FUN FACT: when I was a child and into my young adult life, I wanted to be a news reporter. I was introduced to this career path in elementary school. We recorded (with a lot of help from a very patient adult) some news shows after school: the school lunch menu, recess activities, kickball tournament updates. We dove deep into the hard-hitting stuff. It may have been that my friends surrounded me or that we got to dance to “One Week” by the Barenaked ladies as our intro (90’s kids get it), but I loved being in front of the camera and part of a production.
I loved watching the news reporters on TV. They were so beautiful, so educated on all the current news and so eloquent (not to mention HOW did they look so put together at 6am!?). I just wanted so badly to be the story teller, the one who told the world what was happening.
News reporting never lost its luster for me, and in high school, I anchored the morning news show. I went on to college to major in communication with a focus on journalism. I landed my first internship at a local news station in the city closest to my university. It was everything I had imagined live TV to be—fast-paced, exciting, and nerve-wracking as hell. I was an editor, and while my end goal was not to edit the news, I was happy to have my foot in the door to a place that I could live out my dream career.
Every shift, I watched the on-air talent gather their facts, write their scripts and in some cases, even play producer (the tv station was small, and the talent wore a lot of hats). I sat behind the camera, ran teleprompters, and just soaked in all I could. Eventually, I would shadow one of the veteran news reporters at the station. She was so wonderful, letting me tag along to her live shots. She even helped me film a reel of my own to one day submit as resumes.
I loved it, eventually got hired full-time, and for a while, I thought this was going to be my career. Then Easter came, and I had to leave my family to sit in the newsroom. Then Christmas and New Year’s and each delicious dinner I passed up for sitting with my colleagues in the newsroom eating Chinese take out, I began to realize what a colossal commitment being a news reporter is. Beyond a commitment of a typical 9-5 job.
These professionals leave their families and friends on the most important days of the year. They bear the elements to deliver the news in hurricanes, blizzards, and even in war zones. They uproot their lives and move to new cities to get ahead and pursue larger markets. These men and women devote their entire lives to their careers. They are wholeheartedly committed.
Soon enough, the hold reporting had on me had gone away. I realized it was more of a priority to me to find a career that allowed me the time to spend with family on holiday’s and weekends.
Enter digital marketing. It is the perfect combination of storytelling and creativeness without sacrificing holidays, weekends, or having to wake hours before the sun is up. While I may not be done up in hair and make-up every day or in front of a camera, I am so grateful this career exists. I’m able to do what I love to do, then walk away from my computer and enjoy my weekends and special occasions with the people I love most.
I didn’t end up where I thought I would but I ended up where I needed to be.