5 Career Lessons We Can Learn from Women in Hollywood

Posted November 4, 2013 by Hillary Wright in On the Ladder
Hollywood is gearing up for another intense awards season, which kicked off with the Hollywood Film Awards earlier this month. While the careers of the rich and famous have their highs and lows, ultimately, we Career Girls can learn something from each one.

Here are five career lessons we can learn from some of Hollywood’s most elite women.

  1.  It is possible to have a decades-long, exciting career. Just ask Meryl Streep. Often hailed as one of the greatest and most talented actresses of the era. With a career spanning from the 1970’s on, Meryl Streep always has and continues to dazzle with her enlightening and heart wrenching performances. She has won numerous awards including several Golden Globes and three Oscars, the last of which she won in 2012 for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. As anyone can see, even in her 60s, her career is still on fire.
  2. Being “first” at something is pretty freakin’ awesome. Who can forget Halle Berry’s emotional speech at the 2002 Academy Awards when she won Best Actress in a Leading Role—the first African-American woman to win in that category? For as long she lives and even after she is gone, she will be always be the first. The same applies to Kathryn Bigelow, who became the first woman to win Best Director at the Academy Awards, notably beating out her ex-husband, James Cameron. Audiences, particularly women, cheered in excitement as she humbly accepted the award.
  3.  But it’s not all about awards. Nora Ephron, who passed away of pneumonia brought on by leukemia in June 2012, was a journalist, screenwriter, essayist, playwright and blogger and wrote many of the films we enjoy today such as When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail and Julia and Julia. Though well-deserving of it, Ephron didn’t win many major awards for her work, such as an Oscar or Golden Globe. However, the response to her death showed the importance of her work and the fondness and love her peers and fans felt. Thus, she left behind a legacy of brilliant writing, for which she will always be recognized.
  4. Self-sufficiency is a must. Superstar Beyonce Knowles made headlines when she voiced her opinions on women’s need to be independent in an interview with GQ . “….For some reason, everyone accepts the fact that women don’t make as much as men do,” she said. “I don’t understand that. Why do we have to take a backseat? I truly believe that women should be financially independent from their men.” I personally am thrilled at her boldness. I am firm believer in being independent from your spouse. You never know when he will lose his job, suddenly die or stop wanting to be your husband. Beyonce proves that she doesn’t need her husband’s money, given her extreme success with music, film and her many other projects.
  5. Funny always wins. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have taken the lead in the world of comedy. Not only are the two colleagues as well as friends, they are also both mothers. Yet, they’re both successful in their careers, together enough to be asked to host the Golden Globes for more than one year in row, an honor only bestowed to the best, which is indeed what they are.

About the Author

Hillary Wright

Hillary C. Wright is a legal assistant the law firm of Mattingly & Nally-Martin, PLLC in Lebanon, Kentucky. She is also a freelance writer who has written for several publications including Glass Heel. Hillary graduated from Campbellsville University in 2010 with a bachelor of science in Mass Communications (Public Relations emphasis) and a 2nd major in English. She writes about career advice and women and gender issues. She lives in Springfield, Kentucky. You can contact her at hcamillewright@gmail.com or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.