[the bottom rung] julieanne horsman, associate producer of news, channel nine


Welcome to the ultimate hub for expert advice to help you get your big break (+ move up the ladder). This time, I’m perched on The Bottom Rung with…

JulieanneHorsmanJULIEANNE HORSMAN, 29 – associate producer of news for Channel Nine

Climbing the ladder

Then: Julieanne says it best herself: “My career path has more twists and turns than a Wet’n’Wild waterslide!” Not only has she interned and worked in children’s magazines at ACP (now Bauer), but she’s completed work experience (and sessions with a voice coach) at a local radio station to secure a job there. After that, Julianne realised television was her calling and she took a role as a TV journalist in regional New South Wales.

Now: Nowadays, this talented triple-threat works as the associate producer of news for Channel Nine.

The 6 expert-approved things you need to know to kick butt in the media

1. Everyone’s path is different
Taking an indirect career path has slowed me down, but I wouldn’t change anything because I have learned so much along the way – my time in print taught me to write properly, radio taught me to write quickly, and then I was ready for television news.

2. Stand out for the right reasons
Present yourself as a potential future employee. Dress appropriately, arrive on time with a smile on your face and show a willingness to have a go at whatever is thrown at you. An eager intern who is perhaps an average writer, is more likely to get hired over a brilliant writer who is lazy or rude. Also, keep your iPod in your bag – it’s off-putting when an intern insists on listening to it all day!

Julieanne quote3. Show, don’t just tell
‘Rather than saying what you can do, show it’. From day dot you should have a swag of story ideas for your chosen media. Write and submit pitches. The worst that can happen is they get rejected, but it shows you’re thinking. Even if you have to submit 20 ideas before one gets picked up, you’re miles ahead of someone who hasn’t suggested anything. I’ve taken a folder full of story ideas and plans to every single job interview.

4. Commitment is everything
The media industry is not only one of the hardest to break into, it’s even more difficult to keep progressing. If you’re not 100% committed to being a journalist, you won’t last. I’ve had many disappointing and frustrating moments throughout my career, particularly when coming to the end of one job and trying to move to another, but to keep my focus, I remind myself why I am a journalist – it is a privilege to tell people’s stories and my job is never boring.

5. Make training a priority
Start your career with a stint in print. Local papers are a fantastic training ground and you will learn invaluable skills. Also consider a regional or rural posting – the experience will enrich you not only as a journalist but as a person. Don’t expect to get a job in television straight out of university. Finally, be patient. A lucky few people will have an easy run but for the majority, the road to the top is a long and hard one.

6. Keep aiming high
Don’t be afraid to move around. From observations I have made, it is very hard to get promoted all the way to the top in one company. This is one industry where getting in at the bottom and working your way up in one single company does not happen. While switching jobs every six months is a bad look, a change every couple of years will ensure your career continues to progress.

Thanks again to Julieanne for sharing her advice! If you have a story idea for her or would like to find out more about the television industry, then drop her a line on Twitter here.

<The Bottom Rung series is inspired by the release of my novel THE INTERN (HarperCollins, out February 1, 2014) and my desire to ‘pay it forward’ with career advice and tips on climbing the ladder. Click here for more about THE INTERN and say hello at facebook.com/hellogabrielletozer and twitter.com/gabrielletozer – distractions welcome.>