Breaking into your first journalism job is the hardest part. Most employers require you to have 2-3 years of experience for an entry-level job. I would not let that discourage you from applying to those jobs anyways! My number one piece of advice is to take any job you can take, to get your foot in the door.
When I first started looking for jobs upon graduating from Fresno State, the only experience on my resume was my internship experience. My dream was to work at KFSN-ABC30 and as soon as graduation approached my eyes were constantly on their jobs tab. About two months after graduating, I saw that there was an opening for a teleprompter operator position in the engineering department. To be completely honest, I had no idea what that position was. But I applied anyways because it was part-time and my goal was just to get my foot in the door.
At the time, my goal was to be a TV news anchor and I knew that starting in market 55 (side note: In TV news stations are ranked from 1 to 225– number 1 being New York) would open doors. I ended up getting the teleprompter position. Using a teleprompter is similar to using cue cards.
I stayed working in that position for the next 2.5 years and my shift started at 4 a.m. I can’t even tell you the amount of times that I cried waking up that early. I would literally roll out of bed. Because it was a part-time position and I needed to pay the bills I would head to a full-time job and ended up working over 60 hours a week. That was really exhausting. Thankfully, I had supportive friends who constantly motivated me to keep pushing towards my dreams.
Eventually, a position for a part-time digital producer opened up and because I was already there, the digital manager took me under his wing and gave me the experience I so desperately wanted. That is when I realized that I no longer longed to become a TV news anchor. I developed a deep passion for digital storytelling. I wanted to tell stories and post content with purpose online.
Eventually, it was time to wrap that chapter in my life and move on to what people say, “bigger and better things.” I’m currently the social media strategist for another local TV news station in the same market– where I plan, create, and share the reporters stories and make it more interesting for social media. I also get to find creative ways to share community content online. With this career move came better work hours and better pay! Its the perfect job for me, because I get to be creative and serious at the same time. I still have the same goal I set two years ago to tell the communities stories digitally.
All this to say that the journey to get that “dream job” is not going to happen overnight. The road to get there will also not be easy. Tears will be shed and there will times where you want to give up, DON’T! Being a successful woman takes grit and determination. The successful people you admire didn’t get there because they snapped their fingers. I wanted to share my journey because I never want anyone who watches my YouTube videos or looks at my Instagram highlight reel to think that I got to where I am because of sheer luck.