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Plan A.

In 2011, Myleik Teele transitioned out of her public relations background to launch “CurlBOX”, the first monthly subscription service for naturally curly hair. She soon created the podcast, “MyTaughtYou”, a space where women from all walks of life could gain encouragement about their careers, their wardrobe, and their lives in general.

As an avid listener of this podcast, I beamed with excitement when I heard the guest of the hour: InStyle Fashion & Beauty Editor-At-Large, Kahlana Barfield. Though I am far from a beauty or fashion guru, the way Kahlana has paved the way for women of color in the beauty industry is something to be admired.

During the podcast, Kahlana gives the listener many glimpses into her post college-grad life and how she began climbing the ranks at InStyle by filling in for the Beauty Director’s assistant while she was on vacation, (including coming in at 7am to clean the director’s office when her shift started at 10am).

Here are four lessons from this interview I truly took to heart:

1. Stick with your plan A. When things aren’t going as fast as we want them to in our careers, we tend to look for other options to assist in paying bills or even just to satisfy insecurities. However, when we go against our passions for something we’re also 'good' at, we sell ourselves short and could possibly end up resenting ourselves for it later.

2. Be flexible. Kahlana mentioned starting at InStyle as a 'General Intern', but credits it as a blessing in disguise stating, “I so desperately wanted to be in fashion, but being a floater, I was able to work with different editors and make different relationships and make an impact on different people and you know, I feel like it helped me really learn various departments at the magazine and the way the magazine really works.” Wherever we’re placed in our careers or in life, it’s an opportunity for growth. The skills that are learned and used in that moment (that we never think we’ll need again) will always work out for our good because we never know when they’ll advance us to the next level or help someone else who needs what we have.