She reduced Lauren Conrad to tears on The Hills, so there is no doubt that Kelly Cutrone is slightly terrifying.
Recently, this head of US-based fashion PR firm People’s Revolution further demonstrated in her book If You have to Cry, Go Outside; And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You what it takes to be on top. Here are Cutrone’s no-BS tips to help you score major points with the boss.
Check Your Emos At the Door
“One of the first rules you learn when you start working for me is that if you have to cry, go outside.
Picture this scene, which has been repeated so many times in my office over the years; an intern carrying a pricey grown up the steps doesn’t notice that she’s dragging it on a hardware floor that has been soaking up dirt and grime for years. The bottom of the beautiful gown is soon black, and rather than being on its way to a shoot, it is now headed to the dry cleaner, costing
my client a huge opportunity. In this situation, I don’t have time to be sweet and say, ‘Oh, honey, please be more careful!’ My reaction is more like, ‘Pick. It. Up. Now!’ When my employees make a mistake, I want them to fix the problem quickly and move on. The last thing I or any other boss wants to hear is, ‘Wahhh, I was just trying to be helpful’. That’s why I officially banished crying (from the office). You think I’m a bitch? Fine. Go call your friend and talk shit about me all day.
If women want equal rights in the workplace, we need to start acting like equals—meaning, no crying.
Give Her the Royal Treatment
Though she’s not your friend, your boss is a human being—a little compassion helps. Take me, for example. I’m a single mum, I live and work in the same building and every minute of my day
is spent answering the demands of somebody else—from my assistant to my clients to my daughter. Because of this, I usually eat at my desk and rarely get to go outside.
If you work in a close environment and your boss is someone who keeps her door open, don’t be afraid to pop in occasionally and say, “I’m ordering food. Can I get you anything?” Treat your boss like a queen, but also like someone with needs who might feel somewhat imprisoned by her life.
Don't Be A Gossip Girl
When I was growing up in an industry, we didn’t have hazards like Facebook or Twitter. Social media sites may be an increasingly important tool in PR and other professions—I use FB to promote my clients—but for entry-level job seekers accustomed to using these sites for purely personal reasons, they are fraught with danger.
If you’re going to post things online, you have to be aware of how those messages are being followed— not only by your boss but also by your co-workers. Assume they’re reading whatever you post, whether on Facebook or your blog or Twitter
Recently, an intern in my office decided to entertain readers of her blog with stories about her very ‘Devil Wears Prada-esque’ summer working at my company. ‘Interning has taken over my life,’ she reported. ‘We all work at least 11 hours a day (lie)...in fact, we are not allowed to
eat in the office, and we sneak food in the back room.’ Lie! Lie! Lie!
When I read the post, I immediately called her. ‘Hi, it’s Kelly Cutrone. How’s it going?’ I asked casually. ‘Can I ask you what you’re majoring in (at university)?
Oh, really? And are you minoring in law, by any chance? No? Well, maybe you should!’
I screamed that she had 15 minutes to take down that post or I would sue her for violating the non-disclosure agreement she had signed, which prohibited her from writing, about her internship.
There’s another lesson to be learnt here: the more successful you become—in your career, in your relationships and in life in general—the more people will write lies and bad-mouth you, even so- called friends. This has been a harsh pill for me to swallow at times, but ultimately, I’d rather be the one living the life than the one observing and making comments about it.”
By Kelly Cutrone
This article was published in the January 2012 issue of Cosmopolitan India