Never Too Old…

ponds rejuveness 1

A funny thing happens when you hit your thirties. Suddenly, the talk goes from… “You’re too young to < insert milestone here.>” to… “Don’t you think you’re a little too old for that?” People mean well, but the reality is that we all grow and learn at our own pace. Sometimes I feel as though I have more in common with my twenty-something friends than my thirty-something friends… especially the friends who have moved out of Boston or New York. I think that’s city living for you… we’re so busy that we in a sense sometimes can forget to grow up.

I don’t see it as a bad thing. I feel like at 34 years old, I’m still learning and growing and developing as a human being… even more than I was in my twenties! Every day it seems, I learn something new – whether it’s about myself and what makes me happy, or something new that will help me grow my business.

For that reason, I find Pond’s Rejuveness’ new #AntiAgeLimits campaign to be really inspiring. Life is meant to be lived, period. We all have our own path, and your age, whether it’s “too young,” or “too old,” should never define or dictate your choices.

For me, this message is particularly relevant in that I have essentially changed careers four times. I’m not sure if I’ve ever talked about that here! Each one of those career changes complemented the next, and now it feels like it was a (somewhat 🙂 ) clear trajectory, but at the time it didn’t feel that way!

I started my career in 2003 as an Assistant Buyer for Filene’s Department Stores in Boston (now a part of Macy’s). I worked on the Women’s Fragrances business and loved my job. I was certain I’d work in retail forever… gradually climbing the ranks to buyer, then DMM, and so on and so forth. Alas, life had other plans. Our parent company was purchased by Federated Department Stores (Macy’s parent company) and I realized that to continue doing what I loved, I really had to move to New York.

I had two job offers on the table… one as an Associate Buyer for Macy’s… the other as a Marketing Manager for a fragrance company that had just been acquired by a big CPG brand. The Macy’s job paid more, but the idea of getting that kind of marketing experience was too good to pass up… I took a double leap of faith – moving to New York and also switching industries! The experience I’d gained in retail was incredibly valuable in my new role but it was still a huge change. And moving to New York was a massive, crazy change. We can talk about that more another day… but I was pretty miserable during my first year here. I was completely broke, in a long-distance relationship, and dying to move back to Boston. Something clicked after the first year though, and I ended up falling in complete + utter love with the city.

I worked in marketing and brand management in the beauty industry for almost six years. During that time I started a blog, just for fun. And on that blog, I featured a tiny, relatively unknown startup I’d seen in a magazine… BaubleBar. That (very early!) blog post led to meeting the BaubleBar cofounders, which led to them asking if I’d ever consider leaving to run their social media. At the time (this was over five years ago!) the idea of being able to do social media as a career sounded totally crazy (and awesome). I was so nervous (and scared… I was 28… it felt like I was too old to make such a big career switch… again). At the same time, I just had this feeling in my gut that I had to do it. So I did. I left a very stable job (and took a 40% pay cut!) and off I went… from the very structured corporate world to the Wild West of startups. It was crazy and amazing and one of the best decisions I ever made. At the time, there were only six of us… our “office” was more or less a giant table. We worked a million hours and had the most fun.

That brings us to a year ago. I was at a crossroads and so burnt out. I’d been at BaubleBar for four years and my equity had vested. The amount of hours that I was working (between this site and BaubleBar) was not sustainable. I wrote more about that here. And so, I took another leap of faith… this time, betting on myself, and this site. I was completely terrified to leave the safety and stability of a desk job. I was responsible about it… I saved and saved and saved… and I consulted at BaubleBar at first, which made for a smooth transition. I was still so scared. But it’s all worked out so far, and I’ve never been happier. I love getting to wake up every day and write this blog. I like being in charge of my own schedule (real talk: I wrote this post at 11:30pm… I do my best writing late at night!) And who knows what the future will bring. I hope blogging is around forever but if it isn’t, I’m sure there will be another giant leap. I listen to my gut and it hasn’t steered me wrong so far.

The point in telling you my own story is that our paths are all completely different. For some of us, the best path is a very linear trajectory… working for one really great company for our entire career. Others need to jump around a bit. Self-employment works for some of us; others not so much. But at the end of the day, you are never too old to continue growing and learning… or to make a big change.

ponds rejuveness 2

You can learn more about Pond’s Anti Age Limits campaign here. If you take one thing away from this post, it’s that age is irrelevant. You have to do what makes you happy. In a responsible manner, of course. 😉

In collaboration with Pond’s.

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Comments

  1. Annie Reeves says 6.9.16

    Yes, yes, yes!!! I love this post, Grace! Always so interesting to hear more background about how people got to their current place in life. I, for one, am quite happy you took the leap of faith into blogging full-time! And I really love the idea that you’re never too old to do something that excites you – in a career or elsewhere. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Regine Karpel says 6.9.16
  3. Kristen says 6.9.16

    this is so amazing and inspiring Grace! It was really fun to read about your career path. This post is a huge reminder to trust your instincts, too! I like that you still gave props to “working for one really great company for our entire career” as that is me, with blogging as a hobby on the side 🙂

  4. Liz says 6.9.16

    Really enjoyed your personal story, Grace. It’s nice when we can do what we love, discover and enjoy the journey and not let age get in the way. I like the way you added ‘in a responsible manner. enjoy your day!’

  5. Lauren says 6.9.16

    Grace, thanks for sharing your career trajectory. I always find it very interesting to see what paths people have taken. I also commend you on so seamlessly weaving a sponsored post into a real, thought-provoking, and interesting post. That takes some skill!

    • graceatwood says 6.9.16

      Aw, thanks Lauren!! It was a fun campaign to participate in! Xx

    • Lauren says 6.9.16

      Lauren, I was just going to post a similar comment! I guess great names think alike? 😉

      Sometimes I cringe reading sponsored content because it seems so forced and fake. Grace, you do a great job with sponsored posts!. I especially liked first one you did with Ponds.

  6. Jess Zimlich says 6.9.16

    Reading this couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Thanks for the much needed boost of inspiration!

  7. Brittany says 6.9.16

    Love this post, Grace! Huge fan of Pond’s (literally the only cream/product I use on my face!) and love that it sparked this insightful post. xo

    • graceatwood says 6.9.16

      Aw I love that! Such a great brand!!!

  8. chelsea finn says 6.9.16

    I loved reading your story! I graduated a year ago and am trying to figure out what I want to do so it’s refreshing to read that it’s never too late for change. Thank you!

    xx Chelsea
    http://www.organizedmessblog.com

  9. Rachelle says 6.9.16

    I’ve been doing the same job for 5 years I was 25 then and sometimes I wonder what life has in store for me. I haven’t had any opportunity to change it but your story is very inspirational. And really we have nothing to fear, everything seems to always fall into place. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Annie Spano says 6.9.16

    Hey Grace! I am getting all the feels with this post! We are SO similar with career choices and moving all around the north east! I recently left my corporate job to start my own marketing company (http://stylecollective.us) and learn the influencer industry. It’s been a wild ride for sure, but the best decision I’ve ever made! I grew up in New York and moved to Portsmouth, NH about 6 years ago. Also a huge change that I HATED at first, but have grown to LOVE being in this area. One of my friends used to work at BaubleBar in sourcing (Esther), small world, right?! I would love to connect with you further – you don’t always find someone who is so similar in this industry! Sending love to you and loved this post! xo Annie
    http://thelovelygirl.co

    • graceatwood says 6.9.16

      aw that is so nice!! Love that we’ve had a similar path. Thanks for commenting, Annie! xo

  11. Thuy says 6.9.16

    Loved this post. I like seeing your career path and your feelings behind each choice. If you’re motivated and willing to carry through, you can do it at any age.

    http://www.dressupchowdown.com

  12. Katrina says 6.9.16

    Just stumbled across your blog, and stumbled across this post, and it was exactly the story I needed to read today. Funny how the universe has a way of telling you everything is going to be just fine. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • graceatwood says 6.9.16

      Love that!!! So happy you found me!

  13. Nancy says 6.9.16

    Beautifully written – So proud of you, Grace, and every step that you’ve taken…

  14. Sarah says 6.9.16

    Needed to hear this today. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Amy says 6.9.16

    This speaks to me so much! After turning 40 last year I decided to start a lifestyle blog (my hubby’s idea)! I know, what 40 year old starts a lifestyle blog? Being a mom of adopted twins, a former model, and having a masters degree in psychology, I was excited to combine it all and share it. I’m having a blast with it but the most challenging aspect of it has been setting up the website itself and learning what seems to be an entirely new internet language. I purchased books, watched tutorials, and called customer service (who all seem to be “kids” more than half my age) a million times. I have embraced this challenge and have an amazing sense of satisfaction accomplishing something entirely new- proving it’s never to late to learn something new! Check out my accomplishment at http://www.jeansandatea.com!
    XOXO, Amy
    http://www.jeansandatea.com

    • graceatwood says 6.9.16

      That is so amazing, congratulations to you!!! It’s definitely a lot of work, but so worthwhile. Off to check out your blog now 🙂 Best of luck to you!!!

  16. Thank you for this post! I’m at one of the crossroads right now and just started a new job. It’s so inspiring reading about your leaps of faith and trusting your gut, even with a 40% pay cut! I’m selfishly so glad you moved to invest fully into this blog, love it!

    Erin, Attention to Darling
    http://www.attentiontodarling.com

  17. Maggie says 6.9.16

    I love your story! So inspiring!

    http://looklikeget.com

  18. Sarah says 6.10.16

    Hi Grace! Thanks for sharing all this! You’ve mentioned a few of these jobs through the years on your blog, but it’s so fascinating reading about how everything played out. Your career has been such an inspiration for me!

    It sounds like all of your decisions ended up working out really well for you in the long term. Are there any decisions you’ve made (career-wise) that you regret and you feel like you’ve learned from? I’d be really interested in reading about that too!

    Thanks for sharing! I know it’s a little scary publishing personal info for the world to read, but as a regular reader, I just wanted to let you know that I really do appreciate it! I always feel like I learn something when I come to The Stripe. So thanks for that 🙂

    Sarah

  19. Vanessa says 6.11.16

    Grace, love this campaign, and learning how your previous jobs all shaped how you got to where you are today. Very inspiring! You should be proud of what you have accomplished in such a short amount of time. xo

  20. Jherell says 6.15.16

    I LOVED reading about your professional journey in this post. Very inspiring!

  21. Maria says 9.23.16

    It is hard to believe that our old favorite Ponds has created such a miracle face cream! I have these little lines around my mouth and with Pond’s they just disappear. Amazing! I will continue with Pond’s morning and night!

    • graceatwood says 9.25.16

      It really is a wonderful product!! Magic! 😉 x