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Career Development Supermodel-Style: My Interview with Christy Turlington Burns (Part II)

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Career Development Supermodel-Style: My Interview with Christy Turlington Burns (Part II)

Kelly Studer

12100_Kelly_Christy_03.jpg

Christy headshot for EMCYou might think that a world famous supermodel doesn’t really need to worry about career development. Well, that is unless you’re talking about Christy Turlington Burns.  As you’ll see in the second part of my interview series with her, Christy knew at a young age that she wanted to do something to change the world, she just wasn’t sure how.

Becoming a supermodel was by accident, not by design, and Christy knew deep down that she wanted to have a positive impact on the world in a meaningful way…and it wasn’t going to be modeling beautiful designer clothes and walking the runways.  Yet, it was no accident that she was able to use her modeling career as a springboard for the work she was truly meant to do.

While Christy’s career may not look like the rest of ours, there are many parallel experiences that you may be able to relate to in some way, shape, or form.  Watch the video to see what she has to say about her decision to move away from her modeling career (at its height) to pursue a college degree, why she felt she was finally on the cusp of the career she always wanted at 40, how she overcomes self-doubt, and the advice she would give to her younger self. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwHS7MGRMvQ

What stood out to me after talking with Christy was her fierce focus on following her heart and gut instincts to discover the ways in which she would change the world, which ultimately lead her to maternal health advocacy.  All of us have an inner yearning to do something purposeful but it can be hard to figure out just what that is and to honor it.  She faced the same struggle.

If I were to wrap up Christy’s advice, it would be to:

  • Get clear on your intention or purpose in life
  • Set that intention and continually put it out into the world
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare
  • Be patient and trust in yourself to receive the answers you’re looking for
  • Recognize your own unique offering and contribution and know that it’s enough
  • Appreciate that your past experience may be exactly what you needed to get you to where you want to go

This is pretty sage advice but not always easy to follow.  Am I right?  We all want answers so quickly but it can take time, patience, and listening closely to your innermost self in order for those “aha” realizations to happen.  The thing is…you have all the answers inside of you already!  It just may require tuning into them at a different frequency.

The answer may be that you need a career shift or it could end up being something you incorporate into your personal life.  Either way, living your life with purpose and intention can be unbelievably fulfilling and satisfying.  Give yourself permission to identify your purpose but don’t beat yourself up if you’re not sure what it is just yet.  It WILL come if you invite in the desire for it.  It's really that simple.

What was your biggest take away from Christy’s experience that you can apply to your career (and life!)? Please share it in the comments section and inspire us with your learning!

And if you missed it, check out what Christy had to say about building her personal brand in part 1 of this interview series.