Three Pieces Of Advice For Young Women Just Starting Their Career
I have 12 years of experience in my field and I’m still under 30.
Once I figured out that my goal was to become a journalist I didn’t wait to get started despite the fact that I was still in high school. I recognized what a gift it was to know what I wanted to do with my life at that early stage. It honestly felt more like a calling and I had no choice but to pursue it.
You don’t have to wait for permission, you don’t need to wait for a magical opportunity or wait until you have some big name behind you in order to get started. There is a momentum that’s created by starting and luck is created when you continue to prepare yourself for what’s to come.
Media is an industry built on connections and relationships and despite having none of those initially I’ve gone on to work at top media companies like NBC and The Huffington Post and won an Emmy at the age of 22 during my first year out of college. Ultimately, I ended up founding my own media company and landed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
I’m not special. Everything that’s come to fruition in my life is the result of hard work, preparation and putting myself out there.
For anyone out there at the beginning of the career journey:
1. Do the work
I did six internships before I graduated from college and freelanced for AOL as an undergrad. When first learning about journalism, I started out on my school newspaper, then moved to participating in workshops hosted by professional journalists. These experiences helped me learn the basics and get the necessary feedback I needed to become better, so when I was in the newsroom of major companies although I was young i had the confidence of knowing that I’d done this before. Experience gives you confidence, and also helps lay the foundation of your reputation through the quality of your work. So not only does it give you the confidence to step into larger arenas, it helps people have confidence in your ability to deliver.
2. Push past fear
What I’ve learned from publishing the stories of hundreds of powerful women is that we’re all human. We all feel fear, doubt, anxiety, even if the catalyst for that fear is something we’ve always wanted to do. Before I go on stage to be on a panel or moderate a chat I always feel like my heart is going to jump out my chest, no matter how many times I’ve done it. One of my favorite sayings is “feel the fear and do it anyway.” What separates the greats from the flakes are those who don’t allow their fear to stop them. Instead, manage it as much as possible. Manage it through practice, and preparation.
3. Share opportunities
There is room for everybody. Never be satisfied being the only one in the room or operate from a place of scarcity. What I’ve found is sharing opportunities leads to an increase in connections, and deeper bonds with my network which in turn manifests into more opportunities. Women are already shut out when it comes to access to resources and opportunities, due to a lack of informal networks and unconscious bias. So as I rise my mindset is to lift as I climb. I learned this through my mentors and have even created a community within my company called #theAgenda dedicated to ambitious women who want to share resources and advice with each other.
So get started, do the work, and never let anyone slow your agenda.
Source: Rhonesha Byng, Journalist, Founder & CEO Her Agenda