As a profession, television journalism isn't pretty. Yes, it's exciting and yes, it can be
A fair description of the media industry is 'cut-throat'. I witnessed and experienced this, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I underwent a real 'career shock' and re-evaluated the career I had, and redefined what I now wanted.
In 2014, I had amassed a rich journalism career of nearly 20 years, working primarily in Melbourne metropolitan newsrooms. I'd also been lucky to spend three years working in the Press Gallery in Canberra, a place jam-packed with people who treasure the craft of writing and telling a good story that matters.
My situation changed when I returned to Melbourne, professionally and personally. I became a mum to a beautiful little girl,
There is nothing like a ‘life-shock’ – whether it be a baby, a break-up or a medical scare – to make you question if your current job is worth the drama. Financial commitments aside, when your time is precious, why be miserable at work?
I was, so I chose to make a change. However, I had no idea how I could ever fit-in outside of a newsroom. I’m used to running my own race with numerous daily deadlines. I lived ‘agile’ every day of my career and life.
As a cub journalist, I received some golden advice: Don't be an arsehole. The media game is exceptionally small and unforgiving. Years later, I was lucky enough to call on the business and communications contacts I had maintained throughout my career to get instant advice on how to make the massive leap into the corporate world.
Maintaining my networks was the best thing I could ever have done in my career. When I was job hunting, one coffee led to the next, and the next. I avoided recruiters and just cold-called places I wanted to work. The worst thing you can hear is no - and that’s not so bad.
In the past few years, I have worked in diverse industries and brought my ‘news sense’ to the corporate table. A smart boss realises any successful team needs people with unique skills and different life experiences. A good employer makes sure that you continue developing and provides the flexibility to get your job done. I feel lucky to have found both.
Now, at 41, I'm a mum of two with a fulfilling second career, one which enables me to spend weekends with my family and great friends. That, to me, is a real achievement...and one worth more than the free clothes.