How to Overcome Adversity and Achieve Professional Success

Sometimes, no matter the extent of our enthusiasm, our past experiences can weigh upon the promise of the future and hold us back in the present.

It can be daunting to look at those who have achieved what we hope to in life and realise that they went to private school or got their foot on the professional ladder through the connections of their parents. When these privileges aren’t available to us, we can be left feeling powerless.

To remedy those feelings, I want to share three routes to professional success that you can start on today.


This is one of my favourite platforms to use online, in part because established users are often so welcoming and encouraging to those of us who are new. If you don’t currently have any professional connections in your desired field of work, make yourself a LinkedIn profile and start messaging people that you admire.

Explain that you are a young person with a keen drive to succeed and a willingness to learn. Sure, not everybody will accept your connection request, but I guarantee that some will and that you will have some incredibly valuable conversations as a result.


In addition to the practical side, I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have the right mindset. At the end of the day, life is unfair. You are probably going to have to work twice as hard as those coming from privilege to achieve the same professional success.

Accept the challenge! Be willing to work twice as hard and you will achieve your dreams; the obstacles that you overcome to do so will be an asset to your future career, because they have taught you resilience and determination.

Self-Motivated Learning

Once you are in the right headspace you will feel empowered to chase opportunities, rather than waiting for them to come to you. A great example of this is self-motivated learning. If you can’t afford to be taught – teach yourself!

There are so many platforms on the internet that you can use for free to learn the skills that you need to succeed professionally. If you don’t have a computer at home, you can go to your local or school library to use one.

Sign up for a course on FutureLearn, find a YouTuber who covers your field, or read the blog of somebody who can teach you what you need to know. Don’t let a lack of money stop you from boosting your CV and becoming more attractive to employers or clients.

I have personally used each of these routes to move closer to achieving my long-term professional goals. As a result, I have built a strong network on LinkedIn, as well as put myself forward for opportunities such as writing this article!

Over time I am creating a record of all the things that I have done to better myself and improve my employment prospects. Start following this guide today and soon you will have the same.

By Allie Mason

The Author

Allie Mason is starting out on her journey to become an author and public speaker, empowering young people to overcome adversity in order to achieve academic and professional success. After graduating and dabbling in the 9 – 5, Allie will be returning to higher education in the autumn to study for a masters degree at the University of Oxford. Her inner introvert is rejoicing at the thought of spending more time with books than people!

When she is not writing or daydreaming about the future, Allie loves to be outside in nature, preferably with a dog or two and her boyfriend by her side. If the weather is unfavourable, you can find her cocooned in a blanket with a hot chocolate and a good book. Her favourite quote is from Little Women: “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship”.

Instagram: whensouthmetnorth



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