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Do The Work: Learning To Respect The Process Is Key To Career Success

Workin’ Girl

We've all asked ourselves, "Why haven't I landed my dream job or internship yet?"


Well, Oprah Winfrey answered this question best when she dropped the classic line: "Whatever our dreams, ideas, or projects, we plant a seed, nurture it and then reap the fruits of our labor."

Taking the time to grow and cultivate your talents first is the not-so-secret sauce to making your dreams a reality but in today's social media driven culture, where many crave instant gratification and viral posts launch people to overnight success, it's easy to want to speed up your climb to the top and believe that there are shortcuts to prosperity. However, embracing the journey that comes along with pursuing your chosen professional path (aka the process) is one of the most necessary and rewarding parts of life.

Of course, the act of practicing patience when it comes to your career is testing and easier said than done. It's natural for us to want to map out where we want to be in the near and distant future and while setting goals is good practice, chasing after your aspirations isn't meant to be one of those easily planned out things in life. Achieving long-term fortune and fulfillment is contingent upon continual development.

To get to where you want to be later, you have to realize that the present is for working on getting better.

While you may not be able to add your ideal job title to your resume just yet, every position you take now and going forward should be looked at as a part of the bigger picture. They are learning opportunities and chances to get a step closer to the working woman you desire to be. You deserve to offer yourself the gift of not rushing and instead take time to elevate your skillset. Those who stay the course learn the importance of commitment, dedication, and hard work which are essential when trying to building a long-lasting life that you love.

Attempting to travel down the shortened path to living out your passions increases the odds of failure dramatically.

Failing to commit to the process of success makes it harder to become your best self. By taking shortcuts, you don't allow yourself to flourish and grow the way you need to personally and professionally. When you get something too soon or that you cut corners to achieve, you aren't equipped with the tools or mindset to properly value or sustain that success. You have to build a solid foundation for your career to stand on or everything will topple over.

Whenever you find yourself wishing you could quickly check off boxes on your career goal to-do list, remember this:

It took nearly 10 years to make Issa Rae's TV dreams became a reality...

Actress Issa Rae began creating content on YouTube 10 years ago and first experienced widespread notoriety in 2011 with her web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.

Her hit HBO series Insecure didn't come to fruition until 2016, and it wasn't until this year that she secured a deal to executive produce two shows on the same network.

Related: How Issa Rae Went From Awkward Black Girl To Insecure

Kahlana Barfield put in over a decade of work before becoming Editor-at-Large...

InStyle's Fashion and Beauty Editor-at-Large Kahlana Barfield got her start in the editorial world with an internship at Suede Magazine during its existence between 2004-2005.

Since her stint at Suede, Barfield has put in over a decade of work. She has interned at InStyle, secured her first position at the magazine as an Assistant Editor, and has been promoted six times within the company.

Related: Kahlana Barfield's Rise From Intern To Editor-At-Large At Instyle Magazine Is Career Goals!

It took Jennifer Hudson almost 5 Years to strike gold with a debut album...

Grammy award-winning songstress Jennifer Hudson worked as a performer on Disney cruise ships the same year she auditioned for the show that would change her life, American Idol.

After becoming a finalist on the singing competition in 2004, it took Hudson two years to snag her Oscar-winning role in Dreamgirls and four years to release her gold-selling self-titled album.

Oprah put in 11 years before landing the show that propelled her empire...

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on

And billionaire media maven Oprah Winfrey was once just a 19-year-old anchor at a television station in Nashville, Tennessee.

It wasn't until nearly 11 years later that the iconic The Oprah Winfrey Show made its debut and propelled Winfrey to the household name and brand she is today.

These women are the powerhouses we know today because they diligently put in work at every stage of their career. They are living testaments to the saying "patience is a virtue." They used their experiences as building blocks and continued to make moves that readied them for their current roles. Women like Barfield, Hudson, and Winfrey were students of the game first, which in turn prepared them to eventually level up to their now boss woman status.

You may feel like others are progressing ahead of you but remembering that your purpose is meant to be lived out one step at a time is key to putting things back into perspective.

There is no deadline on dreams.

Opportunities for advancement and success will always present themselves to those who have a track record of being prepared. And though the route to making your dreams a reality will take some time and be shaped by various experiences, one thing that is certain is that if you do the work and respect the process, the rest will follow.

Featured image by Getty Images

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