For those starting out in their career, CEO Tory Burch might seem like the ultimate successful female figure. After all, the fashion maven went from designing clothes in her kitchen to running a $3.5 billion business in less than a decade. But Burch wasn’t always a fearless and self-assured leader. In an interview with LinkedIn executive editor Daniel Roth, she admits that early in her career, she shied away from the word ambitious because she believed it had negative connotations for women in the workplace.
Tune in to watch her Q&A below, followed by three career tips we gleaned from the über-successful CEO.
Don’t shy away from being ambitious. “When I started out, I shied away from using the word ambition. There’s a negative connotation to ambitious women, and I think that we should be able to be able to be proud of being ambitious and not shy away from that, if that … is what you want to do,” says Burch. “It’s a personal journey, and people just have to decide that for themselves.”
Seek out or build a work environment that reflects your values. “If you … have a great environment, you produce great work. We spend a lot of time with people in our office; it’s a second family for me,” she says. “It was essential for me to find an environment that supported women and also supported having high integrity, straightforward, honest, real core values.”
Create a career that’s fueled by passion. “I am amazed by how many people say they want to be an entrepreneur but they don’t yet have an idea or product,” Burch says. “Start with your passion for something. You’ll need that passion to fuel you through the inevitable challenges. And remember to pay your dues first. Every job I had taught me the value of hard work and tenacity and allowed me to discover what kind of leader and businessperson I wanted to be.”
Now that you're armed with Tory Burch’s advice to get ahead in your career, pick up this slick business card case ($85) to look the part.