Jill Abramson’s Smartest Career Advice For Young Women


Rebecca Greenfield

July 17, 2014

After getting fired from the top editorial spot at The New York Times, Jill Abramson might not seem like the most likely person to give career advice. But she reached that coveted position after an impressive career in journalism, and she’s not letting the unfortunately messy dismissal deter her ambitions. Abramson will teach at Harvard in the fall.

Abramson hopes young women, in particular, might benefit from her experiences as a woman navigating–and for the most part succeeding in–a male-dominated field. In her first interview since the incident in May, she offered Cosmopolitan‘s mostly young and mostly female readers the following tips:

Be authentic: Abramson says she cried after reading this “hatchet job” about her tenure at the Times in Politico–and to deny having done so would be wrong. “The most important advice I would still give–and it may seem crazy because I did lose this job I really loved–you have to be an authentic person,” she told Cosmopolitan.

Own getting fired: “And I don’t think young women–it’s hard, I know–they should not feel stigmatized if they are fired. Especially in this economy people are fired right and left for arbitrary reasons, and there are sometimes forces beyond your control.”

Not getting a job can be a good thing: “It can be best to get passed over for a job as there may be a better job out there.”

Want a mentor? Don’t be a suckup: “A lot of younger staffers just asked me to coffee. There’s a way to do networking that isn’t overly brown-nosing.” (This also goes back to that point about being authentic.)

Want a raise? Learn to negotiate like a pro: “My advice on getting a raise is what everybody’s advice is: to become a confident negotiator, but that is so hard.”

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