Liz Guber talks how to handle rejection
How would you describe yourself?
Oh gosh, I don’t know. Neurotic, curious, analytical. I’m definitely an over-thinker. But I’m a hard worker too.
There’s a lot of outside influences that tell you you’re not enough, whether it’s from your career, the fashion industry, the media. When we’re told “no”, how do you handle rejection?
I think with rejection, I mean, it’s so cheesy, but everything does happen for a reason. Sometimes, people only tell you that, in reference to good things happening, but I think it’s important to say that piece of advice also works for not-so-good things. The hardest thing about rejection is that it’s a bruise to the ego. But if you just get a little bit of distance from it, you can learn from it.
I was talking to a small business owner the other day and she said, “I'm blessed to have a personality that's like ‘okay next’, ” and I want to be more like that. You may not be able to change a situation but what you can change is your mindset.
You have a really phenomenal career. And now, you’re the style editor of The Kit where you influence tens of thousands of women!
I try! I’ve only been there for a week! *laughs*
So what does being influential mean to you?
I'm an editor and in my industry, we say that editors are the original influencers. We really try to bring a conversation. There's nothing worse than working blind and not looking around you. I think that's the most important part of being a good editor and journalist. With influence you have to stay curious.
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How do you stay curious?
Sometimes, I’ll be lying in bed, falling asleep and I’ll have to grab my phone and write an idea down. I've had situations where I think to myself “I’m definitely going remember this,” and then I don’t! I look at some of the ideas on my phone and I think, “No that's dumb,” but some of them I think, “There could be a really good idea here.” I've honed over the years my gut instincts for stories and that's what I go off of.
What’s something you want to change about the industry you’re in?
As you probably know, I'm big on sustainability. Most of my wardrobe is secondhand or sustainably made in some way. I want to continue to highlight brands that are doing really good work in changing the conversation regarding sustainability. We are in an industry of telling people what to buy. So I want to see how we can push for sustainability to become more mainstream.
We need more writers like you.
Well, I’m not perfect I'm not always going to talk about only sustainable brands. That's not the world we live in, that's not how business works, that's not how commerce works. But I think that it’s not about one person doing everything perfectly, it's about a bunch of people trying.
What do you think is the biggest misconception of your job and industry?
Well, first the joke is that we don’t eat. Totally not true. I'm so tired of the “fashion girls don't eat” joke. Like, I'm over it. We’re healthy. And secondly, it's a job like any other job. I have meetings, I have emails and I have boring things to do. The job can look pretty glamorous but there's stress, there's deadlines, there's late nights. It's not just jetting off to New York, or sitting at my desk writing about shoes, there’s a lot more mundane stuff as well and that’s okay.
What’s some advice you’d give to your younger self?
I don't have a good answer to this but I have an answer to advice I would give myself a month ago. When I was up for the style editor position at The Kit a month ago, the first thing I thought was, “That's it. I'm trash. There is somebody more qualified out there. It’s not going to happen for me.” When I got it, I was like “Oh I’m dumb”. I should have shaken myself and said, “Calm down, wait it out, it’s going to be fine.”
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What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn about yourself professionally?
Recently I've learn that you're not always going to be the most qualified person in the room. Like, you're just not. And that goes back to ego. Whether it's being rejected for a job or realizing that someone knows more than you. That can initially feel like, “Oh no that sucks, I thought I was so great”. So that’s the point where you have to recognize that and learn from them to get to that level. “What do they exude? What do they know that I want to know?” I was telling my dad that my boss is the most amazing writer ever, and he was like, “That's good, because if you can recognize that, then you will get there”.
What’s something that you’re doing right now that you want to celebrate?
I'm really proud of my new job. When I was young I gave myself a deadline that by the time I was 25, I wanted to be a fashion editor. I gave myself an arbitrary number without having a clue about how I was going to get there. I'm really proud to say that I've made that happen. Being a fashion editor in Toronto has always been a dream. On a personal note, I’m turning 28 in a week. It feels good! I really want to stop and think about how I have a new job, I’m at a nice stage, it’s going to be a good year. I want to pause and soak it all in.