I have been lucky to have a successful career to date. In fact, I’ve had three careers. First as an Actress in theatre and on television. Second, as a news & Current Affairs Reporter, then Foreign Correspondent. Now as a television Executive Producer, making Documentaries for major US and UK Broadcasters. And this was all from the starting base of being a young, single mother who’d left a violent man.
Despite having zero experience in all the above, I made my mind up each time that that was what I wanted to do and be. Then I set my sights on achieving it with focus and passion. I am sure I was a somewhat cocky little upstart back then, full of ambition and conviction. But each time I proved I could achieve it and so can you:
- Head in the general direction of what you are passionate in and believe in. As my Sister No. 1 says, a career path isn’t one until you look back at it and see it. (Mine took a bit of a circuitous route, but I ended up in a similar place just the same).
- Surround yourself with successful people, particularly those in your chosen field. People who inspire you. And then listen and learn. In other words: sit next to the best in the class and copy them!
- Always walk a straight and honest line. If you don’t know something, just say so, you’ll look more stupid if you pretend you do. And never be afraid to ask. Have courage in your conviction, but if you’re ever wrong, admit that too.
- Purge anyone negative in your life that holds you back or tries to bring you down.
- Embrace being outside your comfort zone. This is what excites you and will keep you passionate about what you do.
- Listen to what people tell you are your strengths. Sometimes you don’t realise what you are great at, because it comes so easy to you you think anyone can do it. Let those strengths lead you; where they take you will surprise you.
- Remember most of us suffer from Imposter Syndrome at some point: We all think “When are people going to work out I’m a fraud and I don’t know what I am doing?” The trick is to fake it, until you make it. Dress and act the part. Be it and you’ll become it.
I once got annoyed when a friend of mine looked at my success and said: ‘but you’ve always been lucky! Yes, I guess have. I’ve worked bloody hard to be that way. The truth is anyone can and you can be lucky again and again. You just have to work at all of the above.
And then you’ll be like me – amazed when you one day realise: ‘Gosh, I actually know what I am doing now!’
What are you faking until you make it? I’d love to hear in the Comments below.