Lauren McGoodwin is a woman on a mission - to help women create fulfilling careers. Although she thinks she's risk averse, she boldly stepped out to start her own business, Career Contessa. Now, Lauren spends her day offering women great career advice, mentoring and workshops.

Fairygodboss of the Week: Lauren McGoodwin
Founder & CEO, Career Contessa
Los Angeles, CA

FGB: Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
LM: I started my career working in admissions for a university. It was far from a job I loved, so I set out to find a career that was a better fit for my skills and interest at a company that was a great culture fit. After two years on the search and 30+ informational interviews, I landed a job in recruiting at Hulu. I absolutely loved my job and wanted to create the career resource I wish had existed when I was trying to figure it all out. So, in 2013 I launched Career Contessa, an online resource helping women create fulfilling careers through advice, one-on-one mentorship, and workshops.

FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
LM: I'm very risk-averse and loved the security of a full-time job, paycheck, and benefits -- so the accomplishment I'm most proud of is my courage (and faith in myself!) to take the leap into entrepreneurship!

FGB: What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
LM: When you're running your own business, you face constant challenges. One challenge I've faced is getting bigger names to take notice of Career Contessa. Press and exposure are such a catch 22 because you need some exposure to reach a wider audience, but they usually won't work with you till you have a bigger audience. I've been a consistent networker and persistent about reaching out to new channels and we've been really lucky to be featured in Refinery29, Forbes, MyDomaine, and more. The networking can take a long time, but it does pay off eventually.

Lightning Round:

FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?
LM: My husband and I are attempting to re-do the landscaping in our backyard so I'm trying to build a green thumb. We also live in a beach community with great hikes, biking trails, and the occasional preppy coffee shop to visit.

FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?
LM: Warren Buffett. Our intern recently interviewed him (and wrote about it!) and now I'm obsessed with meeting him one day.

FGB: What is your karaoke song?
LM: I'm a 90's kid so anything by N'Sync, Britney Spears, etc. I can handle pretty well.

FGB: What is your favorite movie?
LM: This is impossible. Every Christmas my sister and I watch Bridget Jones' Diary series and that's always a hard laugh.

FGB: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
LM: Anything by Gretchen Rubin.

FGB: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
LM: Purses and spa treatments.

FGB: Who is your Fairygodboss, and why?
LM: I'm lucky that part of my job is interviewing and featuring Fairygodbosses, so the answer changes a lot, however, we recently interviewed Jaclyn Johnson of Create + Cultivate and her story is truly inspiring and motivating to keep pushing. All those "overnight successes" took 10 years to build.

FGB: What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?
LM: Don't be afraid to fail. In the beginning of my career I was so cautious and in many ways that's the best time to be trying anything and everything so, reach for it all and don't worry if you fail—those are the experiences that help you get jobs later!


Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women. So each week, we celebrate a woman who makes a difference in other women’s careers. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate and thank her by nominating her here.