Since graduating from college, I have found that while I still love politics with all of my heart (I am a political science grad after all), I truly love journalism. I love writing and sharing the stories of my community, and educating others about what is going on in the world.
Recently, I have been venturing out and trying to build and advance my career. While applying for an official journalist position at a rather notable publication in my hometown, my abilities and knowledge had been tested, and I will admit, it was a little nerve-racking.
During my time at another, more national publication, I was used to writing what we call in the journalism world “aggregated content.” It’s just a fancy term for writing a news story that has information collected from other news outlets’ reports (and you reference those news outlets’ in your story). I have written easily over 200 aggregated content articles.
But for my interview, I was asked to write an “original content” article, where I had to interview sources and write an original article based on research I had done and quotes I had obtained.
I remember looking at the assignment and feeling instant dread. I had two days to complete the assignment, and had to interview a number of sources about how a specific national policy issue would impact local businesses.
Would I even be able to accomplish this? What if I couldn’t complete the assignment and blew all chances of moving on in the interview process? I mean, I had done assignments before where I asked for quotes, but this was on a whole other scale.
I remember sitting in front of my computer, feeling like I didn’t even know where to begin.
But I sat at my computer, and told myself that I could do this. I had authored hundreds of articles, and this was only one more. If I could write those other articles, I could write this one, too.
I set out to do my research, compiling information and taking notes on things related to the recent policy and what’s its fiscal impact would be. As I was writing down information, I took notes on who would be good sources to interview for the piece, and started making calls to get in contact with my potential interviewees.
After I had contacted my first source and asked them my pre-written questions about the policy and its impact in our community, I beamed with pride and was so excited. I became more hopeful of my assignment, and pressed on, determined to finish this assignment successfully.
When I had officially contacted all of my sources, I buckled down and wrote out my story. By the time I had finished writing the piece, it was double their minimum word count for the assignment. But as I sat there, with my computer in my lap, looking at what I had written, I felt so proud of myself.
Here I had thought that I would never be able to complete this assignment when I first read the requirements. But I did it. I did it. I completed the project, met all the criteria, and wrote a beautiful, insightful, and well-rounded piece.
As I turned in my assignment, and breathed a sigh of relief that it was all over, I knew that I had accomplished something major. I couldn’t wait for the panel to read my piece.
Through all of the panic and stress and anxiety of the assignment, I had realized that I should have never underestimated myself and my abilities. I should have never doubted myself.
When we are faced with the unknown and uncertainty, we doubt what we are truly capable of. But why?
You know yourself. You know what you can do. You know your strength and power and knowledge and abilities. You know you have accomplished great things in the past, so don’t sell yourself short now.
Sometimes when we are unsure if we will be able to accomplish something, we just need to tell ourselves that we can do it and just buckle down and work to get it done. We need to block out all of those negatives thoughts and just commit to our mission.
So do not ever doubt yourself.
I had doubted myself and my abilities to write a well-written, informative article, but I completed it. Furthermore, I moved on to the next round of the interview process because of my article.
When we are faced with adversity, that is when we find what we are truly capable of. So stay positive, work hard, and believe in yourself.
You are capable of doing whatever you dream of. You are capable of doing whatever you set your mind to. You are capable of anything.
You are capable of amazing things.