Finding a career hero has been one of the most illuminating aspects of my life. I’ve switched envisioned careers a few times in my adult life. Finding a “career hero” to guide me on whatever path I may take has been extremely helpful when I feel like I’ve fallen off the beaten path or that I’m not meeting my goals. However, I had no idea that I was supposed to be looking for a career hero or what metrics to use to ascertain the correct hero until I met the woman who would become my career hero.

Because I think career heroes are so important, I wanted to lay out some helpful guidelines for deciding on the career hero in your life.

  1. Know your path but don’t be afraid to stray from it.

  2. Be realistic but optimistic. Shoot for the stars, but have a backup plan along the way. Not everyone can be president, but you should strive to achieve your wildest dreams.

  3. Look at how your hero got to where they are. Let that guide your decisions without dictating them

  4. Reach out to them if possible. You can reach for the stars, but if you want that career hero to be able to offer you direct advice and guidance in your life, you need to be realistic and work with what you’ve got.

Here are six conservative women sharing their career heroes to inspire you to look for your own career hero in your life.

Aryssa D, 21, Connecticut

MRossRegnery / Twitter

My career hero is Marji Ross, the president of Regnery Publishing. A life-long lover of books, Marji is instrumental in the fight to maintain a conservative culture. Her passions for conservatism and book have converged to produce and promote some of the most popular conservative books that are teaching the next generation of young conservatives. She’s my career hero because she is making a difference in a liberal dominated field.

Katie R, 21, Nevada

My career hero is Aurora ‘Lola’ Baldwin. Baldwin became one of the first female full-time police officers in the United States when she was sworn in in 1908. She spent years working as an unpaid social worker assisting troubled young women in Portland, Oregon before passing a civil service exam to receive funding for her program called “straying daughters.” She spent her first 14 years as an officer supervising the Portland PD Women’s Protective Division and remained an advocate for female police officers in a male-dominated criminal justice system throughout her time.

Victoria F, 23, Pennslyvania

My career role model is Sara Blakely, founder and owner of SPANX. From failing her LSAT to not being able to find the right undergarments for her white pants, Blakely turned her own need into a billion-dollar company. Committed to empowering women Blakely took advantage of her success and created the Sara Blakely Foundation, donating millions to help women. Blakely has pledged to give half her wealth to empower women all over the world. Sara Blakely is my career role model because she is helping to pave the way for future female entrepreneurs while never sacrificing her own values.

Katlyn B, 19, North Carolina

My career hero is Amy Wallen. I have always loved history, and I never knew the impact that my 9th grade World History teacher would have on me. I enjoyed everyday in her class in 9th grade and was so happy to find out that in 11th grade I had her for American History I & II. Her passion and dedication to her job was inspirational. She came in to class knowing the information and tried to make it as entertaining as possible. Ms. Wallen incorporated films, music, food, current politics, and projects to get the class involved and make it more entertaining. She even made me think that a career in the history field was for me and while I have changed paths, she still inspired me to find a job I loved and give it my all. No matter what job you do you can make an impact. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to be taught by her and for the inspiration she gave me. She is my career hero, because she exemplifies how one who may not be famous can have a grand impact on people and this country.

Elizabeth C, 23, Virginia

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

My career hero, and role model, is Kate Obenshain-Keeler. While I was a student, Kate motivated me to become a better, more knowledgeable conservative. Being a Virginia resident my entire life, thus far, it was inspiring to learn that she was the first female chair of the Virginia GOP when I began my journey in conservative activism. Her poise when handling criticism, and her knowledge on conservative values inspired me to become a louder voice for conservatism, and become even more involved in the movement. This has led me to now being an employee for a nonprofit on which Kate sits on the board for.

Corrie L, 21, Virginia

AP Photo

My career role model is Sandra Day O’Connor. She served as the first female Supreme Court Justice. By the end of her career, she was the median justice, casting the 5-4 vote on numerous paramount cases. She is famously quoted as saying “I think the important thing about my appointment is not that I will decide cases as a woman, but that I am a woman who will get to decide cases.” That quote truly shows her character, goals, and that she knew her impact and value on the court went beyond her gender. She is my role model because she knew who she was as a Justice. O’Connor voted on the court based on her convictions, applying the law evenly and fairly.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member