What These 7 Celebs Were Doing In Their 20s

Don’t stress if you don’t have it all figured out yet!

Millennials put themselves under a ton of pressure to achieve as much as they can while they’re young. With people like Kylie Jenner- who has a massively successful make up range at age 20- and Maisie Williams -who by the age of 20 has won multiple awards for her role in Game of Thrones- around it’s hard not to feel the pressure.

But your 20s are supposed to be a time for figuring things out. Most of what we want to achieve in our 20s, like huge success in our careers, solid relationships and a steady income, can totally wait until your 30s.

7 celebs who took things slow and found success later in life

1 Lupita Nyong’o

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It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time where Lupita wasn’t the queen of every red carpet event ever. Her breakthrough role only came when she was 30 years old. She spent her 20s working her way up to where she is now, by working as part of the production crew on films.

So if you’ve spent a lot of time in the shadows waiting for your chance to shine don’t give up!

Read: 7 Ways to Make Cash On the Side

2 J. K. Rowling

Your favourite childhood author had life far from sorted in her 20s. She was a divorced mother-of-one, living off benefits from the government. During her 20s she was also diagnosed as clinically depressed (which inspired the dementor characters in Harry Potter) and even became suicidal.


At age 30 Joanne finished the manuscript of the book she had been working on in coffee shops for years: the story of Harry Potter. It was rejected a mind-blowing twelve times before it got published and changed children’s fiction forever, and her life.

3 Kris Jenner

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It’s hard to imagine the hardest working momager in showbiz doing anything else, but Kris only became the businesswoman she is today later on in life.

Her 20s were spent as the wife of Rob Kardashian and raising her children. Kris had her first taste of being bossy managing after marrying Caitlyn Jenner, where she was not only Caitlyn’s wife but also in charge of her career.

Her career really began in 2007 though, at age 52, after she and Ryan Seacrest produced a little show called Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Read: 11 Easy Things You Can Do That Make You More Employable

4 Kristen Wiig

If you’re spending your 20s doing a bunch of odd-jobs that you worry are leading to nowhere, you’re not alone. Kristen Wiig was originally going to be an artist.


Her first job was to draw clients’ post-surgery bodies at a plastic surgery clinic (I know, WTF, just use a camera?) but before she started she had a sudden urge to move to L.A and become an actress. Cue her massive success, right? Wrong, there were first many, many years of doing weird in-between jobs. Kristen spent years folding clothes in a shop, babysitting, selling peaches at a market and selling hot dogs in a shopping centre.

When she landed her job at Saturday Night Live she was 32.

5 Leslie Jones


Funny woman Leslie is now an Emmy-nominated member of the Saturday Night Live cast, but it was a struggle getting here. Although she’s been doing comedy for years, her 20s, 30s and even some of her 40s were tough.

At one stage Leslie was booed off stage so badly that she quit for three years. She also had minor roles in films that don’t even have their own Wikipedia page (that’s how you know they’re bad). But she found herself along the way and at age 47 became the oldest person to join the pretty prestigious SNL.

So you’ve still got, like, 20 years to figure it out. Don’t stress.

Read: The 5-Step Guide to Becoming Self-Employed

6 Vera Wang

The name Vera Wang is now synonymous with luxurious wedding gowns, but she wasn’t always known for her designing skills.


Vera was hired to be an editor at Vogue as soon as she graduated, making her the youngest editor there. She worked there for 17 years before changing her life’s course at age 40 and becoming a fashion designer, proving it’s never too late to totally reinvent yourself.

7 Laverne Cox

laverne cox


Laverne spent her 20s studying dance, occasionally dipping her toes into the world of acting. Although she never identified as a drag queen she worked as one as a way to make money while performing. Laverne spent her 20s performing as much as she could and putting herself out there (she once made 500 postcards with her photo that said ‘Laverne Cox is the answer to all your acting needs’ and sent them out to casting directors and agents). All this while transitioning into the beautiful woman the world knows today. Her big break in Orange Is The New Black, came in 2012 at age 40.

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