Photo credit: Jan Goldstoff

Photo credit: Jan Goldstoff

There’s no doubt about it, we’re still on an inspirational high after last night’s WiCi Awards honoring rising stars in communications. The New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) program celebrated 10 mavericks as More’s editor-in-chief Lesley Jane Seymour emceed. (Check out tweets at #WiCi13: One of our favorites? “Growth and comfort don’t coincide.”)

Congratulations to the honorees: Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, co-founder and chief operations officer, Digital Brand Architects; Deborah Brenner, founder and president, Women of the Vine;  Sara Haines, correspondent, ABC News and Good Morning America; Rachel Haot, chief digital officer, City of New York; Dustee Tucker Jenkins, vice president, public relations, Target Corporation; Abbey Klaassen, editor, Ad Age; Lauren Bush Lauren, CEO, creative director and co-founder FEED Projects; Kass Lazerow, co-founder and former COO of Buddy Media; Maria Cristina Marrero, editor-in-chief, Siempre Mujer Magazine, Jenna Wortham, technology reporter, The New York Times.

Naturally, we wanted to get the secret sauce to their mojo. What’s the deal with being fearless and versatile in this ever-changing industry? We caught up with Seymour in the green room. Recognizing the fearlessness of the winners, we wondered what the EIC of Meredith’s popular brand had to say. Keep in mind the successful editrix seems pretty fearless herself, having penned two books and published the magazine’s first compilation book. Oh, did we mention she was named to Forbes’ Most Powerful Fashion Magazine Editors list in 2009? No, we’re not gushing too much.

When it comes to being fearless, it turns out we have to no choice! She dished…

“In our industry, just getting up every day and being in our industry, you have to be fearless. It’s like living on the edge of a cliff, you can’t look down, you just have to keep walking. Don’t look to the side but that’s the way life is. It’s risky every day you get up and our business is particularly risky.”

The good news? You’re not alone. Realizing it’s gotten tougher and tougher and we all “do seven jobs,” Seymour mentioned it’s hard to have tenacity and hang in there but when you love ideas, people, causes and changing the world, that’s “the place you have to be.”

And if feel like you’re not learning enough in you’re current place, it’s time to explore learning opportunities. Stay engaged in your work and become more versatile! For instance, one of her editors mentioned during review time that she’s never been involved in fashion/beauty copy and she wants to gain that experience. Seymour pointed out, “She’s going to give up something else that she’s done so she learns how to do fashion/beauty. Many managers are happy to make swaps like that.”

She added, “They know you’re sitting there and it gets boring doing the same thing day after day so if you ask for new learning opportunities, I think a lot of bosses understand that today. They want to keep you engaged, they want to keep you happy.”