My first TV job offered an annual salary of $15,000.
And it was a nine-hour drive from my hometown.
I took it.
After applying all over the country and hearing crickets, that $15,000 salary was my first official offer.
I was excited and ready to hit the ground running.
Other TV broadcasters gave me a heads up about the starting salary, so I tried my best to prepare and save.
I still struggled.
I worked at that first TV station a year and some change, using both my savings and working an extra job on the weekends to get by.
It wasn’t easy but I did it.
My second job paid an annual salary of $21,500.
And, yes, like many of you, I still had to keep the lights on and pay those seemingly never-ending student loans.
Still, I stayed focused on investing in myself.
I attended at least three journalism conferences during the span of those low paying jobs. I gained skills, networked, received multiple resume critiques, found mentors and, basically, changed my trajectory.
It wasn’t easy but I did it.
I’m telling you this not to impress you, but to stress to you that I remained focused despite my pocketbook.
I had a strong desire to improve in specific areas.
And I knew that investing in professional development could help me get further along— faster.
I did not let my finances get in the way of attending anything related to professional development. I searched for journalism conferences, seminars or other courses to help boost my skills.
If it was in-state or out-of-state, I found a way to attend.
Some helpful ways to cut costs:
- I kept an eye out for professional workshops or conferences offering any early bird specials or split payment options. Then I jumped on it.
- I searched for local or regional conferences to reduce overnight hotel costs.
- I worked an extra job, cut unnecessary costs, and/or moved around my finances.
- I drove long distances to get to the conference, rather than go deep in my pocketbook for expensive flights.
And for one major conference, I remember contacting the event leader and offering to volunteer as an usher in exchange for my registration fees to be covered.
She said, yes.
I did not allow my financial situation to stop me from investing in my success.
It wasn’t easy, but I did it.
It paid off in monumental ways, and continues to do so. (Btw that photo of me with a tripod… when I first started in broadcast news I shot, edited and wrote all of my daily stories… it’s called ‘one-man-band reporting’ … because you do it all:)
Professional development has helped me tremendously in various areas including, writing, public speaking, networking, stage presence, confidence, and also, gaining clarity on the life I want.
And, yes, my job salary did improve over the years, too.
Still today, I continue to work on my professional development.
I know the value.
This summer I will attend a four-day journalism conference.
I also have two private coaches for different purposes in my professional development.
For me, investing in myself is something that I will always do in some form or another.
Frankly, I also enjoy being a student, working out of my comfort zone, gaining outside perspective and greatly improving myself.
I know what it’s like to figure something out on your own versus having someone help guide you in the direction of your desires.
If any of this speaks to you, then I have the perfect solution.
I invite you to coach with me for 30 minutes at no cost to you. It’s my “breakthrough session” and it’s complimentary. Click here to look at my calendar and find a time that’s convenient for you.