design collaborations. Collings is a Digiday Future Leader Awards nominee, was named Buzzfeed's best fashion Instagram accounts of the year, and is a member of the CFDA Awards Fashion Guild. She has worked with luxury brands such as Moda Operandi, Cartier, and Net-a-Porter, and her personal style has been featured in many publications including NY Times Fashion & Style, Vogue.com, and InStyle. Prior to Who What Wear, Collings did assistant styling work for brands such as Vogue, Teen Vogue, Lucky, and Oliver Peoples, as well as freelance fashion writing. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in communications and calls Los Angeles home.