Career Day bybabba, was initially manifested following a career event the brand marketing agency hosted more than a year ago. What was unexpectedly gathered from that event was actually how many of us are actively seeking career advice, especially when following an unconventional path in today’s day and age. In society today, more than ever, unconventional careers are growing abundantly, like a field of wildflowers. But, in an age when seemingly everything is accessible in a way never before, these unconventional careers have no guidebook, Bachelor’s course, or clear trajectory, but rather a podcast episode or a Forbes feature. As such, where does the directional advice lie?

Career Day was conceptualized with the intent to inspire the next generation of change-makers and leaders, through the stories of women with unconventional career paths. Since its debut, the series went on to host and gather every quarter of the year and has since taken international momentum. In lieu of the final quarterly Career Day of the year 2019, bybabba hosted the multi-faceted career event, with the underlying message and lesson, as we approach a new year, that success and well-being are not mutually exclusive.

In the spirit of learning, we gathered our top takeaways that offered us with quintessential advice for the new year.

  • If you are afraid of not knowing all of the answers, start conquering that fear by simply asking questions.

Fear proved to be an opening topic to which the evening unfolded. Upon arrival, guests were asked to fill out a card with one straight-forward, yet daunting question, what fear is holding you back? The responses were addressed on stage, by Piera Gelardi, Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director of Refinery29, as she spoke to the path of most resistance and honed in on tackling personal resistance, as well as biases and societal resistance. It was learned that the path of most resistance is in fact, the path of most growth and opportunity.

  • Focus on what you can bring to the table because of your non-traditional background for a role, versus apologizing for not having the right experience. 

bybabba Founder, Babba C Rivera answered career-related questions from our hotline during the event. One of the most frequently asked questions amongst those inquiring was regarding the subject of how one can break into an industry without prior experience. A point emphasized? Identify how you can bring value to the company, regardless of your experience and how they will benefit from hiring you.

  • Life comes full circle. It goes a long way to be kind to people.

Teen Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, Lindsay Peoples Wagner spoke amongst a panel, sharing first-hand accounts on how experiences often find a way back to each other. From working as a closet assistant at Teen Vogue, to becoming the helm’s eventual Editor-in-Chief upon returning to the magazine, Peoples Wagner expressed the importance of being kind to people and leaving those doors open. In paying it forward, Peoples Wagner aspires to continue to help others and create ladders for those to break into the industry, whilst strengthening and establishing an inclusive community.

  • Giving back should not be looked at as doing someone a favor, but rather having the honor to serve.

Noor Tagouri, known today for her journalism and activism work, began helping her mother from a young age to rally communities via social media, to gather people together for grocery runs to help homeless shelters. This foundation eventually led way to the established ISY (I See You) foundation that exists today. Tagouri addressed the honor in giving back to others and stated that she realizes her strength lies in using her own identity to build trust with people who’ve never trusted mainstream media to tell their story before.

  • Don’t be afraid to fail upwards.

Morgan von Steen, Founder of Supersystem, an impact startup aiming to simplify our government, originally began working as the Executive Assistant to Glossier Founder, Emily Weiss, whilst enrolled in college full-time. Following Glossier’s Series B funding, von Steen decided to drop out of school and focus on her career within Glossier, leading to the eventual founding of her own company, Supersystem. In reflecting on her career trajectory thus far, von Steen credited her success to her deep-rooted fear of mediocrity and her openness to fail upwards.