A Fashion Editor Tells Us Why Leaving Her High-Profile Job Was the Best Move|
If you looked at Lauren Sherman’s resume on paper, it made sense. After serving as the executive editor of the website Fashionista for a few years, Lauren moved to Lucky Magazine where she was the executive digital editor of LuckyMag.com. On paper, this definitely looked like a step up the career ladder, and one in the right direction. And heck, what journalist doesn’t dream about working for a big company like Condé Nast at a fancy fashion magazine? (Well, maybe not every journalist but a lot of ‘em.)
Still, Lauren found that even though she was at this great job with a great boss and with plenty of opportunities to wear fancy Celine shoes, she wasn’t doing enough of what she loved most: writing.
“For a year and a half, I entered 4 Times Square every day feeling like I was playing a role for which I should have never been cast,” she has said. “A fantastic opportunity? You bet. The right opportunity for me? No.”
And so Lauren did something not a lot of people would be brave enough to do. She quit and went back to her old company (as the editor-at-large) so she could write more. And then she wrote about the decision. One look at the comments, and the article clearly resonated with people. We were lucky enough to talk to Lauren about why her so-called step back down the career ladder wasn’t really a step down at all.
Did you have a career path in mind when you started out as a writer? Was working for a magazine the end goal?
Yep. I idolized Liz Tilberis (the former editor of British Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar) and Jane Pratt as a teenager. I wanted write for their magazines when I grew up.
Why did you decide to leave Lucky? Was it just that you weren’t writing enough?
I just realized that I like writing more than anything else, and that wasn’t my job. My job was to manage a team and edit their copy. It’s a great job, just not right for me at this point in my life.
Were your friends and family supportive when you told them you were quitting the mag?
Of course. My husband made a similar career move a year and a half ago, so he understood what I was going through.
What was your thought process when you decided to quit? What were you most afraid of and what were you most exited about?
I was most afraid of not getting a paycheck in the mail every two weeks! I was most excited about telling stories again.
Are you happier now?
Well, it’s been less than a month… but so far, I’m really enjoying it. I try not to use the word “happy” or “unhappy” because I think they’ve become meaningless. But I will say that, thus far, I’m much more satisfied.
Why do you think this story is getting a lot of attention?
I think it was really honest, and any time you write something very honest, people respond to it.
What kind of advice do you have for other young women who may find themselves in a job that is really good but isn’t what they want to be doing?
Figure out what you do indeed want to do, and work toward making that happen.
What is your favorite thing about your work now?
Being able to say, “That’s a good story,” and instead of passing it off to someone else, writing it myself.