Unexpected Career Paths of Successful People
4/30/20 by Haley Lyles
Before the success of famous people such as Sara Blakley or Reed Hastings, they started their career journeys in less-than-ideal jobs. The delays and disappointments that they faced could have derailed their careers but they persisted and found success in unexpected ways.
Like these famous successes, you may have found yourself in a position that is not what you expected during this season of uncertainty. Whether you were laid off, forced to take a dead-end position, or are struggling to find a job, take a look at these career paths of successful people to get inspired to persist through tough times.
Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO of Netflix
Reed Hastings’ career journey started when he graduated from high school and instead of going right into college, he began selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. After this gap year, he went to college, completed his bachelor’s degree, and joined the Peace Corps. His gap year before college and after college could have easily distracted him from his long term career goals but instead, he got back on track and launched his career in computer science. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many students are having to make the same career choices that Reed Hastings made and are deferring their education. If you are taking a gap year, use the time wisely and keep your eyes on the future.
Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx
Sara Blakely started her career like many recent grads. Her hopes of going to grad school were dashed after failing the LSAT twice, leading to her accepting a cast member position at Disney World. After a short time at the Happiest Place on Earth, she accepted a full-time sales position at Danka Office Imaging Co. where she remained for seven years. During this time Blakely never settled. After discovering a wardrobe hack for making white slacks look better, she began working on her shapewear line called Spanx, which eventually earned her the title of Forbes youngest self-made female billionaire in 2012.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, layoffs, unemployment, and less-than-ideal jobs are a reality for many people. If you have found yourself in an unsuitable position or have a resume that doesn’t live up to your career goals, be inspired by these stories. Like Sarah Blakely, so many others faced challenging starts in their career. Here are some other famous success stories.