Book Review / Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht | Pennies & Paper: Book Review / Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht


Book Review / Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

Wednesday, September 2

leave your mark, aliza licht, book review, business book
Leave Your Mark
by Aliza Licht
May 5, 2015 by Grand Central Publishing (Hachette)
Goodreads || Barnes & Noble || Hachette

I picked up this book during one of my many failed attempts to join an online book club (someday, I will join an in-person one that will keep me accountable!). It's not a book I would have picked up on my own, but I ended up really appreciating it's career-forward focus.

I've known I wanted to work with books since I was in kindergarten, when my parents would handwrite my dications under my rough illustrations (I'm no artist!). I've shifted from amateur picture book author to Editorial Assistant for English textbooks, but almost all of what I did in high school and college focused on training for a career with words and publishing.

Since I am happy with my current career path, Part I of the book ("Landing Your Dream Job") was more a confirmation of a job well done so far. Part II ("Killing It in Your Career"), is full of all those things I have yet to really worry about--promotions and having trouble with co-workers and things to avoid doing. I loved the fun call-outs (especially the "Take a Selfie" boxes--and I'm not just saying that because my thesis was about selfies!). I loved all of Licht's personal stories and how she would parse them to develop tips and tricks for the reader. Licht's voice was one of the strongest aspects of this book. She was funny yet blunt, and seems to actually care about helping her readers be successful in a job they love.

The entire book is promoted as a "must-do" instead of a "how-to," which is a cute marketing play. But I felt the book's specificity was a drawback, especially in this area. Licht is (was!) a social-media-focused PR powerhouse for DKNY, both things I am quite interested in. For those looking for a career outside of fashion and social media, some of the tips seem a little narrow, and Licht's attempts to broaden them do a diservice to her stories. Not every career is the same, which Licht addresses only briefly before going on to say how everyone "must do" what she is suggesting. (The fact that Licht does not address work-life balance--which she seems to excel at--bothers me less since the book was not marketed itself that way.)

That may not bother everyone, however, and her stories are, at minimum, endlessly inspiring. They make me want to chug coffee and get all of my projects done in one day, then jump up and do everything that needs doing but no one has time for. That's essentially what Licht has done in her career. And if she can do it in red lipstick and heels, so can I.

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P.S. This book has also reminded me of the extensive list of nonfiction essay books I've been meaning to read (Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, It's Complicated by danah boyd, Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling, Never Have I Ever by Katie Heany, The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan...). Does anyone recomend one of those over the others?

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