Julia Child’s career is a recipe for reinvention

After graduating from Smith College, Julia worked as a secretary. In 1941, she volunteered with the American Red Cross. She headed the Department of Stenographic Services and worked in the Aircraft Warning Service. She tried enlisting but was rejected because of her height. Julia then became a senior typist with the Research Unit of the Office of War Information and later junior research assistant with the Secret Intelligence Branch of the Office of Strategic Services.

Following the war and her passion, Julia enrolled in the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She was 50. The French Chef, based on her book, brought her international recognition and Peabody and Emmy Awards. Her kitchen was donated to the Smithsonian and the Postal Service included her in the “Celebrity Chefs Forever” stamp series.

It IS possible to find meaningful work, even later in life. It’s just a matter of how bad you want it, how much work you’re willing to put in, and how persistent you’re going to be to reach your goal. “The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile” (Julia Child).

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