If you can't see it, you can't be it! Our How She Did It series features inspirational women who've reinvented their careers in midlife. Learn how they did it and take away usable tips from their professional journeys!
Meet Lorraine Posthuma, career reinventor and international freelance writer. When Lorraine moved with her husband and kids from the U. S. to Paris, she had to reinvent herself professionally in a new country. Her journey to matching her talents and what she loves to do is inspiring and demonstrates tenacity, shaking off rejection, micro experimenting and thinking outside the box!
Read more to learn how she did it!
What's your personal mantra, mission, or manifesto? Be persistent.
What inspired you to launch your current career/launch your business? I moved to France two years ago with my husband and two children because of a job opportunity (my husband's) in Paris. We packed four suitcases and left Colorado to go on an adventure!
I've applied for over 300 jobs since we arrived in France. Somewhere in the middle of this, I did a six-month marketing internship in Paris and got lucky and started translating articles from French to English for a media company.
After a few months of translating, I pitched an idea for an article to my future editor. He liked it, approved it, and I became a freelance writer! My degree is in marketing, but now I do what I've always loved to do: write.
I also have the flexibility to work from home, time to practice French, and be there when my kids return from school.
What's unique about returning/pivoting in midlife? Challenges & opportunities? I didn't have a career before my kids were born, so I continued hopping from job to job once they were old enough to go to school. France proved to be an even bigger challenge for starting a career, especially because I didn't speak French!
I'm grateful to have found something not only that I can do, but that I also enjoy. I never thought I'd be working for a French company and writing articles in English for the US market.
What’s one intention you have for your work this year? Capture the interest of my readers and write articles worth reading.
What are you most passionate about right now? My family, living well in a foreign country, and having meaningful connections with people.
What does a typical day look like for you? I wake up around 6:30 and have a cup of coffee and Greek yogurt with my husband. It's summer now, but I used to walk my daughter to school at 8:00, practice French by talking to the moms at drop-off, and then come home around 9:30 and start writing. I'm either researching for an article, finding an expert to interview, or writing and proofreading.
What’s one thing that's advanced your career in the last year? I have a wonderful editor who has given me critiques, tips, and advice this year to improve my writing skills.
Who’s your “tribe” when it comes to professional inspiration or support? My friends, people I've worked with in the past, and people I've met on LinkedIn.
Favorite book, app, or podcast? I'm glad my mom died by Jennette McCurdy
You’re granted an extra hour in the day, how do you spend it? Reading, painting, or swimming in the ocean.
The advice I wish I had given to my 20-year-old self is… Learn French now while you're young! :) Continue being yourself because you're pretty cool.
The advice that I want to give to my 75-year-old self is... You've lived a full life. Enjoy the fruit of that now. Don't sweat the wrinkles; they give you character and wisdom. Share that with the younger generation.
Your theme song that plays every time you walk in a room should be? The Look by Roxette
Best career advice for other women in midlife? If you're starting over or starting again, use your strengths to get your edge, learn all you can about what you're out to do, then go for it.
When did you feel you got “you” back? I'm my best me when I'm doing something I love that gives me energy...like running and listening to pop music, or riding a bike through the beautiful nature that surrounds me, or jumping in the waves with my kids at the beach.
What’s up next? Researching the housing market in France. I would love to buy a second property and rent it out.