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  1. Blog
  2. Partners in Diversity

Milestones: Lessons Learned & Career Advice from Women in Their 50s & 60s

‘Embrace change and accept ambiguity’

Woman in her mid-50s leaning against a wall
Photo courtesy of Maria Lupan

This article is part of InHerSight's Partners in Diversity series. Discover companies partnering with InHerSight to better support women in the workplace.

By the time women reach their 50s and 60s, their career paths look vastly different. Some women’s resumes feature two, three, or even four career changes, and others have gaps in employment representing child-rearing, risk-taking, soul-searching, and self-care. The years closest to retirement aren’t celebrated enough, especially given what they represent: Decades of resilience, drive, and flat out hard work, all manifesting in different ways for different women. 

For the last installment of InHerSight’s Milestones series, we asked women in their 50s and 60s, some in the height of their careers and some enjoying a well-earned retirement, to share the wisdom they’ve gathered after decades in the workforce. Turns out, “soft” skills deliver hard results.

Read more: The 50 Best Places to Work

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned about work in your career thus far, and what advice would you give women younger than you?

Her advice to younger women:

“Find a person who is in the position you have that is doing well. Ask for their time to get to know them and learn their ‘best practices’ in being successful. At the end of the day, everyone is equally human regardless of their title, so always treat them that way.”

Her advice to younger women:

“Have the confidence to ask questions, share your voice, and invite yourself to ‘the table.’ Embrace mentors and collaborators.”

Her advice to younger women:

“Work hard but without apology, and assert for one's rights when (not if) necessary.”

Her advice to younger women:

“Appreciate the people who went before you and learn from them, but pursue the path and style that allows you to excel. Also, it’s okay to work hard and then take the time off to attend your family (for me, my children’s) events.”

Her advice to younger women:

“Network, help others, and provide well-formed ideas and solutions. Don’t complain unless you are willing to provide potential solutions as well.”

Her advice to younger women:

“Believing in yourself is number one. In sales, the product sells itself. You need to believe in the product, and you must be passionate for your client’s success. But, above all, you need to believe in yourself.”

Her advice to younger women:

“Understand your individual core values and strengths in order to understand how to work with others so you can deliver results.”

Her advice to younger women:

“There is no work-life balance in a job. Decide in the beginning what hours and type of work you want to do and search for that and don’t accept anything you can’t live with.”

Read more: What Is Marginalization at Work? 

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