17 Successful Career Women on the Advice They Would Give Their Younger Selves

Navigating how to have a successful career can feel daunting and many of us face times of uncertainty where we are unsure if we're on the right path. It's not until we've experienced a lot and can look back on our pasts that we know exactly what does and doesn't work.   

The Bed Threads Journal has been fortunate enough to interview an array of successful and creative women in our The Makers series who have navigated the ups and downs of their respective areas of work and who have been triumphant in their careers.

From ceramicists to designers, these inspiring women share the advice they would tell their younger selves and those looking to enter a similar line of work. 

17 Successful Career Women on the Advice They Would Give Their Younger Selves

1. Nicolette Johnson, Ceramicist

"It is okay to be bad at something you are just starting to learn. If you enjoy it, just keep going!"

2. Justine Cullen, Editor

“I would just say that in my experience working hard in my 20s paid off in terms of the position I was in and the experience and contacts I had once I wanted to start to a family.

Not that you shouldn’t have fun in your 20s - you should have ALL the fun and then some - but if there’s a time to grind, burn the candle at both ends and say yes to every opportunity without worrying so much about work/life balance (believe me, you’ll wrestle with that concept enough down the track), this is it.”

3. Puno Puno, Web Designer

"If I could talk to my younger self, I’d say: “The answer is yes, you’re smart, but overthinking your way to a solution is the more exhausting route to the same outcome.”  

4. Fatuma Ndenzako, Fashion Designer

"Always be nice! No matter what you do, no matter how big or small. Always be nice."

5. Claire Thomas, Commercial Director

"Be an excellent collaborator, and a pleasure to work with."

6. Courtney Adamo, Lifestyle Blogger

"Just start! Start where you are and use what you have and do it. You might fail, but you will have learned and grown from the experience. And one experience leads to the next."

7. Hannah Sindorf, Jewellery Designer 

"My advice for anyone seeking a creative career would be: if you feel it’s right, and you can see yourself happily doing something, it’s always worth the pursuit — even if it’s the more difficult path."

8. Mafalda Vasconcelos, Artist

"My advice is to just go for it and never expect others to do the work for you. If there is a will, there is a way. Believe in yourself and never give up on your purpose. I wish I had started earlier, and I wish I had faith in myself when I was younger."

9. Lara Fells, Creative Director

"The best advice that I could share is to just trust that it's all going to work out. Don’t take your eye off your goal, take the risk, work really hard and it will happen."


10. Rowi Singh, Content Creator

"Don’t overthink and just jump right in, you’ll figure the nitty gritty bits out later. Still trying to take my advice as I push past my desire to “wait for the right moment"."

11. Lynda Gardener, Interior Designer

"Stay focused and enjoy it all on every level. From the start of the idea or concept through to the end result. Have fun along the way and always pick yourself up if something should go off-kilter and keep moving along. Learn always from your mistakes and know that from that you just get stronger and better at what you do because of it."


12. Annie Portelli, Art Director

"One thing I wish I was told when I had just left university is that just because you studied say graphic design, it doesn't mean you have to be a graphic designer.

I have always been in roles where graphic design is just a small portion of what I do and I am thankful for that. As a creative, you have many arms – one of which can use Photoshop while the other is taking photos or styling a shoot. All of these assets are so valuable to you and the places you may choose to work, so don’t limit yourself to one thing just because you’re ‘qualified’. Do all the things, and it will make you a better ‘graphic designer’ or whatever it is that you have been trained to do because you can truly understand the bigger picture."

13. Eleanor Pendleton, Founder & Editor of Gritty Pretty

"Write a business plan. Consider the risks. Know your brand and your demographic. Believe in your product and yourself."

14. Bobby Clark, Artist

"Just do it! Stop dreaming or talking of the things you want to do. Simply do it. Study and never stop learning. For anyone wanting to be an artist, learn about the greats, learn about the movements, and experiment with different mediums and tools.

Also, be inquisitive. Other people don't hold the answers; the answers are within you. Chase your dream and work damn hard to get it. Hard work and dedication is everything.

And last but definitely not least, remember experimenting and making mistakes always leads to something new."

15. Caitlin Robson, Ceramicist

"At the risk of sounding trite, a letter to my younger self would be to push through the fear of starting. You’re only holding yourself back and amazing things fall into place when you trust in the process, and trust in your gut feeling."

16. Jessica Ngyuen, Cook and Recipe Creator

"If you believe in it, are truly passionate about it and have done your research to know there’s a gap in the market that needs it, just do it! You’ll never regret trying even if it fails, but you’ll always regret letting those ideas and opportunities pass you by."

17. Jessica Bellef, Stylist

"Good things will come in the fullness of time. There’s so much pressure to do everything yesterday, to always be hustling. It’s not sustainable or beneficial to anyone. Zone in on what really matters, break it down and chip away at it."

 Enjoyed this? These 15 Successful Artists Share the Most Challenging Lesson They've Learnt in Their Career

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