This winter, two of our broadcast journalism students landed entry-level, on-camera jobs in the highly competitive news media industry.
But, here’s why that’s interesting — neither student applied for the job she was offered.
While both students are talented, media job opportunities can attract hundreds of applicants hoping to break into the news industry. (Applicants who are — ahem — waiting to be picked.)
People who make hiring decisions often become fatigued searching for quality talent. And that’s not just in the news business. The hiring and training process can be expensive and time consuming. They’d rather focus on leading their organizations and launching key initiatives.
This is where you can make things easier for those searching for new talent. Whether your goal is to be picked for a career in a competitive industry, or to launch a new business endeavor, the formula for achieving your goals is not complicated — if you’re willing to DO THE WORK.
Have you ever heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as an overnight success?” (Just ask any artist or musician). No one is going to tap you on the shoulder and say, “Excuse me, would you like to be paid for your creative work?”
Those “overnight success stories” probably spent a lot of time doing four things… hustling, connecting, sharing their work, and repeating the process.
Start with the hustle. In the case of these two students — they weren’t plucked from obscurity and asked if they happened to want a job in a highly sought after industry. Instead, before they were notified they had been picked, they were hustling. Practicing. Struggling. Failing. Learning. Finally, succeeding.
The hustle happens when you immerse yourself in your industry, passion or practice. The hustle happens when you show up for whatever it is your chasing each day in the face of struggle. The hustle happens when people tell you it’s not practical, but you still go for it anyway. The hustle happens even when you’re not sure why you’re drawn to a certain creative undertaking, but you follow the muse anyway.
The two students in this story were “plugged in” to the right people who were “plugged in” to the right people. They benefitted from old fashioned-networking with a new media twist.
While you’re hustling, make connections with those willing to mentor you. If a mentor is willing to invest his or her time helping your talents develop, she will most likely become a strong advocate for your work.
Via social media, you can identify thought leaders in your industry and follow their online conversations. You can build your network by being the kind of “follower” you’d like to have.
Be a sponge. Ask the right questions. Most successful people remember someone who helped them while they were hustling, and when the right candidate shows initiative, often, they will return the favor.
During the hustle phase, each student developed an online portfolio of work that showcased her talents. When they had established mentors and built their network, they shared their work (something we’ll discuss in a later lesson). Their portfolios impressed the right people.
You might think the hustle phase is the hardest — it certainly can be the longest. But, for many, the share phase summons the resistance monster. Though social media makes sharing your work simple, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Sharing your work is hard. It requires you to announce to the world those creative longings you’ve kept buried in your journal for years.
Reading this sentence, you can almost feel the finger-pointing. Be prepared. Some people will snicker. You’ll have to make peace with that. Author and researcher Dr. Brené Brown offers encouraging advice by urging you not to take your critics too seriously — especially those who aren’t in the game with you.
Sharing your creative projects and aspirations has the potential to build your confidence. Doing so may help you get noticed by those who can help you reach the next level of your journey. No, it’s not easy, but, keeping your ideas buried in your soul isn’t either.
Maybe this process worked for you the first time, as was the case with the students in this story. Maybe it didn’t. If not, don’t be discouraged to start the process over, and over again until you reach your goal. Don’t lose your fire. Return to the hustle phase with as much fervor as you had when your journey began.
You’ve been through this cycle before. Now, you’re back in the game with more. More knowledge. More experience. More perspective. More connections. More legacy. More drive.
The formula isn’t complicated, but it takes effort.
In your responses, describe how you can apply the #HustleConnectShareRepeat formula on the journey to achieving your goals. How will you conquer your fears and quiet your inner critic?