Dolly Parton Has a Word of Advice for Gen Zers Looking to Make Their Dreams Come True

FRISCO, TEXAS - MAY 11: Singer Dolly Parton arrives for the 58th Academy of Country Music awards at The Ford Center at The Star on May 11, 2023 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Omar Vega/FilmMagic)

Dolly Parton is offering her best advice for Gen Zers who are either early in their careers or still trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives.

The “9 to 5” singer has worked hard throughout her own decades-long music career and knows what it feels like to reach a high level of accomplishment. But Parton, 78, also realizes that not all people find that kind of success in their work—and she says that’s okay.

It’s also acceptable for a person to change their mind when it comes to how they want to focus their professional life, Parton said during an interview with Business Insider, even if that means setting off in an entirely different direction. For those who start pursuing one career or passion and go on to find trouble moving forward, “I’ve always said it is okay to change horses in the middle of a dream,” the “Jolene” songstress said.

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When it comes to her advice specifically for Gen Z, the generation of individuals born between 1997 and 2010, Parton said it is important to “work hard” and figure out “who you are.” The second half of that equation can take time, she told the news website.

Based on her own experience, Parton said she believes that “dreams can come true.” Young professionals who start to see that happening should take steps to establish their own brand and use it as a building block for partnerships and networking, she added.

While Parton is first and foremost a musician, she has also acted and pursued business opportunities—such as her involvement with her popular Tennessee theme park, Dollywood—since she began her career in the mid-1960s. The “I Will Always Love You” singer and songwriter has continued experimenting in her work, as most recently demonstrated when she released 2023’s Rockstar, her first-ever rock album.

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