We spend the first 20 years of our lives being asked what we want to be when we grow up. Then we spend the next 20 finding out for ourselves.

And though that can be exciting, it’s not easy. The first part of our lives is, with few exceptions, a step-by-step, guided path: Elementary school. High school. College. But after that, the roadmap stops. While you might have dreams and ideas of what you want to achieve in your career, the path getting there isn’t easily paved. And it’s different for everyone.

That’s why we’re bringing you this series: Over the next few months, 40:20 Vision will feature successful 40-something women sharing their stories on how they found their career path, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. While everyone’s career path is ultimately different, we also know there’s a lot we can learn from the journeys of those who’ve been there.

Finding Your Path: Entrepreneurship in a Corporate World

Mary Jo Cook, Chief Impact Officer, Fair Trade USA,

Former VP, Innovation at Clorox

Many women look for ways to combine a passion for giving back with a successful career. Others are torn between entrepreneurship and a corporate path. But Mary Jo Cook decided to do it all.

Dare, Dream, Do: How Whitney Johnson Found Her Path

Whitney Johnson, Author, Dare, Dream, Do; Co-Founder, President, Rose Park Advisors

Whitney Johnson started her career at age 30 with a music degree and a few years of secretarial experience, then went on to launch an investment firm and her own book. Read on for her true story of following big dreams.

Finding Your Path: From Finance to Food

Amanda Hesser, Co-founder, Food52

Amanda Hesser started college as a Finance and Economics major, but quickly found that her passion lay in food. Check out how she changed course, and the enormous success she’s had since that big decision.

Finding Your Path: From Artist to Entrepreneur

Joy Newton, Founder, Joy Newton

Joy Newton has been an illustrator, an artist, a marketer, and more. But it took all those jobs to find her true passion: a handmade business that brings the beauty of the outdoors inside. Read on for how she found her path.

Finding Your Path: Making it on Your Own

Michelle Madhok, CEO and Founder, SheFinds Media

As Michelle Madhok climbed the corporate ladder at CBS and AOL, she realized she was feeling increasingly stifled and longed to call her own shots. So when she got laid off, she took the opportunity and founded shopping company SheFinds. Here’s a closer look at her incredible path.

Finding Your Path: Going Places with Global Research

Sonia Misak, Global Client Partner at Hall & Partners

As a young girl, Sonia Misak knew she wanted to travel the world and never stop learning. But when it came time to find a job, it was less apparent how she could merge these two passions into one path. Find out more in this installment of “Finding Your Path.”

Finding Your Path: Making it in Marketing

Sarah Gormley, Communications & Marketing Executive

Welcome to our new series, featuring the stories of successful 40-something women, how they found their career path, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Kicking us off is Communications and Marketing Executive Sarah Gormley.