Barbie: Her Own Boss


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Barbie’s professional career began in 1959 as a teenage model. Although she could have rode out of the small town of Willows, WI with a millionaire and never look back, she forged ahead and made a name for herself.

She took that perfect 6-foot, 100-pound body of hers and applied to college in 1964. She graduated in four years, and without looking back, her career took off as she made an appearance in almost every field. With over 80 careers, Barbie has been fearless in applying her transferable skills. She built her brand from model and rock star to paleontologist. She even had the guts to enter the male-dominated world of politics as a presidential candidate. After enlisting in the army, she spent her time hanging out with the world’s best athletes and was successful enough to splurge on her famous hot pink Cadillac. Best of all, she has a wardrobe to match every position she has dominated. When it comes to careers and fashion, Barbie has kept up with the changing times.


1. Get an education that makes sense for your future.
Instead of majoring in ancient Roman history, she used her education as an opportunity to gain real world skills that apply to the workforce. If you’re unsure of what type of degree or specialty you were made for, start with an AAS degree. Don’t contribute to the already staggering dropout rate in higher education. It’s better to have a two-year degree than two years towards a four-year bachelor’s degree.

2. Don’t be afraid to try new things in the employment world. Barbie experimented in different fields to get a sampling of where her strengths lay.

3. She took a job with a purpose. She may not have been elected to office, but that didn’t stop her from trying to make the world a better place. Apply for a position that sets the foundation of your career or helps you get closer to a job that allows you to utilize your best skills.

4. She knew that it was up to her to create the future she wanted.

  • Step 1: Learn the basic rules of survival in our new normal economy. Spend a few years in a position, work hard, and then ask for more responsibility or a new title.
  • Step 2: You stepped up and finally proved yourself, but now is not the time to get impatient. Take every opportunity available to add to your toolbox. Remember, attitude and tenacity are the main power traits employers seek out over hard skills.
  • Step 3: Make sure with each position and new organization, you are strategically moving your career and skills forward. Don’t be a “super senior” – It will hold you back. If you already have big company experience, diversify your background by taking a position with a smaller company. It’s important to keep your skills fresh and add valuable insight to your background so that you can continue to grow.

Learn from the icon of the ever-changing career. Like Barbie, you need to listen to employers and change the “product of You” to keep up with the growing demands of our workplace and maintain a long-term competitive advantage.

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