ELLE Australia

SHOW ME THE MONEY

SUCCESS IS NOT A SINGULAR DESTINATION

ALEX HOLDER

IF YOU'D TOLD ME a few years ago that one day my social life would consist of going to a discussion about money and failure, I’d have pictured a bleak future. But here l am, watching four women speak about their lowest career moments – and I feel empowered. At the event, The Power Of Quitting– started by Naomi Oluleye, a communications manager at Bumble – nothing is left unsaid: quitting big jobs, being underpaid and being very well paid.

For women, it’s been hard enough to get to the top. But now we’re questioning whether we even want to get there. In the past six years, Sheryl Sandberg has given us the term “jungle gym” to replace the tired “career ladder”, explaining, “There’s only one way to get to the top of a ladder, but there are many ways toget to the top of a jungle gym.” In her book Thrive, Arianna Huffington writes about redefining success “beyond the two pillars of money and power”, and journalist and podcaster Emma Gannon destigmatises “multi-hyphenates” who hold down more than one job in multiple industries at once.

These all push against the idea of success as a singular destination – that if you work hard enough, you’ll get there and you’ll be happy. The problem with this “dream” is no one knows what a let-down money and status can be until they’ve spent years of their life working towards them. We’re learning that success doesn’t have

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