From astronaut to movie star to gymnast, can you remember what profession you chose when your elementary school teacher asked you to describe your dream job? While some of those gigs weren’t exactly rooted in reality (um, lion tamer in the circus, anyone?), chances are you still have moments when you wish you were anywhere but a cold, grey cubicle. And between paying the bills, expectations from your family or friends and simply veering down a “safe” course in life, it can feel like those dreams will remain just that.
But here’s the good news: Just because you might not be working in your dream job at this very moment, it’s never too late to get there. Oftentimes, you just need evidence to show that following your wildest dreams is entirely possible.
Explaining why (and how) they got there, here are four boss babes to give you serious career inspo.
From fashion to fitness
As Amanda Margusity worked her way up the corporate ladder in the fashion industry, she assumed she was doing what she was supposed to in life—following a linear path toward career success and financial stability. But that outward “success” disguised a more dire situation.
“I worked 12-hour days and seldom had time off, “ she explains. “My one day off was spent sleeping from exhaustion and stress. My quality of life was low, and I dealt with it in a very unhealthy (and expensive) way—going out with friends.” Margusity eventually picked up spinning after being introduced to the sport from a friend and used it to alleviate the stress she was experiencing. She fell in love instantly.
But that “linear” career path turned out to be anything but when Margusity was unexpectedly let go from her job. When searching for a new gig, she continued to funnel her stress into cycling. And although she eventually found a new fashion job, by that time, Margusity had already pinpointed her passion: people—and the bike.
Today, she’s the lead instructor and general manager for Crank NYC. “I wake up and I get to start the day with an amazing group of people, a room full of smiling faces who came to share 45 minutes of their day with me and begin their journey to a better life. I am the luckiest person in the world to be able to experience this.”
When your #sweatsquad unites to celebrate your milestone ❤️ truly one of the most memorable moments in my entire career. Cheers to 1000 classes baby! • I never imagined I would be in Fitness and always thought fashion was my calling. Being part of CrankNYC has made me feel like I belong somewhere. I feel whole when I am with my #crankfamily People always ask how I found my dream job but really my dream job found me. I am blessed to be able to help people change their lives, blessed to call CrankNYC my home and lucky to spend everyday with so many amazing people. Today I celebrated my 1000th class and to be honest I can’t believe how time has flown. At my debut ride I wore a shirt that said Crank this is for you on the front and on the back it said thank you for believing in me. I still wear that tank and I still believe in what it says. Everyday, every song, every pedal stroke and every sweaty moment is for you CrankNYC!! Thank you for continuing to believe in me as your instructor!! I LOVE YOU!!!
She’ll always have Paris
When Erin Dahl first traveled to Paris as a wide-eyed teenager, she fell in love. On her way back to the States, she knew that whatever career path she chose in life, it would need to involve the “City of Light.”
Like many young professionals, Dahl’s dream temporarily veered when she graduated college from Fordham University in New York City and began working in public relations. Yet something within her continued to call her back to Paris, and she knew she needed to start building her career around the city.
Dahl then took a gamble. She abandoned her promising public relations career and nabbed an entry-level, part-time editorial position for a prominent Paris culture blog. When that part-time position turned full-time (and the company ended up training her in France), Dahl’s once far-fetched dream started to form into a reality.
Eventually, Dahl left the editorial job and formed her own project with her husband, a venture that benefits fellow English-speaking immigrants.
“I launched my own business, Content Coopérative, an English-native content agency, with my husband,” she explains. “There was an underutilization of Anglophone experts in English content production, so we made it our mission to bring together American and English natives who now call Paris home.”
Pursuing a passion for hands-on teaching
Although Zoie Hoffman always knew she wanted to work in education, her husband’s job in the military made it hard to establish a reputable teaching career in a single place, as many schools require teachers to sign contracts specifying time required to work.
Still, that obstacle failed to deflate Hoffman’s passion.
“I had an intense urge to help struggling students—that never went away,” she explains. “About a month or two into my life as a ‘military wife,’ I decided that I needed to make teaching a reality.” Hoffman decided to start a tutoring business for students in her local area.
As expected, Hoffman and her husband had to relocate from Florida to North Carolina, and with that came the transition of her tutoring business. And while that move was met with its fair share of challenges, she says it made her more business-savvy.
“The biggest obstacles in my career have been my biggest blessings,” she says. “Online tutoring gives me the freedom to work from anywhere and my students the freedom to learn from the comfort of their home. Working with children has always been my passion, and getting to work with them exclusively one-on-one is a dream come true.”
Following a love of food
It wasn’t that Sarit Wishnevski disliked her job in nonprofit management—after all, she had pursued a master’s degree in the subject. Rather, the industry didn’t ignite a fire within Wishnevski that she so desperately longed for.
All the while, she considered herself a foodie, constantly cooking for old friends and new and finding solace in the kitchen. She also hosted Shabbat dinners in her community, and began to realize that cooking, community and presentation were her ultimate passions.
With food on the brain, Wishnevski started to seek out food-related gigs. When she found OneTable, she knew she had found a perfect fit.
“When I met with the team for the first time and learned they were about to hire someone to oversee the New York program, I knew I had to apply. The job combined three things I cared about so much: food, community and Shabbat. Now I get to do what I love every single day.”
Wishnevski is now the associate director for the New York office at OneTable.