Getting started in your career is no easy feat. More competition than ever before + a crappy economy aren鈥檛 exactly a great combination. But you鈥檝e got dreams, girl, and you shouldn鈥檛 let a couple hurdles get you down. If you鈥檙e in need of some inspiration to keep on trekking, look to these 15 girl bosses and absorb all the professional wisdom they have to give.

The Ninth Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards - Inside Arrivals

1. Pay your dues. J.Crew鈥檚 creative director, Jenna Lyons, is practically the poster child for working your way up. At 21 she joined the company as an assistant to the assistant to the person in charge of rugby shirts. 24 years later, she鈥檚 president and executive creative director to the billion-dollar brand. 鈥淭here鈥檚 this idea that everybody has to have everything right away,鈥 Lyons tells Marie Claire. 鈥淏ut you have to let the slow burn happen. I wasn鈥檛 the superstar. I had to work for it. Really long hours.鈥 (photo via Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty)

Unleash YouTube Event: Stars Michelle Phan, Rosanna Pansino And Bethany Mota

2. Have a definite vision. YouTube beauty vlogger Michelle Phan tells Forbes, 鈥淛ust like you wouldn鈥檛 set out on a road trip without knowing if you are going east or west, you have to know what you want to accomplish. I knew I wanted to inspire women and build confidence, so everything [from that point on] was built around that goal.鈥 (photo via Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty)

Nasty Gal Melrose Store Launch

3. Take advice with a grain of salt. When you鈥檙e just starting out, you鈥檙e bound to get loads of different advice from everyone you talk to. You should definitely take it all in, but don鈥檛 let it scare you out of doing something you feel is right. 鈥淚t鈥檚 important to take advice but not all of the advice,鈥 Nasty Gal鈥檚 founder Sophia Amoruso tells Who What Wear. 鈥淚t鈥檚 good to learn from other people鈥檚 mistakes, but you have to learn from your own too.鈥 (photo via John Sciulli/Stringer/Getty)

Girls Inc. Los Angeles Celebration Luncheon

4. Don鈥檛 let the roadblocks distract you. In an interview with Glamour, writer, actress and producer Mindy Kaling says, 鈥淢y advice is always not to focus on anyone telling you you can鈥檛 do anything or the politics of your situation, but to just focus on the situation鈥. I could spend my entire life, doing panels on being a chubby woman of color writing a TV show, and it would be useful to some people, but I wouldn鈥檛 be writing my TV show. And all my competition, all the white men who are doing the same thing as me, are not doing those panels 鈥 they鈥檙e just getting better and better at their job.鈥 (photo via Mike Windle/Getty)

Paper Crown + Rifle Paper Co. Pop-Up Shop With Lauren Conrad and Anna Bond At The Grove

5. Set achievable goals. While you might have a few major career goals you want to achieve (i.e. becoming a CEO, earning a degree, etc), it鈥檚 also important to set short-term goals that will help get you there. On her blog, Lauren Conrad writes, 鈥淭hink in the long term, but make your goals as specific as possible and revisit them every day. Create a vision board or a list and keep it where you will see it every morning. Dream big and you will achieve big things.鈥

2015 Sundance Film Festival Portraits - Day 4

6. Don鈥檛 be anyone other than yourself.Daily Show correspondent (ahem, and our wishful pick for Daily Show *host*) and comedian Jessica Williams tells Mother Jones that when she auditioned for the Comedy Central show she had green hair and was fresh out of college. She says, 鈥淚t鈥檚 impossible to be perfect, and you won鈥檛 do a good job if you鈥檙e too focused on proving yourself to others.鈥 (image via Larry Busacca/Getty)

2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 2

7. Find professional role models. Whether it鈥檚 a mentor or a historic figure, having a list of people who you look up and respect in your field is crucial. In her memoir, Yes Please, Amy Poehler tells readers, 鈥淲atching great people do what you love is a good way to start learning how to do it yourself.鈥 Read what they like to read, figure out how they broke into their industry and see how their method can work with yours. (photo via Frederick M. Brown/Getty)

Prince Harry Visits The United States - Day One

8. Confidence is key. If you鈥檙e constantly doubting your work, others will begin to doubt it (and you!) too. During a trip to the UK, First Lady Michelle Obama visited students at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson girls鈥 school. She told them, 鈥淪uccess is not about the background you are from, it is about the confidence that you have and the effort you are willing to invest.鈥 (photo via Pool/Getty)

Lena Dunham Book Launch

9. Be nice to people. It sounds so simple, but it is oh-so-very important to remember. In her book, Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham writes, 鈥淩espect isn鈥檛 something you command through intimidation and intellectual bullying. It鈥檚 something you build through a long life of treating people how you want to be treated and focusing on your mission.鈥 (photo via Stuart C. Wilson/Getty)

"Enough Said" Portraits - 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

10. Keep yourself busy. Things happen when you *make* them happen. If you keep putting that book idea or video project off, it won鈥檛 ever become anything more than a great idea. Tavi Gevinson, a blogger since age 11 and founder of the website Rookie, puts it best when she says, 鈥淭he best cure for procrastination is to have so much on your plate that procrastination is no longer an option.鈥

Carolina Herrera - Front Row - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014

11. Never be afraid to share your ideas. In her book Bossypants, Tina Fey tells readers that she loves to use the common improv phrase, 鈥測es, and鈥︹ when it comes to business situations. 鈥淭o me, YES, AND means don鈥檛 be afraid to contribute. It鈥檚 your responsibility to contribute,鈥 she writes. 鈥淎lways make sure you鈥檙e adding something to the discussion. Your initiations are worthwhile.鈥 (photo via Larry Busacca/Getty)

J.K Rowling - In Conversation

12. Failure is part of the process. In a commencement speech a Harvard University, Harry Potter author JK Rowling told students, 鈥淚t is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case, you fail by default. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.鈥 (photo via Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty)

2015 Writers Guild Awards L.A. Ceremony - Inside Show

13. Success is not without sacrifice. Today it鈥檚 easy to get sucked into the drive to have it all 鈥 family, work, fun. But as any boss knows, there are times when you might have to choose between being 100% there for family or work. In a commencement speech at Dartmouth, Shonda Rhimes told graduates, 鈥淚f I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the tradeoff. That is the Faustian bargain one makes with the devil that comes with being a powerful working woman who is also a powerful mother. You never feel a hundred percent OK; you never get your sea legs; you are always a little nauseous.鈥 (photo via Charley Gallay/Getty)

Victoria Beckham Visits Selfridges Exchange Manchester

14. You are your biggest critic (so set yourself up for success!). Fashion designer and style icon Victoria Beckham tells Vogue, 鈥淲hen I initially started up the brand, I didn鈥檛 put too much pressure on myself. I didn鈥檛 go into this to prove to anybody other than myself. I was very focused, I didn鈥檛 try to do everything at once. I just wanted to perfect the dress. I didn鈥檛 want to run before I could walk.鈥 (photo via Shirlaine Forrest/Getty)

Edun - Front Row - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015

15. Know how to present yourself. Ah, the queen girl boss. Vogue鈥榮 Anna Wintour is full of career knowledge. In a roundup of her best tidbits of advice, Who What Wear shares a quote from the editor that reads, 鈥淵ou can鈥檛 be some difficult, shy person who is not able to look somebody in the face; you have to present yourself. You have to know how to talk about you vision, your focus and what you believe in. (photo via Ben Gabbe/Getty)

What professional role models do you look up to? Tell us who they are and a little bit about them in the comments below.

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