I'm in my 40s. I don't feel professionally accomplished. I do find it's usually good not to compare how you feel on the inside with how others appear on the outside - there are probably some people you know who think you are doing amazingly, and would be amazed to know you feel like this - and probably some of those women you see having amazing careers feel just as you do inside.
If you've done a BSc, MSc and a PhD then you've probably only been on the job market a couple of years! Look into doing an MBA once you've got a few years experience, and if it's appropriate in your sector. Good MBAs seem to have quite a positive effect on progression.
Did you start work at 21, after university? If so, that’s only 9 years experience if you’re 30. Or 7, if you’re 28. Even if you started on your career path at 18, you’d only be 12 years in if you were 30.
You have a lifetime of experience to gain, and years ahead in which to scale the ladder. Stop fretting - learn more, work hard, seize opportunities, keep an open mind. Time is on your side!
Ebearhug in my case a high flying start at 24, and then a new high flying job at 27 then slowed because of DC at 30. Unfortunately high-flying comes with long hours, travel and stress. I want to work PT but this means I can't go above the level I'm at now, which is still senior management, but not the same trajectory I was on pre-DC.
It is really easy to fall into the trap of being say, 30 with 6 years in work, and look at a woman in her "mid thirties" who is super successful, and think you are the same age, when actually, she has been employed for twice as long as you have. Unless your field relies on youth as the big specification for the role, you are only about 2/7 of the way through your working life.
My husband loves reminding that these women will all stop dropping out if the work force once they hit 30/35 and will have trouble getting back into full swing until their children are in their teens. At age 30 you haven't even got to the halfway point in your career, you need a little bit of perspective.
To be fair, when I was at school, I did think I'd basically be at the top of my career and married with children by 30, because it seemed so incredibly old, and life would be basically over by then. I am a bit less naive these days...
Well from the flip side, my company recently very quickly promoted a graduate so she was a fairly senior manager by the age of 29.
She was outwardly very good at her job, but she really didn't have the depth of experience to back it up.
I think to be properly professionally accomplished (as opposed to just having a high up job title) you have to have worked in a variety of environments and probably a variety of organisations. This is pretty much impossible to have achieved by age 30!
RedSky I think you are right. It is easy to forget as I work at a company with a lot of young-ish people in senior positions, so I feel like the accomplished so much more than me.
However, sometimes being given a title (and a salary) that are too big for your experience can be a curse.
Some of my colleagues are desperate to leave the organization for xyz reasons, but they simply can't find another company that will match their current salary/ title as they don't have enough experience on paper to back it up. Hence, they are trapped until their actual experience catches up with money and title.