Up To Speed Journalism Careers Advice Tip #13 Go The Extra Mile

Last Updated on August 10, 2023, 9:34 pm

By Tom Hill, Course Director and Founder, Up To Speed Journalism.

In this series of posts on the qualities you need to be a successful reporter, I’ve been concentrating on your people skills. Today I’m concentrating on one very important person, and that is you. And I’m looking specifically at your mind set, or attitude to work.

Journalism Careers
Journalism Careers /Photo (image: wkuherald.com)

Tip #13 Go The Extra Mile

If you are hungry for success and you are prepared to work hard, then there’s a good chance you will make it as a journalist.

However, please note this official Government health warning. As from August 2009, you are not supposed to work more than 48 hours a week. That’s according to the European Working Time Directive.

So, it’s good to know your boss can’t force you to work long hours.

Luckily, for ambitious young reporters, there’s a loophole in the law. No one can stop you working longer hours if that’s what you want to do.

Next time you meet a really successful person in any field, ask them if they managed to do it in 48 hours a week.

This may sound like a grim sermon on “work ethics”, but your job doesn’t have to be a grind if you have the right frame of mind.

You can make your journey to the top a much happier one if you remember twelve simple rules.

  • Work is fun, and work is play when you are a journalist.
  • It’s not a “proper job.”
  • The more bylines you get, the better you feel.
  • If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
  • It’s not a 9 to 5 job. Great. Enjoy it. Who needs routine?
  • The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.
  • Welcome stress, it shows you that you are alive.
  • You only have one life, so make the most of every minute.
  • Don’t moan. Develop a sense of humour instead.
  • Be a good team player. Pull your weight and don’t pull “sickies”.
  • Always look for ways to make your next story better than the last and better than anyone else’s story.
  • If your career starts to feel more like an endurance race than a sprint, stick at it. Winners are always prepared to go the extra mile.
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