9 incredibly successful people who made their careers in their 30s

Monica Schipper/Getty ImagesMegyn Kelly didn’t get her breakout job until she was 39.
  • Megyn Kelly, Oprah Winfrey, and Jeff Bezos are only a few successful people who got their big breaks in their 30s.
  • Many successful people who made it in their 30s were already on the right path in their 20s.
  • It’s not unusual for someone’s 30s to be a time of major life changes.

For many people, their 30s are the period of their lives where the biggest changes take place, like moving across the country, changing career paths, or settling down.

It’s also the decade when many people move ahead professionally. There are plenty of incredibly successful people who got their big career breaks in their 30s. Megyn Kelly, for example, left a nine-year legal career at age 33 to work in media, while Oprah Winfrey didn’t become a national icon until her show became syndicated when she was 32.

Read on to learn about nine successful people who made their careers in their 30s.


Jeff Bezos was enjoying a successful career as a Wall Street executive when he launched Amazon at the age of 31. The online retailer has made Bezos the richest man in the world — he has a net worth of more than $US130 billion.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Source: Business Insider


NBC host Megyn Kelly didn’t even start in TV until she was 33, after a nine-year legal career. She joined Fox News at age 34, and at 39 she got her breakout gig hosting the “America Live” program.

Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Source: The New York Times


Billionaire Spanx founder Sara Blakely launched her apparel company from her apartment when she was 29 years old. She struck it big when Spanx scored a contract with QVC when she was 30.

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Cosmopolitan

Source: Forbes


Reid Hoffman was 35 when he founded LinkedIn. Before that, he was executive vice president of PayPal, another role he took in his 30s. Today, Hoffman’s net worth is estimated at more than $US3 billion.

Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Source: The New Yorker


JK Rowling is worth at least $US650 million, according to Forbes. Pretty impressive, considering her first ‘Harry Potter’ book wasn’t published until she was 34.

Source: Biography


Arnold Schwarzenegger had already won several bodybuilding titles before he hit 30. But he didn’t become an international action hero until he was 31, when “Conan the Barbarian” was released.

Source: CNN


Jonah Peretti cofounded the Huffington Post when he was 31 and Buzzfeed when he was 32. Huffington Post was bought for $US315 million in 2011 and Buzzfeed has been valued at $US1 billion.

Business Insider

Source: Independent


Reed Hastings cofounded Netflix in 1997, when he was 36 years old. Today, the CEO is worth nearly $US4 billion.

David Becker/Getty Images

Source: Forbes


With $US3 billion in net worth, Oprah Winfrey is among the richest self-made women in America. Winfrey began working in media in her early 20s, but didn’t get her career break until she was 32, when her talk show became nationally syndicated.

Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty ImagesOprah Winfrey.

Source: The Telegraph

NOW WATCH: Ideas videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.