Success Goes Beyond the Corner Office | LinkedIn x J. Crew

Last Wednesday, I was tapped as a speaker for @Work: Style Your Success Panel Series, put together by LinkedIn, J.Crew, and WeWork.

The intention behind the series is to have inspiring professionals talk about their definition of success and what they’re in it for—basically, what motivates these professionals to wake up and willingly deal with the hustle every day?

Of course, there was zero hesitation on my part about joining the panel. If my blog name doesn’t clue you in, well, I have to say, The Ambitionista is all about redefining style and success for women—which is a perfect fit for the panel series. But before I was the Blogger-in-Chief at The Ambitionista, I was a high powered banker slaving away in the corner office of a company in Tokyo.

In between analyzing numbers and crunching data, I would look up from my work to watch Tokyo’s most fashionable individuals strolling outside of my window. And I can tell you that despite all outward appearances of being ‘successful’, I knew I was just going through the motions and the thought that this could be all that I did for the next 10 years, was unbearable.

So I made that decision—after a lot of research and preparation - I resigned from my high-profile job and toppled back to square one, this time as a fashion writer. It was hard, of course, but no success ever comes without its challenges and risks. I had to take writing classes, cut down on expenses and network like crazy. Nearly a decade later, it all paid off. And suffice it to say that, even if I don’t hold that corner office in Tokyo anymore, I feel immensely successful in what I do. The thing is, a recent study from LinkedIn shows that success isn’t synonymous with sitting pretty in the corner office anymore. Professionals now have other standards for success: there’s having a flexible schedule as opposed to a high salary, having multiple skill sets as opposed to one professional title, and moonlighting on top of a 9 to 5 job, to name some key motivators. And often, the ability to connect and give back to one’s community is also seen as a key barometer to success.

The takeaway is, people are equating success to a position where they’re truly happy and inspired to perform at their best.

So if people are setting out to carve their own definition of success, then it’s a better time now more than ever for you to take the reins. Here are some key things to keep in mind so you can set yourself up for success.


Be honest and true to yourself.

Ask yourself, what do you really want? Don’t ask your parents, your friends, or your partner for an answer—because that would be making it their goal, and not yours. Figure out what YOU want, and do it.


Identify your key strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses.

Capitalize on the things you are talented or knowledgeable at, and own your flaws—everybody has them. Best thing you can do is to look for ways to continuously improve yourself.


Surround yourself with a support system.

It’s incredibly valuable to have people who will carry you through those days when nothing is going right—and there will be many of those!


Finally, find meaning in what you do.

Success should not be measured in dollars and cents. Appreciate the journey, failures included. Make the best out of the time with your partner, family, or close friends. And don’t forget to give back in some small way—maybe volunteer at a soup kitchen or be vocal about a cause you believe in. All these keep lives in check. Because ultimately, everyone can agree—happiness and fulfillment is a form of success.

If this sounds something you’re interested in, join the conversation by sounding off on social about what you’re in it for—and don’t forget to use the hashtags #InItTogether and #StyleYourSuccess.

I’d like to thank LinkedIn for sponsoring this post, and thank you to LinkedIn, J.Crew and WeWork for putting together such a game-changing panel series.


Here’s to the people who hustle!  



I was speaking with Saeed Jabar, who cut his teeth working with Gary Vaynerchuck and now is the Executive Director with

The #StyleYourSuccess event was held at J.Crew’s 5th Avenue store. Aren’t these earrings beautiful?



On my right - the effervescent moderator Ashley Levey - Consumer Editorial Marketing Lead at Linkedin.



  • Dawn C. says:

    You are such an inspiration Heidi. I love all your work and words of advice.

  • Arianne says:

    Congratulations Heidi. That was really an excellent panel and we learned so much about you and loving the work that you really love and doing things that you want.

  • Irish Christianne says:

    Way to go Heidi! Love how you inspired young people and adults alike with regards to being passionate about everything you love.

  • Bryxx says:

    That’s a huge turnout! Congratulations The Ambitionista, you are really doing a marvelous job!

  • Nikki says:

    It was such an honor to see and listen to your voice, coupled with words of wisdom, inspiration and encouragement to young and adults alike, Truly a remarkable person you are, Heidi.

  • Jennifer Clark says:

    It’s always a pleasure listening to you about your journey and road to success. Thank you so much for sharing your tips on how to be successful entrepreneurs and for sharing your very own success story.

  • Susan Armstrong says:

    You are one of a kind Heidi! Kudos to all that you do brilliantly and here’s wishing for more years of excellence with your endeavors.

  • Lorelei says:

    Love this! I’ve learned so much about you and your story and I’m grateful for all the wonderful pieces of advice you keep instilling to us, your readers 🙂

  • Angelique says:

    You go girl!! 💕💖

  • Jessica W. says:

    Congratulations! You are certainly an inspiration to all of us Heidi. And Happy International Women’s Day!

  • Farrah Raquelmann says:

    You’re right, the corner office isn’t the thing nowadays, especially when you can occupy the entire floor!

  • Gabrielle says:

    Love all this tips! I’m very thankful to you for everything that you do and for always being so kind and generous.

  • Maine Girl says:

    Love all these wonderful and effective tips on getting to that elusive success. I love that support system tip. It is indeed always best if you share all hardships and the journey to success with the one who’s there with you all throughout.

  • Olive says:

    Wow, you really are an inspiration Heidi. Thank you for your selfless support.

  • Demi Gregory says:

    Wow! That was some kind of event! I wish I knew about it and could have joined. It is always a lovely experience listening to your stories and advice.

  • Mysti Dew says:

    You are amazing Heidi! And so are the others present in the event. Success indeed can’t be determined by the corner office status, but on how you deal with all the blessings that’s been showering and coming along.

  • Mama Hawkins says:

    The barometer of success has definitely changed throughout the years. Doesn’t matter whether we get the corner office or not nowadays. We can work whenever, wherever as long was we work with our ultimate best, we can achieve success.

  • Maria Selva says:

    You look so gorgeous and your speech is amazing!!

  • Keanna Mikaelson says:

    Simply Amazing!

  • Taranee says:

    Such a lovely and very generous lady!

  • Desiree Lynch says:

    You are my inspiration and idol Heidi.. Keep up the great work always! I’m here to support you in every way.

  • Margaret says:

    Bravo LinkedIn, J.Crew, and WeWork!! Bravo Heidi! You all did a great and fantastic job!! ❤❤

  • Jenn says:

    Those tips and advice are exactly what I need. I’ve been working double time hoping to make it big one day, but sometimes I tend to forget about myself. It’s always work, work, work. It’s getting unhealthy I know.. that’s why I need to slow down and take a break. Your tips above definitely helps.

  • Carlene Bartellini says:

    Congratulations on the success of this event and for everything that you are doing to help empower women. You are one humble and loving human being that I look up.

  • Kiyoko Osone says:

    This is so true! I love this!

  • Gemma says:

    You are the epitome of success, Heidi. You’ve come a long way and now you’re on top. You’re such an inspiration to everyone.

  • Marcella says:

    Love all these pieces of advice. Very timely, efficient and effective. I would love to visit and listen to one of your speaking events one day.

  • Liezl Sy says:

    From humble beginnings to a successful boss lady, you are indeed one of a kind inspiration to all of us ladies and even to men who believed in you. Keep it up Heidi!

  • Matilda says:

    Indeed, a corner office with a view now doesn’t equate to success, but the opportunities to be able to help and share your blessings define a real success that you are. Such an accomplishment is indeed worth recognizing 🙂

  • Taylor says:

    You look amazing Heidi, a superstar!!

  • Maya says:

    Cheers to all who hustle! You are all my inspiration in llife!

  • Kyla Adams says:

    Thank you for sharing your secrets to success and congrats on a momentous and successful event!

  • Ashley says:

    You’re everything I’ve always wanted to be when I grow up. I want to be like you, so inspiring and beautiful at the same time.

  • Gloria Chay says:

    Im #InItTogether with you and all women who are working hard and doing their best to achieve their goals. Cheers to all of us!! #StyleYourSuccess

  • Karis Loftin says:

    Those earrings are indeed beautiful. And your inspiring story is truly heart felt. I learned so much about and from you.

  • Bridget Blue says:

    This event really opened my eyes about gaining success in so many ways possible. Being successful doesn’t mean you have to rest on your laurels and be content with it. But the true meaning of success is finding that satisfaction with what you do as you journey towards the top and acknowledging those who helped along the way.

  • Carmencita says:

    What a great event and turn out! I wish I was there too!

  • Natalie May says:

    Such a beautiful and inspiring event. You’ve all helped a lot of new and old entrepreneurs and I myself learned so massively with all the info you shared with us. Thank you so much for being such a gracious boss!

  • MJ says:

    Congratulations on this massive event! And a huge kudos to everyone involved. I admire you so much, Heidi for your courage and determination at such a young age to prove that success can be achieved through hard work, accepting one’s weakness and cultivating strength and surrounding yourself with people who matter and care. You are an inspiration, indeed!

  • Leah Atkinson says:

    You went for the job that made you happy and satisfied, even if your former work offered a much bigger compensation. Yes, that’s what loving your work really is, making sure that we our doing out job and enjoying it and not feeling trapped about it. You are my inspiration, Miss Heidi.

  • Raelynn Jones says:

    You are utterly stunning, Heidi. I love this event, a great venue to celebrate everyone’s successes!

  • Rowena says:

    Congratulations on this successful panel series!

  • Leigh Curtis says:

    You’ve all done a great job inspiring and helping people. That itself is already a big achievement and a success!

  • Helga says:

    Wow! You are a force to reckon with, a really admirable one!

  • Camilla Co says:

    I believe that connecting to other people while sharing one’s success and giving back to the community is the real sign of success. I have learned a lot from this seminar/event and hoping to be able to share them to everyone else too.

  • Nina says:

    You are the epitome of success of this generation. Your work is so admirable!

  • Wynona says:

    Wow! You are really a fantastic bossgirl and I know everybody adores you, me included. Thank you for sharing a little about yourself, you are my ido.

  • Aditha Mayers says:

    Those are beautiful earrings, indeed!

  • Penelope DOuglas says:

    I love all these pieces of advice and tips Heidi. You are truly a beauty with a big heart.

  • Elena Avalon says:

    That’s a very inspiring story about you, I can understand how so many young ladies and entrepreneurs look up to you. You are where you are today because of your determination and commitment and pure heart.

  • Darnell says:

    I love this, so powerful and inspiring. It’s true, success shouldn’t be measured by the dollar or money you accumulated through the years, but with the happiness and satisfaction that it brings to you and your family.

  • Quennie says:

    You are such a great influence. I love everything about you!

  • Lorelei Chung says:

    I wish I could attend the next one!

  • Haydee Cullen says:

    It’s always a wonderful experience and one-of-a-lifetime chance to listen to you and absorb everything that you share. Thank you so much for your generosity, Heidi.

  • Anna Montage says:

    I wonder when the next panel series would be, I really want to attend/join and learn more.

  • Meghan March says:

    Those JCrew earrings are so lovely, me want!!!

  • Pearl Angeli says:

    Is there gonna part 2 of this series? Would love to come too!

  • Leann says:

    I love reading about you and your success. More power and hope to meet you someday. You rock!

  • Elishka Duku says:

    Love the final tip – finding the meaning of what you do. Because in life, when you find the true meaning of what you do, happiness, contentment and success will follow.

  • Angelique says:

    Why am I hearing about this just now? I wish I was able to attend this and joined the multitude of people and learn more about everyone’s successes. Thank you so much Heidi for always watching out for us readers and sharing your words of wisdom.

  • Selena B. says:

    Lovely to see you sharing your experiences and advice on enlightening events like this! Hope to attend more functions like this in the near future.

  • Wynona says:

    I wonder when’s the next LinkedInxJCrewxTA collaboration would be?!

  • Mystika Parker says:

    Congratulations on this wonderful and very informative and engaging event!

  • Irene Hahn says:

    Those earrings are stunning! Love ’em!

  • Rowena says:

    You are an inspiration!

  • nia nastiti says:

    It was a difficult decision and you made it. Thanks for sharing about that. Many girls out there will be inspired from your story 🙂

  • KC Lee says:

    Omg love those earrings, look really beautiful!

  • Mary Jasmine says:

    Cheers to all inspiring men and women who hustle and share their blessings to everyone!!

  • Tatiana Goldbach says:

    I always love hearing and reading about your success from being a corporate banker to one of the most influential social media celebrities in the world. You’re truly an inspiration and one of the people I respect and admire in the society.

  • Natalie Karsson says:


  • Vanessa D. says:

    Very inspiring story, Heidi.. I love this, thank you for sharing a bit of what you’ve been through as you reached the pinnacle of your success. I am so happy for you.

  • Alisha says:

    You are indeed an inspiration for all of us.. Keep slaying, babe!

  • Madonna says:

    I wish I could be there one time too.. Looking forward to seeing and hearing all wonderful things from you.

  • Jello Anne says:

    You are one of a kind.. Love to hear more about you and more inspiring ideas from you when I get to attend this events soon.

  • Brittney says:

    You are amazing!! I can’t wait to personally meet someone as lovely and inspiring like you!

  • Desiree says:

    You are amazing!

Comments are closed.