What Diane von Furstenberg taught me about picking a career (and a dress)

What Diane von Furstenberg taught me about picking a career (and a dress)

Let’s take the spotlight away from your job

BY Jen Bicknell, 3 min READ

The 2019 Business Chicks Knowledge + Study Your to New York City wasn’t just about lessons at New York University’s Stern School of Business and training with the Fire Department New York. My colleagues and I also had the privilege of spending time with the incredibly stylish creator of the wrap dress: Diane Von Furstenberg.

Diane welcomed us into her Meatpacking District store. She shared her wisdom. She inspired us. She made us laugh.

And then she said this, “I never knew what I wanted to do but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be.”

[Cue the goose bumps].

Since returning home, I have given those words a lot of thought.

I think they are probably more relevant now in today’s fast-changing economy, than back when a young Diane was considering her career options. Gone are the days where we have one job for life followed by a gold watch retirement. In fact, statistically most of us will change careers five to seven times during our working life.

Really? Yes, 5-7 times!

It makes sense. The consequences of technology, the gig economy, and the accelerated rate of change are: redundancy, retraining and reinvention.

Diane is right.

KNOWING what we want to do at age 18 or 25 or later, really doesn’t matter.

But KNOWING the KIND OF PERSON we want to be, or the kind of person who we ARE, will help us to cope with, and maybe even embrace, those five to seven career changes (and make peace with the fact we won’t be getting a gold watch).

The workplace is changing. Technology isn’t going anywhere. Artificial Intelligence will replace many of our roles, but there will be opportunities for those who embrace change to be Rockstars.

Replaced or Rockstar?

It’s your call!

(Unrelated fun fact. After we learned, we shopped. It would have been silly not to, right?)

Want more wisdom from the legendary DVF? She’s speaking for Business Chicks as part of IWD month and to celebrate the release of her book, Own It: The Secret to Life. In this special virtual event – hosted by Emma Isaacs – Diane will dispense her hard-won wisdom to you. Plus, everyone who attends will score a copy of Own It – on us! Register now!


Jen Bicknell is a Business Chicks Premium member director and principal of Bicknell Law & Consulting


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