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  • Writer's pictureMichele Andorfer

Starting Over: How These Women Reinvented Their Careers After 40

When we’re young, we tend to think that the “grown-ups” have everything figured out. They pick a career. They get married. They have kids. And then they spend the rest of their lives in that same marriage, advancing within their same careers.

As we grow up, we realize that this just isn’t true! 

It’s not uncommon for people to embrace the natural evolution our lives take. Some of us will work in the same career fields for our entire lives, but some of us will make big pivots. Some of us will stay married for 60+ years, whereas others will end a marriage or decide not to get married at all.

Plenty of women over 40 have recreated themselves, and their careers, in their journey to find fulfillment. Here are some great examples of famous women who have achieved massive success at ages that society may not have expected, to inspire you!

Vera Wang

Vera Wang is a household name, today, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, she didn’t start her multi-million dollar fashion company until she was 40. While she had success working at big names like Condé Nast and Ralph Lauren, Vera knew there was something else out there for her. Now, she’s one of the world’s most well-known fashion designers.

Laverne Cox

At 51, Laverne Cox is a popular American actress and advocate. At the age of 40, she was toying with the idea of going to grad school after decades of failing to become a working actress. All it took was Laverne’s perseverance and one audition for Orange is the New Black for her to achieve superstar status.

Octavia Spencer

Speaking of superstar status, Octavia Spencer is another great example of a woman who first found success in her 40s. s she puts it, “[f]inding fame in my 40s allowed me an adult perspective on my career. I truly understood that you have to enjoy it – and appreciate it.”

Martha Stewart

Probably the most recognizable Queen of Reinvention, Martha Stewart has seen her fair share of failures and downfalls. After struggling through a failing catering business and a string of career disappointments, Martha became wildly successful in her 50s. In less than a decade, her retail sales crossed the $760 million mark. By 2004, however, she famously went to prison.

Martha didn’t let that stop her. When she was released, she continued to make strong business moves, reinventing herself yet again. Now, at 82 years old, she is famously friends with rapper Snoop Dogg and her retail businesses and books are more popular than ever.

You Can Achieve Success at Any Age

Just like these powerful women, you should know that wherever you find yourself, you don’t have to stay there forever. It’s okay to make changes to find happiness. In fact, we should make the necessary changes that it takes to live our lives in alignment with who we are!

If you are at the beginning of a significant life transition, please understand that you deserve to feel empowered and inspired at any age. If you need some help finding the light in your life again, reach out! My new one-on-one coaching opportunity could be exactly what you need to find the inspiration you need to keep moving toward success and happiness.



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