When I first decided to ‘break’ my way into the world of media I was 23 years old – by some measures, this was still extremely young, but by others I was much too late. I remember all naysayers telling me that I’m way too behind and my bosses will forever be at least 5 years younger.
But despite all the haters, I saved my pennies, put the fears aside, and walked into the Shop till you drop officers as a work experience intern, reporting to my 19-year-old boss – and you know what? It was fine, better than that – it was one of the best things I’ve ever done, because success is not a race.
Fast forward *cough* 10 years… and the truth is things are just getting started, so should one wallow in self-pity because she didn’t make to the ‘top 30 under 30’ list – or instead take pride you’re still on the race, still hustling (yes I love that word), still pursuing even the craziest dreams with no barriers – particularly not age.
My research into this matter lead me to discover some interesting facts…
Did you know that Vera Wang was a figure skater and journalist before entering the fashion industry at age 40, designing her very first wedding dress – today she’s one of the world’s premier designers. J.K. Rowling was 32 when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published, and Anna Wintour was 39 when she assumed her current role as Editor at Vogue US.
I don’t think any of these phenomenal women wasted their time dwelling on ‘what hasn’t happened yet’, nor which ‘list’ they hadn’t made it to. Instead they worked their way up, remained focused and kept persevering towards the end goal.
I am not for one minute taking away any credit from those who have made it early, in fact it’s incredible and commendable – but, it shouldn’t be the one standard we all work towards, because in the end we have our own path, our own goals, and our own time to achieve them.
So, the next time you dwell or compare yourself to the infamous ’30 under 30 list’ – stop and imagine how much more you could accomplish working towards your own goal, instead of someone else’s.