Nine-to-five doesn’t sound so bad when deciding on the fashion trend of the moment, filming MTV’s next hit video, or writing the next must-read book. Here are glimpses of three people with glamour jobs and how they got there. They even offer advice on how you can get there, too.
Glamour Gig: Fashion Editor
Glamour Gal: Sasha Charnin Morrison, Us Weekly magazine
Morrison is no stranger to the pages of fashion magazines, as her stepmother was once the creative director at Vogue. But before Morrison started collecting her own credentials from the likes of Seventeen, Harper’s Bazaar, and most recently, Allure, the New York City native wanted to be a singer, majoring in drama at New York University.
After graduation, however, Morrison says her practical side won out and she decided to pursue a job in magazines. Interestingly enough, she found her drama background prepped her for the competitiveness of the publishing industry. “It prepared me for learning how to speak to people, get over the fear of having a story idea rejected, and to do whatever I needed to get that story idea [approved],” she says.? “It gave me such a great spine and the tools necessary to handle what the industry throws at me.”
Best Perk: You may be surprised to learn that a job within as an editor within the fashion industry doesn’t involve a closet of free clothes. “You get the reward of knowing that [a vendor] sold 50,000 units of something after it appeared in our magazine,” she admits. “To hear that the magazine has that kind of effect on people is mind-boggling.”
Her Advice: “There are no Cliff’s Notes on this,” she cautions. “You really have to teach yourself, in addition to everything else you learn in school. The big jobs can come early, but the junior jobs are so important because you get a sense of the history of fashion.”
Glamour Gig: Music Video Director
Glamour Guy: Julien Christian Lutz, a.k.a. “Little X”
Little X is the man behind the music videos you love, as evidenced by his two MTV Video Music Award wins for “Best Male Video” and “Best Dance Video” for Usher’s song “Yeah.” X also has directed videos for the likes of P. Diddy, 50 Cent, John Mayer, and Alicia Keys.
Originally from Toronto, X rose through the ranks by packing his bags for New York and work-work-working. “It’s that ‘immigrant hustle,'” he says. “I didn’t know anybody, didn’t have any friends or girls to distract me, so I had nothing to do but be in the office.”
But it wasn’t just hard work at his internship under the tutelage of Hype Williams that got X where he is today. It was the painstaking persistence he showed in vying for that internship. X sent a package to Hype comprised of amateur videos and a T-shirt line he created in high school. Then he called, and called, and called.
Best Perk: Traveling. “I’ve been to Africa, India, Japan, England, Los Angeles, Brazil, Mexico, and I’m based in New York,” he says. “Shooting on location is always a leadership lesson. I’m a director and I need to set the tone.”
His Advice: “Do as many internships as you can,” he says. “Get on set, pick up a video camera, show it to everybody you know, and get your hustle on. No one’s going to say, ‘Hey, you look like a talented guy — want a job?'”
Glamour Gig: Author
Glamour Gal: Karen Salmansohn (www.notsalmon.com)
Salmansohn took a big risk when she left her successful advertising career to write books. Pegged by critics as “Deepak Chopra meets Carrie Bradshaw,” Salmansohn is the author of such tongue-in-cheek illustrated books as “How to Change Your Life By Doing Absolutely Nothing” and “How to Make Your Man Behave in 21 Days or Less Using the Secrets of Professional Dog Trainers.” Her latest book is “The Bound Back Book: When Life Throws You Curveballs, Hit Them Out of the Park.”
In what seems to be a recurring theme in Salmansohn’s success story, her career jump-started when she got an unexpected lift. “I was working at MTV doing freelance writing for the filmettes that go on between videos,” explains Salmansohn, who counts Jon Stewart, Madonna, Jay Leno, and Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter among her fan base. “This guy I barely knew got on the elevator with me, and he said, ‘What’s new?’ and I said, ‘I just finished my first novel.'” By the time Salmansohn arrived on the first floor, she had scored a book agent’s name and number. “I always joke that if MTV had its offices on the third floor instead of the 24th, I might never have gotten a book deal.”
Best Perk: A life of reading, writing, and no arithmetic. “I get to sit in cafes all day and drink coffee,” says the Emerson College film studies grad. “Even if I went on ‘Oprah’ and became a million-dollar writer, I’d still be doing what I do today — I’d just be doing it in more expensive clothes.”
Her Advice: “Create a career pickup line,” she says. “Know what you can say in 30 seconds to sell yourself quickly. It’s all based on what your unique selling point is.”
Get closer to your own dream career now.
Written by: Jennifer Merritt