Category Archives: Finding Meaningful Work at 70

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. Continue reading Julia Child’s career is a recipe for reinvention

What IKEA can teach you about designing your career

Ingvar Kamprad, the Swedish entrepreneur, is well-known around the globe for founding IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer since 2008. Kamprad had dyslexia, a learning disorder that affects one’s ability to read, spell, write, and speak. What distinguishes IKEA from other retailers is a result of Kamprad’s dyslexia. His disorder caused him to struggle with numbers, so using pictures and letters made more sense. He replaced numeric codes with European names, places, and islands that make it easier to identify each furniture piece. Continue reading What IKEA can teach you about designing your career

Don’t markdown your career or grab it off the rack. Make it a perfect fit.

Don Fisher had bought two pair of pants. When they didn’t fit, he and his wife Doris began a search for the right size at clothing stores in San Francisco. Their futile search became an epiphany. “What if,” Don mused, “someone put together all the styles, colors and sizes Levi Strauss had to offer in one store?” That led to the creation of the first Gap store which revolutionized the retail industry. With no retail training or experience, they created a contagious shopping experience that the Fishers grew into a major global brand with over 3,200 stores and a portfolio that includes Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. Continue reading Don’t markdown your career or grab it off the rack. Make it a perfect fit.

International success at 46 is no “Fiction”

Samuel Leroy Jackson grew up as an only child in Tennessee, the son of an alcoholic father who lived away from the family. He was raised by his mother, a factory worker and supplies buyer for a mental institution. During childhood, he had a stuttering problem but eventually learned to “pretend to be other people who didn’t stutter.” Continue reading International success at 46 is no “Fiction”

How many doors are you willing to knock on?

How many doors are you willing to knock on to reinvent your career? Sara Blakely has knocked on a lot of them.

After a brief stint at Walt Disney World, she sold fax machines door-to-door for seven years. Frustrated by having to wear pantyhose in the hot Florida climate on her sales route, she experimented by cutting off the feet of her pantyhose while wearing them under a new pair of slacks. Continue reading How many doors are you willing to knock on?