October 19, 2017 Dublin, Ireland

On elegance from a woman who inspires me... 

Last week, I spent time watching videos about Jenna Lyons, Former President & Creative Director at J.Crew. I adore her because of her passion, her elegance and her inspiration which she gave us through her talks on different events. One of the most impressive topics she talked is ELEGANCE AT WORK.

Check out some key points that I have learned and applied for myself as a professional in my career path below.

1. "Elegance is someone who can apologise"

In the workplace, apologises can be difficult to make, but it's so important to recognise your error, apologise and know how to fix it. I believe that apologies are always appreciated when they are sincere and well-thought. However, when you apologise, just say once, fix the problem and never make it again in the future.

2. "Take five minutes, pull out your stationery, and write a proper thank-you note"

You and me say thank you all the time. It's very easy to say thanks for anything that someone does for you in the digital age. You click to send a thank-you email in one minute. You say thank you when you meet them. You even forget to say thank you. After all, you simply say thank you without giving more special things such as a handwriting note or a bouquet of flowers because you don't want to waste time.

I have learned it recently as I received a few thank-you notes from my friend, especially from my classmates. I was very surprised when they came to me, hug me tight, sincerely thank me with a thank-you note and a small gift. To be honest, handwriting thank-you notes are very meaningful for me, so that I keep them carefully in my personal box very long time.
Here is the thank-you note science I have learned from Garance Dore, a photographer, illustrator, author and founder of an influential style blog I would like to share with you again if you've never read it before. 
  • A thank-you note can be almost anything, as long as it comes from the heart. 
Don't forget:
  • Keep it simple. Handwriting is enough to express how much you care. 
  • It should feel personal. Include an intimate detail or a short anecdote. 
  • Send it as soon as possible.
  • End with a simple closing. "Love", "Best", "With Love", depending on the person
  • Write the address in your own hand. 

3. The secret to elegance at work

“I work with talented people who are constantly putting their hearts on the page. When you do work like this, there are no right answers. So when I give feedback, I always try to find a way to positively reinforce someone's work, even it I am telling them no”, Jenna shared. 
Remember that when you talk to someone, you should look at them, make an eye contact with them, listen to their opinions and take extra attentions to make someone note your honesty.

4. Be yourself 

The most important thing for elegance at work is yourself. Doing what's right for you is where you are going to be your most elegant.

“Where I found myself the most successful or most comfortable is when I’m myself." - Jenna Lyons. 

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