We are living in the Now generation. We want instant gratification, whether that is on our latest Instagram post, getting the newest iPhone the day it comes out or being top dog in our field of work as soon as possible.
If like me you are graduating university this year, you are probably having an internal panic about what lies ahead. Am I going to bag my dream job? Am I going to earn a good salary? Am I going to be like *insert name of your #careergoals woman here*?
But we forget that the women we look up to were not where they are today when they first started out.
Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-A-Porter, was not a successful business mogul from the get-go. After graduating from UCLA, she spent a year as a model and stylist, as well as doing stints as a receptionist and an assistant at Moda magazine. Net-A-Porter was set up in 2000, when Massenet was in her mid thirties, with all operations running from her flat in Chelsea. Her bathtub even served as a mini warehouse, accommodating the trademark black boxes. Of course, once Net-A-Porter took off, she was a force to be reckoned with, but it took over ten years after leaving university before Natalie found major success.
Designer Vera Wang wanted to be an Olympic figure skater but failed to make the team. She turned her hand to something else and became a senior fashion editor for Vogue in 1970. Wang then left Vogue after being turned down for the editor-in-chief position – which Anna Wintour currently holds – to become a designer. She was forty-years-old when she designed her first dress, proving that it’s never too late to discover your talent.
Melissa McCarthy is one of the biggest comedic actresses around, but that wasn’t always the case. She didn’t have her breakout role until she was thirty, playing Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls. What made her most famous, though was her part in Bridesmaids, which at the time of filming McCarthy was forty-one. You go, girl.
Countless successful women took a detour before arriving at their current destination. Oprah, Martha Stewart, Tina Fey, J.K. Rowling, Judi Dench, the list goes on. They are all human, despite how highly you regard them.
If you are not immediately where you want to be, don’t panic. Use it as time to work on yourself, hone your craft and figure out where your passions lie. A wise person once pointed out that it doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. Don’t stop. Be enthusiastic, be interested, work hard and life will do its thing.