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How to prolong your career beyond the ripe old age of 40

Breakthrough Blueprint

The how-to guide to your career success

How to prolong your career beyond the ripe old age of 40

Q: What is your advice to prolong the careers of women beyond the ripe old age of 40?

A: When I was in my early thirties, a senior woman in the media industry, who was a decade older, warned me to “enjoy the ride because women become invisible at 40”.

To be honest the advice scared the hell out of me and made me determined for that not to happen to me. I had been working to a career plan already, but that reality jolt made me revisit the plan.

My career strategy has focused on diversification and innovation in order to differentiate from the pack and achieve promotion and longevity. Since receiving that handy nugget of advice, I completed an MBA, ran two pure-play digital media businesses, gained a decade of experience as a non-executive director across a range of diverse industries and wrote a leadership book. All of those experiences made me a better media executive and served to differentiate my personal brand from anyone else in my industry. As a result I believe that my visibility increased for the decade beyond turning 40 and now as I stare down the barrel of 51, my profile in the media industry and outside of it is arguably the strongest it has ever been.

The best advice that I can offer, based on personal experience, is to diversify your career. If you have been doing the same kind of job for a decade then it may be time to try something new, either within your own company, in another company in the same industry, or even in a completely different industry that will value your skill set.

Most people stay in the same role, company, or industry out of fear. But is there any fear greater than invisibility?

Marina Go

Marina Go is Chair of the Wests Tigers NRL Club, a non-executive director of Autosports Group and author of the business book for women, Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders. She was previously GM of Hearst Australia at Bauer Media. Boss magazine named her as one of 20 True Leaders of 2016. Marina has over 25 years of leadership experience in the media industry including senior leadership roles at Fairfax, Pacific, Emap, Bauer and Private Media, where she was CEO and founder of the career women’s website Women’s Agenda. She is a director of digital startup Daily Siren, and also a member of the Advisory Boards of the Walkley Foundation, The Australian Republican Movement and Women’s Agenda.