Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Jamé Jackson. I am 30 years old, so I’m a millennial, although Gen Z does have my heart. I am based in Brooklyn, New York. By day, I am the Community Segments Lead of North America for LinkedIn Editorial. I am also a full-time content creator and founder of TheBlondeMisfit, which is one of the top 100 fashion and beauty sites in the world. I have a really soft spot in my heart for fashion and beauty enthusiasts who want to find their footing, and I’m really excited that in the about two years that I’ve been at LinkedIn, we’ve really seen an influx of fashion and beauty thought leaders on this In space.
What key skills do you believe are essential for success in your industry?
I often think, “What would I tell myself if I could go back in time?” And one of the things that I would just continue to reiterate is the need and ability to put yourself out there. Nowadays, it’s so easy to feel scared to put yourself out there and ask for what you want, but you have to be bold. Especially in an industry like fashion or beauty, where you’re moving at 20 million miles a second, you have to be able to get out there. You have to be able to articulate what you want and really put yourself in that position where you advocate for yourself. I always tell people, “Treat yourself like you are your own CEO.”
Do you have any advice for overcoming obstacles that young professionals in the industry may face?
I love this question because these are things that I used to wonder about. Even at a young age, I said I did not want to live my life in accordance with what everyone else said it had to be. I wanted to live it on my own terms. I think one of the powers of Gen Z is that they are very values-driven in that they really want to focus on collaborating and tying themselves to companies that are aligned with their values, which historically you might not have been able to do when you were a millennial or Gen X or whatever. In fact, there’s actually been a recent study through LinkedIn where we found that 84% of Gen Z says that it’s really important for them to be culturally compatible with their companies. So I really think that the biggest message I have is that you have to own your destiny.
Building a strong professional network is a huge part of growing your career and just finding opportunities in general. Do you have any tips or tricks, or general advice on building a strong professional network in this industry?
Connecting with your community is really important. I also think that nowadays, as we’ve seen in the creator economy, it’s really important for you to build your audience by having a dialogue. It’s no longer just looking into a camera and talking to yourself. You want to focus on engagement, and you want to focus on the comments. I’ll tell you a secret. A lot of people think that the success of LinkedIn is posting. And yes, we want people to post and to have a cadence of posting, but the real riches are in the comments. From an algorithmic perspective, the algorithm sees that, okay, cool, you’re working, and you commented on this person, so now I know that you’re interested in this piece of content. So not only am I going to continue to show you pieces of content like this, but also other people in your network who might also find this useful; I’m now going to share it with them.