People We Love

The Karlie Kloss Guide to Career Success

By: Lindy Segal

Being a supermodel, entrepreneur, and philanthropist might seem like enough to fill up the average 26-year-old’s résumé. But Karlie Kloss isn’t your average 26-year-old. And she’s not even close to done.

“I dream big, I think big, and I am really ambitious,” the EXPRESS ambassador and St. Louis native said at our spring Wear to Work photo shoot in New York City. Case in point: Kloss has parlayed a decade-long modeling career into a wide-ranging global brand. She’s the founder of Kode With Klossy, a coding initiative for young women, the host and executive producer of Project Runway, and content creator behind her YouTube channel Klossy, which has nearly 40 million views. Which is to say we couldn’t think of a better person to call on for work advice. Read on, and prepare to be inspired.

How do you achieve your goals?

Whenever I set a goal, I like to think big and aim high. It might seem unattainable at first, but I approach my goals by taking small, realistic and attainable steps.. I’m always asking myself, “What can I do in the short term to help me accomplish my long term goal?”

What does success mean to you?

To me, success is pursuing my passions, being surrounded by the people I love, and finding enjoyment in every day. It’s about being open-minded and ready to learn and try new things. When you love yourself and what you do, it doesn’t feel like work.

When you feel your most confident, what are you wearing?

When I put on the perfect pair of dress pants, I feel confident and in control. They’re like my Superwoman cape — I feel like I can take on the world, no matter what I have to face that day.

What’s a work-life lesson that you wish you knew earlier?

That you don’t have to be available for everyone at all times. That mindset only leads to burnout. I also wish I had known that your career is a journey and a process, which means that wherever you begin your career isn’t necessarily where you’ll end up—but that’s the fun of it! You’re not expected to you have all the answers right away, so make sure you enjoy the ride, and learn as you go…

Who do you look up to professionally and what is the best advice that you’ve learned from them?

Christy Turlington is my mentor and role model in so many ways. She taught me the importance of investing in myself, my education, my life and my relationships. It’s some of the best advice I’ve ever received.

What’s your best advice for tackling big dreams?

Remember that your true power and confidence come from within. Don’t get in your own way of reaching your fullest potential.

Don’t miss Karlie in EXPRESS’s Wear to Work collection in stores and on now!