PODCAST: Work Rest & Slay with Melanie Morris: Episode 2
PODCAST: Work Rest & Slay with Melanie Morris: Episode 2

Shayna Sappington

Suicide prevention: ‘My brother faced stigma, red tape, long waiting times, under-resourced hospitals. In the end it was too much’
Suicide prevention: ‘My brother faced stigma, red tape, long waiting times, under-resourced hospitals. In the...

Amanda Cassidy

This Leeson St home on sale for €2 million is family-friendly but perfect for city living
This Leeson St home on sale for €2 million is family-friendly but perfect for city...

Megan Burns

You will not believe how they made THAT Zendaya Balmain dress
You will not believe how they made THAT Zendaya Balmain dress

Lauren Heskin

If you only see one film in the cinema this year, make it this powerful Irish feature
If you only see one film in the cinema this year, make it this powerful...

Meg Walker

Postpartum Psychosis: ‘It hit me completely out of the blue’
Postpartum Psychosis: ‘It hit me completely out of the blue’

Amanda Cassidy

4 Irish female bosses on getting organised, confidence and the importance of creativity
4 Irish female bosses on getting organised, confidence and the importance of creativity

Shayna Sappington

Two beauty industry stalwarts have teamed up to save cruelty-free cosmetics in Europe
Two beauty industry stalwarts have teamed up to save cruelty-free cosmetics in Europe

Sarah Finnan

Why negotiating a ‘jobbymoon’ before you start your new job is actually a great idea
Why negotiating a ‘jobbymoon’ before you start your new job is actually a great idea

Erin Lindsay

Skin Proud is Glossier’s new 100% vegan and cruelty-free competitor
Skin Proud is Glossier’s new 100% vegan and cruelty-free competitor

Sarah Finnan

Image / Editorial

Career Lessons From Anna Wintour


by Jeanne Sutton
02nd Mar 2015
blank

Anna Wintour is the uncrowned queen of the fashion world. After nearly 30 years in the role of editor of American Vogue, she knows a thing of two about surviving in one of the toughest industries.

She’s famously the alleged inspiration for Miranda Priestly’s fearsome character in The Devil Wears Prada, and can make or break a designer’s career. She’s one of many professional success stories that Alistair Campbell is profiling in his new book, Winners and How They Succeed, which was extracted in yesterday’s Sunday Times Style.

Here’s some of the career lessons she’s shared.

Get fired

Wintour was a fashion assistant at Harper’s Bazaar in 1976. She was let go after a few months, a biographical fact she’s never hidden. In fact she embraces this decisive footnote.

“I think everyone should get sacked at least once. It forces you to look at yourself. It didn’t feel it at the time, but it was definitely a good thing for what it taught me. It is important to have setbacks, because that is the reality of life. Perfection doesn’t exist.”

After this embarassing career blip she got a job with British Vogue, and the rest, dear readers, is publishing history.

Be sure of yourself, even if you’re not

Imposter syndrome and that whole self-doubting thing? There’s no place for it in Anna Wintour’s life. The 65-year-old says fake it until you’ve got things done.

“Even if you aren’t sure of yourself, pretend that you are. It makes it clearer for everyone else. Most people prevaricate. I decide fast. I think it’s helpful to the people who work for you.”

Know your strengths

You can’t do it all. Anna is even reluctant to call herself a journalist. We’re going to be honest, this humility surprised us a little bit?

“I can’t make anything. I don’t know how to make a dress. I couldn’t go on a shoot and create an image. I can’t write a script. I have so much admiration for people who can do these things, because I would have no idea where to start. I am always responding to other people’s talents. I am not the talent … I don’t write, I am not a writer. I see myself as someone who responds to the times and the culture, to a moment. Is that a journalist? I don’t know.”

Give people responsibility

Following on from the admission that she can’t do the jobs most of her staff carry out on a daily basis, Wintour says her management style is giving staff responsibility.

“People work better when they have responsibility,” she says. We’re dedicating this paragraph to anyone who has a boss looking over their shoulder at every appointment. Anna feels for you, and has a to-do list waiting.

Wake up early, and take the weekend off

Anna rises early, 5am early. After all, she has a pretty important job getting the world’s most famous magazine on shelves every month, and she doesn’t work weekends. She claims that “turning off” is vital. We like to imagine her grabbing a bottle of cheap prosecco every Friday evening while tackling the commute home although she’s probably scheduling a tennis match with her pal Roger Federer.

“I don’t have a high-powered life out of work. I like to go to the country for the weekend with the kids and the dog and play tennis. I am very good at turning off.”

Next time you want to tell your boss that it’s 5:30 on a Friday and you’d rather not deal, just switch you’re out office answer to a gif of Anna Wintour acting frosty at a fashion show with the subject line “Approach me on Monday.”

Do you think Anna makes sense? See the woman in action at Vogue’s offices in the snappy 73 Questions interview below.

Daily Mail and?Page Six

Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun

LOVE this? Why not have IMAGE delivered directly to your door each month? Check out this month’s offer here.

 

Also Read

Full House, onscreen father Danny Tanner
EDITORIAL
We’re remembering our favourite onscreen dads for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just around the corner (this Sunday 20h June, so yes, you do have time to buy yours...

By Grace McGettigan

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
When speaking about ageing, we should follow Julianne Moore’s lead

Actress Julianne Moore is tired of all the cliched tropes about female ageing. The way we speak about it; the...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Quite interesting’: Princess Anne comments on The Crown

We’ve all heard that the royal family don’t exactly gather round to watch The Crown, but one member has shared...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Why do we keep snatching normality away from our children?’

This summer the government will allow my children into a bar, but not to their gymnastics camp. Amanda Cassidy on...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
“A slap in the face for all the victims”: Outcry over Bill Cosby’s release from prison

This is why rape victims think twice before coming forward, writes Amanda Cassidy He was once known as “America’s Dad”...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
premium EDITORIAL
EVENT: How To Master the Art of Negotiation

We sit down with Negotiation Strategist Natalie Reynolds, discussing key tactics and strategies used to master the art of negotiation...

By Shayna Sappington