We're excited to announce MyDomaine's Second Life podcast, a series spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at MyDomaine's parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields.
In the publishing industry, few challenges are as daunting as reinventing a beloved classic, but that's exactly what Allure Editor in Chief Michelle Lee was tasked with. "One of my big missions is to challenge the old-fashioned standards of beauty but also to challenge the old standards of women's publishing," she tells Hillary Kerr in a bonus episode of our new podcast, Second Life. Under her watch, the iconic masthead transformed: Images celebrate diversity, articles question beauty norms, and the magazine's digital properties have flourished.
Describing herself as a "hands-on" manager, Lee doesn't shy away from hard work. When her father lost his job when she was 16, she realized she had to step up. "I wasn't going to an Ivy League school, so I knew that meant that I needed to work twice as hard as everybody else," she recalls. "I did journalism school at night, and I worked all day long." By the time she graduated, Lee was a full-time staff writer at an alternative newspaper called The Weekly Planet.
Despite the career leaps and bounds, Lee admits self-promotion has never been her strong suit. "When I look back at my career, I don't think of myself as someone who's good at promoting myself. Maybe it's something about being a Chinese immigrant—you're taught to be humble and not brag about yourself."
She says the stigma around self-promotion has shifted now, and it's a crucial part of "being your own CEO" and advocate. "I look at some young people who I work with, and it's not like they're doing it an egotistical way, but they are just good at talking about their accomplishments," she says. "Now I say that to young people, too: Don't be afraid to kind of brag about yourself, because if you're not going to do it, no one else is."
Head to iTunes to download this episode and hear Michelle Lee talk about her career journey and the lessons she's learned along the way.