My husband tells me that when the tractor was invented, farmers who spent their lives learning to be great with horses had to rely on young farmers who understood machinery. It was an era when young people looked like experts in farming almost overnight.

Or at least they felt that way. Really, though, they were experts in the machinery of farming, but machinery so quickly became a focal point of farming that being an expert in machinery meant you could get by. For a while. Until a drought. Or a flood. Or until you need to earn a lot more money to support your family.

This is the best example I can think of to explain the situation that Gen Y is in as they enter the workforce already being experts in the digital realm.

Today online advertising is growing at the rate of 33% per year. The fastest growing careers are software development and marketing specialists. And as more of the U.S. market share for advertising tips to mobile advertising, more of the workforce needs expertise in living their lives on their phone. And you know no one knows about that more than Gen Y.

So how do companies hire to fill jobs for cutting-edge technology intersecting with mobile advertising? College kids have deep knowledge in both fields, so companies hire kids right out of college to do these jobs.

We hear a lot about the 20-year-old developer making $100k in Silicon Valley. But what about the 23-year-olds in marketing? What happens to them?

1. They rise very fast.
The first thing that happens is they get invited to very high-level meetings, because senior management expects the company to lead the way in online marketing, and older professionals often lack knowledge of the newest trends. Experienced professionals can manage, yes, but when it comes to using Plague, it’s hard to find someone in middle-management who knows what they’re talking about.

So the just-out-college kid is conferred immediate authority in their career by being thrown into meetings with senior level managers. Do you want to know how intoxicating it is to talk with a knowledgable teen about social media trends? This post by a teen about teen usage was so popular that he wrote a second.

2. They get a slew of amazing brands on their resume very fast.
Jim Durbin is a recruiter for digital talent for advertising agencies. He says the biggest problem in his field is that the young people get recruited very early, and then get thrown into meetings with one big brand name after another. The kids have no knowledge of how businesses run, or how meetings progress, but they continue to be tapped for their particular expertise.

Client-side, the digital talent job hops. As soon as you have some experience, you can get a job that requires five years experience. And after you have a job with manager in the title, you can get a job that looks like middle management. You don’t know how to manage, but it’s okay. Your job is just to be the person who assures the CEO that middle management has a grip on the latest online marketing trends.

3. They work from home.
1-800-Flowers has been recruiting for a director of digital marketing for a long time. I love the company. And I want flowers every day. I asked what the pay is. My contact said, “It’s great pay. But it’s in Florida.”

End of conversation.

Digital marketing is in high enough demand that if you’ve got that up and down your resume, you can work in any location you want. Which is probably from home. Or Thailand. Or anywhere that is not the company’s headquarters.

Cassie’s career has had this trajectory and she tells me how bad it is to negotiate special dispensation from company policy so you can work from home. “It sucks,” she says. “Because everyone knows you’re the person working from home and they hate you for it. Every conversation on the phone begins with, ‘So how is it working from home?”

4. They try consulting.
So Cassie did what all people do when they are in high demand and they want to work from home: she became a consultant. At first, she made a lot of money, selling to all the clients she had when she was on a permanent staff. She knew what they needed and how to get it to them, and consulting was Easy Street.

But after a while, consulting gets harder. Because if you rise up in your career this fast, you are very specialized. And that specialty is hot for a while, but nothing stays hot too long.

I rose very fast in my career by being one of the only people who had experience getting a Fortune 500 company onto the Internet. But marketing myself as that person only worked until everyone else was on the Internet too.

Cassie rose fast by having close ties with an enormous list of bloggers who would work with her. But marketing herself as that person didn’t work as well when it became clear that banner ads on blogs wasn’t working anymore. Or ever.

Consulting is a difficult business and it’s where the playing field starts to level off. Other people, who don’t go the route of consulting will also find that the playing field levels off when they high enough up the ladder that being an expert in a fleeting-but-cutting-edge field is no longer an effective calling card: it’s left them too narrow.

5. They need a big idea.
That’s when you need a book. I know I’ve been saying for years that no one needs to write a book. Because books don’t make money. I mean, they do, but only in the way lottery tickets make money.

What I have noticed, though, is that a book forces you to have a big idea. And the second half of a career require big ideas.

Most careers top-out around age 35. You know how Hollywood stars have a hard time transitioning from child-actor to adult? Or from action-hero to old guy? Those career transitions are difficult in the non-Hollywood world as well. There’s a book about companies called What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. And that’s not just true for companies, it’s true for individuals as well.

The thing that gets you past the career plateau of a high-performer is a big idea. This is not something you have to get on the cover of Fast Company or the top of a bestsellers list. It’s something you need to just write, page by page, because when you are clear enough to get ideas into book format, you are clear enough to use that idea as a guiding star for the next half of your career.

Somewhere between the age of 30 and 35 you need to have a big vision for where your arena is headed and how you are going to be a part of that. A blog post is a small idea. A book is ten of those small ideas that add up to something big. (It’s hard to come up with that idea. Even professional writers often get a rejection from a publisher that says, “I think it’s an article, not a book.”)

This book, assuming you have one in you, is something you might give to potential consulting clients, you might share with work friends as a way to let people know what you’re thinking, but the first audience for your book is you.

6. They recalibrate.
Remember the kids on the farms who learned machinery instead of horses? They could farm so much faster than the older generation that those young mechanics felt untouchable.

But my husband explained to me that in the end, everyone still had the same hay bales, stored in the same red barns, and what you did with that hay determined the life of the farm.

I imagine the piles of hay that came in early for the people who harvested without horses. I imagine them sitting at the edge of their full-to-the-top barn thinking, “Now what?”

It’s intoxicating to rise fast. When I think about my past lives, I don’t think of the thrill of walking around the pro-beach volleyball tour in a bikini, my perfect body, signing autographs. I think about running around my high-rise office in gorgeous DKNY clothes and Via Spiga shoes bestowing ideas upon underlings thrilled to work at my startup.

I told myself I’d never give that up for parenting. Even when I was a parent I said I wouldn’t give it up for parenting. But I did.

I didn’t give it all up. But I gave some of it up.

There’s a reason that CEOs of Fortune 500 companies earn more money per year than the entire population of some small countries: The CEOs give up their lives for their work.

You are not likely to want to do that. At some point in the career of a fast-rising star, there’s a recalibration. A foot on the brake.

And it’s nothing to fear. It’s just another change. Like any other step in the trajectory of life for a fast-rising star.

51 replies
  1. Lindsey Cline
    Lindsey Cline says:

    Great post. I think it’s so true that you need a vision for where your industry is going and how you can be integral to it. I think about this all the time, but it’s difficult to know, isn’t it? And scary to think you might be really wrong.

    I see this big idea in all the career people I admire. I wonder, how did they know? But probably they had a bunch of ideas and just kept testing and tweaking, which makes it seem doable.

    Although sometimes I think you just need to be great at one core skill–like writing, or planning, or managing people–and you’ll be able to apply it to whatever is in store for your field.

    • Derek Scruggs
      Derek Scruggs says:

      The best advice I’ve seen for skills comes from Dilbert creator Scott Adams. He suggests learning multiple skills and getting “pretty good” at all of them instead of focusing on one skill and being “great.” at it. His own career illustrates the point. He’s a pretty funny guy, and he’s decent at drawing, and he spent enough years in the business world to be reasonably successful. So he combines all of those into Dilbert. He’s not great at any one of the three, but above average in all of them.

      • Lindsey
        Lindsey says:

        I think it’s fascinating when people focus and get great at one or two or maybe three things and find a way to intertwine them later in their career. Because it takes years to get above average at three things, right? Then, they just hit it out of the ballpark because they are so perfect for that specific combination.

        I don’t know where I stand on the generalist vs. specialist thing. Aren’t they both high risk and high reward in their own way?

        Re-inventing yourself is the thing that makes sense to me. It seems like both generalists and specialists are successful if they can adapt and change.
        Or, they make enough money early that they just coast later. ha!

  2. Julia
    Julia says:

    So what about the rest of us? When is it too late to be a rising star? Can I play catch up and quickly become an expert in digital marketing AND have core management competencies? Probably need a counseling session for that answer, huh?

      • Karen
        Karen says:

        Celeste — That’s what Anne Marie Slaughter says. Women have a different rhythm because of motherhood. Wise of you to think/know that at 50, you may just find your BIG second act.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Something that I’ve found, as I have counseled probably a hundred people in your position, is that you likely don’t want what you think you want.

      The reason people don’t have a big career by the time they are 30 is they don’t want a big career. It’s just hard to see that mixed up with social expectation and external definitions of success.

      I’m not saying this is true for everyone I coach. But by far, the majority of people who don’t have big careers are not actually missing it as much as they think they are.

      This is where coaching comes in; to know if you should be chasing that dream or you should be focusing more clearly on what’s really driving you.

      Penelope

      • Lindsey
        Lindsey says:

        As one of these people that freaked out (and Penelope coached through) the realization that I did not have a big career at 26, I’ll add that your career can still feel big and fun to you. If you’re smart and excited about what you’re doing, no one notices.

        I just finished a project with a national nonprofit–a household name. It was a tiny project, but who cares? My friends in Big Cities with Big Careers treat me like I’m doing something different, not tiny. The internet allows me to stay relevant. Not on the cutting edge, but I (and probably you) don’t want to pay the price of being on the cutting edge.

        I thought that if I didn’t have a big career, I had a stupid job, but I think there is a football field between the two… you just have to find where you fit.

  3. Karen
    Karen says:

    So you gave some of it up but you ALWAYS say you are very good at making (lots of) money still. Everyone is not. Is your advice for your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s to have a big idea for those decades? (Assuming that you peak at 35) Is your big idea in this post that you should prep in your 30’s to have a big idea for the next iteration of your work life? This is a nice narrative post but I’m not certain what the takeaway is.

    • Karelys
      Karelys says:

      I think it is that if you want to grow exponentially you do some (if not all) of those things so that you can zig zag your way up.

      The thing that i would add for those who worry about taking on jobs that make family life challenging is to homeschool your kids for easy mobility.

      And try hard to see if your spouse can stay home.

      But for that you need to cut your expenses to fit in one salary.

      So for that you need to move so you can live cheaply. (Rent out your house if you’re buying.)

      But that’ll require lots of worldview changes and will possibly require that you and your spouse reacquaint and get to know each other and figure out how to better provide for the intrinsic needs of each other. Which will cause a lot of fighting.

      For that you need relationship counseling. Try to do it before things are really bad. Which means that you really need counseling for yourselves individually.

      Which means you’ll need religion or phillosophy. Most likely both.

      With these two you’ll wonder if you really need to be a star in the work world and figure out that what you really want out of life you can get with simple work and not too much money so then you’ll wonder if the reward is worth the sacrifice.

      When you realize you dont need money or the adulation that being a rising star gets you then you’ll be free to pursue the path of a rising star if you want and not destroy yourself and your family in the process.

  4. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Penelope I’m one of your biggest fans, but you didn’t get this quite right. Digital marketing is easy, at the management level. The only place it’s tricky has to do with certain technologies around behavior capture and analysis, and the shifts to social media and mobile clients. The rest of “digital marketing,” i.e. the display technologies, is easy – or at least no harder than marketing has always been.

    • Rachel C.
      Rachel C. says:

      I interpreted what Penelope is saying as management is not a skill that is developed immediately. Digital marketing isn’t necessarily challenging to someone who is a digital native, but the logistics and people management skills take years to develop.

      I’m a Gen Y digital marketer myself (albeit, early gen y) and I defintely blew up a few opportunities because of my lack of experience managing people, or understanding business and logistics. Where as my dad’s generation apprenticed, watched others, and really learned the ropes moving up over time, my trajectory was so fast that I was managing large teams and big budgets without a lot of experience. You learn on the fly of course, but god it can be painful and embarrassing. I’ve found this same experience expressed by many of my peers too.

  5. Maria
    Maria says:

    Wow, Penelope, this is the your most timely and informative post so far. Thank you!

    To Celeste, yes, you will have plenty of time for a second act around 50, maybe even slightly before (I’m 48 for another 3 weeks, gulp!). I spent my child rearing days learning, experimenting, and teaching what I learned. I created an entire gaming series with cover art all in html that I never released. I did it for the experience, however the timing wasn’t right so I shelved it and learned something else. It was a great way to gain experience. Then I taught my daughter how to do it while I home schooled her. She learned html at 12 years old, graphic arts, creating music, etc… so it wasn’t a wasted exercise. Enjoy your kids.

    Cheers!

    Maria

  6. Karina Robledo
    Karina Robledo says:

    Hi from Mexico! I’m twenty years old and I’m currently studying in college. I used to think that good grades was the most important thing. Now I know that grit and social skills are most important for a good career and a good life.

    I love you because you taught me about Myer Briggs, so I know that I’m an INTJ.
    I’m thinking about my career. I learnt how to write code, but I think that I need something else because everyone can write code.
    Maybe I will start a company or just get a job. Now, I’m trying to know me better.

    Thank you so much for share ideas worth spreading!

  7. Carlos
    Carlos says:

    I think it’s interesting that this new generation is all over this concept of the big idea. Look at how many people are writing books now. Not as a money maker but as a branding tool.

    Then they go out into the world and instead of handing out their business card, it’s their book they share with people.

    “CEOs give up their lives for their work.” –> The only time this generation will accept that deal is if they’re getting equity in return. We really do want our cake and we want to eat it too.

  8. Rachel C.
    Rachel C. says:

    This article hits so close to home for me at this moment. I’m a Gen Yer that moved up fast in a digital marketing career and would say I’m between the consultation and recalibration phase right now. I stepped off the career gas pedal after having my second kid and am consulting, but it feels like spinning my wheels, not growing and I hate it. I’m home with the kids now and love that, have no problem with the money sacrifices I’ve made, but you become addicted to the pace of that type of career.

    Honestly, I miss the power and influence most of all. God I loved running the big show. Now even though I’m consulting, when I talk to people they just see me as a stay at home mom, because like you said, I can’t keep up with a fast paced career and be as involved with my kids while they are little as I want to. So I’m looking to pivot, but right now it just feels like failure.

    I know you say it’s nothing to fear, but I’m staring out into the abyss and I’m terrified.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      So honest. Thank you. Power and influence are so intoxicating. So hard to give up. For anyone. It’s just that beyond the intoxication, I’m not all that sure what it gets us. Belonging, maybe. I don’t know. I just know that it’s very hard for anyone to give that stuff up and it’s very un-PC to talk about it.

      Penelope

    • Karelys
      Karelys says:

      There’s a woman I know heavily involved in the community being in the board and a part of good programs and either owns or runs a gallery and is grooming someone to run the gallery in her place (which makes it look like she has bigger fish to fry and not that she’s too tired to do it.)

      I dont know how she makes money. None of these things look like money makers to me (not even a Little bit). But she seems so respectable and like a big authority on … THINGS!

      My guess is that she worked hard her whole life, stayed home with the kids for a bit, supported the husband in building his career, and continued building hers.

      So anyway, she’s managed to get older and not fall into the category of “retired old person so bored that fills her days with charity events” (which power and prestige and that sticky label is what keeps many from retirement i suspect.)

      Anyway, while you figure how to pivot make yourself look like you’re the backbone of your community or something. Not like a stay at home mom who works on a consulting basis to remain sane. And when you’re done staying home you can pick a company to join amd everyone will feel like you’re doing them a favor.

    • Cay
      Cay says:

      Oy, it sounds like you want more out of your career but your fear is paralyzing you, Rachel C.

      Every time that I’ve done something out of fear, it has failed spectacularly! So, it’s always best to try to shake that feeling off and work on building passion.

      If you’re bored, then it’s time to take calculated risks, and if you’re going to take calculated risks, you have to wake up your brain and connect as much as you can. Yes, there is a chance that things will not go as planned, but that was going to be the case anyway.

      What’s worked for me when I am trying to figure things out is networking with people (both inside and outside of my field), listing ideas and trying the good ones out in low-risk ways, and doing “the morning pages”.

      While you’re at it, may I lovingly suggest that you treat yourself to a new hairstyle, some different makeup, and/or some new clothes? Things that bring you closer to the you that you want to be. Changing your surroundings can do so much to freshen up your mindset. You can literally step into those shoes :)

      All the best,

      Cay

  9. Beatrice ENTP
    Beatrice ENTP says:

    it’s review season in the office, so i’ve been spending the past few weeks being retrospective with my peers and myself, as we commiserate over what we’ll hear from our managers. there’s a bit of an age gap – those of us who started over a year ago, and then all the newbs that are only a few months in. i don’t know why but in our company culture anyone being here over a year, or any multitude of years (we’re only 4 years old) is a big. deal. and i’m one of them.

    anyway.

    a handful of us are 24/25 and we were hired when we were 22/23, with close to no job experience than the internships we stacked on each other when we applied. our current coworkers got hired at higher salaries, only being a year older than us.

    we grew up in this company. we got hired with little experience – our company IS our experience – and now we’re competing for opportunities within the company that other people who have been here in less time have an easier shot at.

    …i think i just got an EXTREME introspective look at how it might feel to be a baby boomer right now. wow, i’m not that old though, right?

  10. Becky Castle Miller
    Becky Castle Miller says:

    This is brilliant, Penelope. Thank you. The part I find most interesting is that I have been working on a next-few-years plan, and it has me publishing my big-idea book in 2017…which is when I will be 35. I guess that puts me right on track!

  11. Nur Costa
    Nur Costa says:

    Wow. I feel so identified with this post. I am a Gen-yer that as been through the consulting phase already… and I don’t know I have stepped out of it yet.

    I haven’t worked from work yet (apart from my blog, but I don’t make any money from it. Not expecting to for the next 3-5 years). And I don’t have many big brands on my CV (apart from Danone Baby Nutrition).

    I will be publishing my first book this October, which basically is an extension of my blog.

    What is disturbing for me, it’s the “giving up” your life part… I wrote a post a week ago about why I want to give up parenting in my life: I don’t want to have kids. It’s such a hard job, and not everyone is meant to become a parent… Is that a side-effect of the general trend on gen-y?

    You are a trend-spotter. But you sure have an improving area with your pictures… ;)

    Oh, and I couldn’t download Plague. Apparently, since I am living in Spain, I don’t get access to it…

    • Lindsey
      Lindsey says:

      I don’t want kids either! I’ll have to read your blog, because I don’t find much out there that is about not having kids. Everything is about balancing kids and work, or working mom vs. STAH. Which is totally fine, but doesn’t apply to a lot of Gen Y women.

      Everyone just tells me that I’ll regret the decision and that I should have kids because ‘who will hang out with me when I”m older? Who will I give my grandmothers china to?’

      NEW TREND: A business that allows Gen-Yers to feel okay about not wanting kids.

      • Jennifa
        Jennifa says:

        Lindsey, What a wonderful ‘new trend’ idea. I would support that!
        I too have heard ‘you will regret it later’ and at 44 I don’t regret it yet. I have a closet full of regrets so far, but not having kids is not one of them.

        There are many stereo-types about WWC (women without children), like, the options were career or motherhood and career won. This one totally does not resonate with me.

        Another is that most women have maternal instincts and want children. I am not sure about this one, I think women have traditionally succumbed to social expectations, and biologically did not always have choices. I believe through-out history there have probably been a good number of women who had no maternal drive and would have preferred to forego motherhood.

        Read obituaries, any given week in my local paper there are obituaries of beautiful, happy-looking women who have left behind numerous nieces and nephews, with no mention of children. So, my thought being, these women have been around, just not talked about much.

  12. jestjack
    jestjack says:

    What an interesting article. I know this article is about Gen Yer’s and their quick climb. BUT I wonder if anyone has done the research on WHO the customer is and if they have any money. From what I gather Yer’s are saddled with debt and have little disposable income so no help there. The folks with the disposable income are in their late 40’s early 50’s.. who often loath the internet/mobile and consider it an intrusion. Add to this that there is so much on the internet and soon to be mobile…that it all becomes “noise”. I have noticed this when trying to rent property…there is so much noise…no one can hear YOUR message. The answer may just be something old….like writing on dead trees. Recently in my local newspaper in the RE section there was but a handful of rentals….hmmm. I called the first three…they’re gone…Hmmm maybe simplicity will win out this time….Horses over tractors….maybe…

  13. Kate Leigh
    Kate Leigh says:

    Thank you for anticipating both my current professional dilemma and the appropriate solutions to it.

  14. Caroline
    Caroline says:

    I just peaked at 46 and realized that I was sacrificing my relationship with my five year old daughter to continue climbing. Recalibrating. At home. Homeschooling. Missing work but enjoying housework. Homeschooling is tied up with my reprioritization of parenting but not sure how long I can do it or if I can do it well enough. The thought of a second act in 13 years or so at age 60 after my daughter graduates is new. Attending Penelope’s next “how to start an online business.”

  15. Alta
    Alta says:

    “Most careers top-out around age 35” is a very profound statement. Software developers’ career starts with a bang but their globe-trotting career stagnates after 15 to 20 years.

  16. Mark
    Mark says:

    Thanks for the article! Science is similar. You become a specialist very quickly, then the field changes and you are left out cold. I’ve been trying to advance my career as fast as I can (in part for the power and influence), but it isn’t happening. I’ve been thinking, is it really what I want? I enjoy teaching so much more, but feel I need an “important” job with a high salary. But what I really want is to help students, and go home early to help at home with the kids. That’s a tough obstacle to overcome, external expectations.

  17. Priya N
    Priya N says:

    That nice post …!!!
    Example you have mentioned here is so true that technology and science is upgrading so fast that the will come where we have to reliable on our next generation.

    Everyone has there own BIG. When it is going to be is not important but it is going to be your BIG that’s important.

    Keep positive attitude towards life and doing what you love is important.

  18. Dear Valued Customer
    Dear Valued Customer says:

    What I’d like to know is “Where did all my ladies go?”

    I work as a manager in IT. I am female, in my mid-40s, and I am surrounded by men. I know they went to college because I was there with them. I know they didn’t die because I see them on The Facebook. And yet, I cannot see them from my desk in my open seating plan.

    Occasionally I see a woman in her twenties in the restroom and usually she is here on a visa. Sometimes I see a woman in her 40s in the elevator on her way to a meeting wearing nice shoes who has made it to a Senior Vice President level.

    Is this too much to ask? I would like to walk to coffee with someone in my age bracket who speaks English fluently enough to get my sarcasm. Ladies where you at?! (Preposition intentional)

    • Another Jennifa
      Another Jennifa says:

      Hello! I’m a 40-something BSA in IT. I know exactly what you mean. I have one female colleague (actually she’s senior to me, manages a staff), also 40-something. All else are men. All the new hires are men. Of course, our company is outsourcing as much of IT as they can to India; so maybe the younger women are too smart to enter this field.

  19. VigilntCtzn
    VigilntCtzn says:

    Love this! It reminds me of your post about ‘cross-training’ vs. ‘specializing’ in your career. I’m a teacher who definitely ‘specialized’ by getting a second credential/ master’s degree in a niche area. I also cross-trained (accidentally) by teaching ESL in Asia. I got my current dream job by specializing and gaining experience in cross-training: my principal loves my diverse teaching experience! But I definitely think about the future and job trends. That’s why I love this post because you’re basically saying that one has to reinvent themselves by staying relevant and fine-tuning your 5 year plan.

    I mostly agree with how you describe my generation, Gen Y. On a side note, I actually predict a huge backlash against technology in the next decade. Even though it’s being pushed in every facet of society right now (especially the classroom) and it’s the ‘hot’ career, there is zero research linking technology to student achievement. Technology increases student motivation but that’s it. I see this huge ‘push’ for technology as a giant control grid, especially for kids. I think with NSA, lack of privacy, moderate EMF radiation from all electronic devices such as smartphones negatively affecting children…it’ll be interesting to see people’s reactions when society acknowledges all of this. I believe you have touched on this before, but everyone should check out “Earthing” or “Grounding.” It’s fascinating!!!

    I love your blog! I somehow feel smarter after reading your posts. Thanks for being real, non-PC, and not sugar-coating it. You give great advice :)

  20. John Wake
    John Wake says:

    Kinda off topic.

    My aunt once told me that her father always said that you can tell what a man is really like by the way he treats his horses.

    She told the story of the family riding home from a small town gathering. As they past a man they knew, a man that seemed really nice, he was full on beating his horse. The horse, no doubt, was being obstinate, as horses will sometimes be, she said. And the man, no doubt, was drunk.

    And her father said, you can tell what a man is really like by the way he treats his horses.

  21. Casandra
    Casandra says:

    This is a nice reminder that we all have to work through challenges in our careers – even the super starts. It’s how you adapt and deal with those challenges that matter.

  22. Nur Costa
    Nur Costa says:

    I was just reading A Working Girl Can’t Win and other poems and this particular sentence reminded me of this post of yours…

    “is her meteoric rise the source of her potential demise?”

    Great reading.

  23. cory huff
    cory huff says:

    My wife shared this article with me, and I have to say that you nailed my trajectory. I started out in sales and was moved into the marketing department in the corporate office because I suggested we start using Facebook ads, right when they came out.

    At my next job, I was immediately thrown a handful of Fortune 500 accounts and flew around the country to meet with VPs & Directors.

    I left that job a couple of years ago to start my own business, and I just landed a book deal with a major publisher. I’m 34.

    Here’s hoping that book is my great idea. ;)

  24. jill Harris
    jill Harris says:

    HI… I am grasping at straws, but I need help you guys. The last couple of weeks Penelope sent out a blog that contained links to companies one can hire to help. Personal assistant types that will manage needs….I cannot find it on her site or in my inbox. Anyone know what I am talking about or am i just stuck in fucking middle age hell and losing my mind. Please help this old woman out!

  25. Senior Traveler
    Senior Traveler says:

    I have been self employed for many years now and so glad I got out of corporate America, the rat race as it’s called.

    If you have the commitment and self determination then it’s possible to craft your own career these days, even more so with all the freelance opportunities. The freedom you get and lower stress levels could save your life.

  26. James Davis
    James Davis says:

    Hi Penelope even I agree with Julia that after working tirelessly in my work even I think that when I could be a rising star after reaching at a certain age; and their could be a difference in my imagination and that of the upcoming generation I still think that I know the company better than the newer ones. Therefore I also deserves a equal chance.

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