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Consider every interaction with people, coworkers or not, as networking

Lori Keong is an assistant digital editor at Marie Claire and a scholar at the Brené Brown School of Vulnerability who is still working on her power pose.

Photo by Ben Ritter

1. What's your story? What makes you unique?

My sense of humor has been an unusual coping mechanism throughout the ups and downs of my career. I have a really strong sense of irony that helps me to see little daily disasters as moments in a black comedy, rather than taking them to heart. Especially when you’re starting from the bottom with a post-grad career in fashion, like I did, an in an unfamiliar city, life can often feel crazy and out of your control. I think humor helps me put things in perspective and not take myself so seriously.

2. What motivates you?

Knowing that there’s only so much time in the day and that I’m only getting older. I’m my own worst critic when it comes to measuring my success and pushing myself to jump through higher and higher hoops. And honestly, there’s nothing more motivating than living in a big city like New York City and seeing what other people your age (and younger) are accomplishing on a daily basis.

3. Who is a hero of yours?

I love Tavi Gevinson, the editor-in-chief of Rookie Magazine, because she’s such an articulate and wise role model for young women--and has been since she was a little kid with a fashion blog. I can’t imagine possessing the vision and drive that she had at such a young age, and the talent to juggle that with an acting career now, as well.

4. Give us a road map of your career. How did you get to where you are today?

My journalism career started in senior year of high school, when I took a newspaper class basically to goof off with my friends and got really into writing the fashion articles (e.g. “Gird Your Loins for Spring Fashion”) and some early fluff piece “Embarrassing Stories”. In college, I interned and worked for various media outlet like Athen’s NPR station and Paste Magazine, plus helping to head up my baby, Ampersand Magazine, as a senior.

Once I had my car packed up to go back home and live with my parents after college, with no prospects in sight, I got an email from New York Magazine asking if I could come in that week to interview for an internship. Since I was pretending on all my applications to live in New York already, I took a flight out that weekend with a little suitcase and didn’t return home. I worked for NYMag for a year and a half, as an intern and then as their fashion assistant and weddings market editor, before transitioning to Marie Claire.

Photo by Bobby Doherty

5. What's your future plan? Your goals?

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where I will be in the next few years, but I want to get as much experience as I can covering various areas of journalism, like entertainment and psychology, and challenge myself to be more confident to champion my ideas and unafraid to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’m trying to learn as much as I can now and see what opportunities open up along the way, though I would not be mad if I one day ended up at The Atlantic.

6. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?

Consider every interaction with people, coworkers or not, as networking. I don’t mean being fake nice to people, but I think kindness, genuine interest in people outside your friend circle, and a general altruistic attitude wherever you are goes a lot further than being competitive or clique-y. Having a circle of people that you have put time and energy into supporting along the way will make it easier to find jobs and make beneficial connections in the future.

7. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?

I feel really strongly about the environment and I think I become a more vocal feminist and gun control proponent by the day the more I hear of violence against women going unpunished and people being needlessly killed by firearms.

8. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?

I’ve experienced far cooler things than I’ve actually ever done, so I can’t really give myself much credit, but I’m thankful for having had the chance to meet amazing creatives like Iris Apfel and Lena Dunham through my job and work with some of the people I admire and respect most in my field.

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