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December 13th 2014 / 0 comment
The Editorial Director of Birchbox UK and former Beauty and Health Editor of Vogue gives us a glimpse into the ins and outs of her job and shares her top tips for career success
From magazines to e-commerce, Jessica Diner is the girl with the golden touch when it comes to bridging the gap between relatable and authoritative editorial and accessibility to the biggest and best beauty brands around. From Beauty and Health Editor at Vogue to Editorial Director at Birchbox UK, her journey to the top provides ample inspiration for anyone looking to enter the world of both print and online journalism and acts as a clear indicator of the innovation and drive required to keep up with the direction they're headed in the future.
So would you like a job like Jess? We caught up with the beauty industry heavy-hitter to ask her about her career so far, her role at Birchbox and her top job tips for breaking into the business.
GTG: Could you describe for us what your job entails? What does a typical day look like for you?
JD: A LOT of meetings! Working at a start-up, you're involved in many facets of the business - which is one of the best things about it. So I meet regularly for cross-team meetings and chats throughout the day, either onsite with our team or off-site with brands to help bring them on board for retail or partnerships. It's a pretty fast and furious schedule but if we didn't have so many meetings you would feel lost. Communication is key! I also always try to keep half hours free peppered throughout the day for emailing (eating!), writing, and scanning daily blogs and social media to keep in touch.
GTG: Your career to date is incredible. What would you say have been the highlights so far?
JD: If I said there were too many to mention, it would be true however contrived it sounds…interviewing Pharrell (my ultimate dreamboat), going to a Chanel show in Dallas, taking a helicopter ride on a press trip to Rio, watching the sun rise for a perfume launch amongst ancient ruins in Delphi, Greece, making my own fragrance with Guerlain… all whilst writing for an incredible publication and working with some of the most formidable women along the way.
Now I'm inspired by two women (Hayley and Katia, the brand co-founders) who have hit the beauty retail industry nail right on the head... I feel I am on a roll…!
GTG: What appealed to you most about your role at Birchbox? How does it differ to your previous jobs within beauty editorial?
JD: It couldn't be more different! The pace, the tone, the content, the creative ideas, it's all with a completely different strategy hat on. But that's why I was excited for the challenge – it pushed me out my comfort zone.
The role spans across all different channels of the business, from working with Marketing on CRM emails, to consulting with the brand teams on which products to bring on board, to social media initiatives and then bringing great digital and video content to the site too. The role is so varied and I am learning on the job every day.
GTG: What’s the most challenging project you have worked on?
JD: I think working on something like a Fashion's Night Out or the Vogue Festival is very time sensitive and detail orientated - and you have to get it right, because it's a reflection of the brand at the end of the day. But it's the high pressure and high standards that teach you so much and I have definitely carried through my learnings into my current role. Never let your standards slide!
GTG: What motivates you?
JD: Results. The tangible outcome of writing a piece and seeing how many sales it generates, or doing an event and having live feedback - it's amazingly rewarding. Even just giving beauty advice to a friend or reader and seeing it work, seeing how it can transform people - I totally get a kick out of it.
GTG: How do you organise yourself?
JD: Lists, lists, lists, list! I would be lost without my lists. I have reams on my phone, as well as written at my desk. I need to write everything down so I don't forget. Working at Birchbox, they have also introduced me to a workflow programme called Asana which has literally been life-transforming. It organises your days and your tasks for you. I highly recommend it!
GTG: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to do what you do?
JD: Persevere. The industry is tough and can be hard to crack - but if you love it, keep at it. There has never been a better time to have access into the brands and companies you love. Use social media to your advantage, put yourself out there and keep chipping away!