Passionately Ambitious With No Regrets
BY: JULIE LEVIN
I can’t remember the last time I only had one job. Right now I have a full-time 9-5 job, and I also work eight hours every Sunday at another position. Once upon a time, I juggled a full-time job, part-time work and freelancing and consulting for two different brands, all at the same time! Yes, I like to be busy, and working hard in order to succeed was drilled into my head early on. But no, it's not for the money — it's so I can be happy and keep my foot in the door of my career of choice.
Let me explain. In college, I had a bit of an epiphany. I was studying communication in my sophomore year, but I was captivated by the journalists on TV reporting the news. I always enjoyed writing growing up — and in school — but had previously thought I might pursue a singing career or do something more general in the field of communication. Realizing it wouldn't be easy to switch my major to journalism halfway through but resolving to still do something about it, I decided to get some professional experience on my own. After a variety of internships at a magazine, two television shows, a radio show and a stint at the university TV station, I was ready to back up my journalism work experience academically with a master's degree. What followed was an accelerated year and a half strenuous program that allowed me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to report at the London Olympic Games, and I've never looked back on my career choice since.
That doesn't mean there weren't stumbles along the way. A year after graduate school, my radio news job wasn't able to offer me more than a part-time schedule and I simply needed to be able to pay my bills, so I made the difficult decision to leave and accept a full-time position with a marketing start-up. The benefits and steady work were just too enticing to turn down. The next six months were absolutely miserable. The job wasn't what I really wanted to do, and unfortunately the company soon went south, letting go of our entire marketing team.
I then moved on to another almost two year marketing position, and although I was making more money than ever before, it just wasn't my passion — something made abundantly clear every morning I woke up feeling down. Luckily, during that period I had started working part-time at another radio news station, so that kept me going until the second marketing company also experienced some difficulties and cut many positions, including mine. After some significant soul searching and admittedly a notable pay cut, I accepted my full-time dream job at a TV show where I still currently work. I'm super excited to go into work every day, and let me tell you, that makes a huge difference in my well-being and mental state! Although I'm appreciative of the marketing skills I learned and love to be versatile in whatever I do, I'm more confident than ever that the newsroom is the place for me, and I'm happy I've always kept my foot in the door no matter what.
I wouldn't take back any of my experiences, and if you're in a similar situation trying to figure out what do with your life, here's some advice.
Don't be afraid to change your mind or try something new. It's never too late, and trial and error is perfectly OK. You never know what you might find or accomplish, but don't stay stuck in something you don't truly enjoy.
Go with what you're passionate about, even if others don't always understand your vision. There's definitely been a few times a family member or friend has questioned a career move of mine or wondered why I wouldn't just take the job with the higher pay. Your happiness is worth more, trust me.
Keep up that ambition. If you're not happy or want to move up in your career or in another direction, do it! Set some goals and run with it.
Keep being a boss lady. Yes, you do have time for a 9-5 and that fun side project you've been dreaming about!
Keep your eye on the prize. You got this! Don't ever give up.
Julie is a digital producer, on-air news anchor, writer and a self-proclaimed history and classic rock geek. When she's not behind the scenes or mid broadcast, she's hitting the town trying new restaurants or meeting up with as many friends as possible in one day.