Advice to a younger self

The Media Briefing is using LinkedIn very effectively, and on one of their discussions, they have the following question:

Q: If you could go back in time and talk to yourself as a fresh-faced young entrant to the media industry what advice would you give?

I thought about this for a while, and to be honest, some of this advice I’d give to myself just a few years ago, not in the distant past of my career. One criticism that I would have of myself is that I’m absolutely horrible at office politics, well I used to be horrible. ┬áBeing independent, I can observe politics without being threatened by it and without threatening those I work with. In the respect, striking out on my own has been wonderfully liberating.

With that bit of self-criticism in mind, I have to be fair to myself. Office politics is challenging enough on one’s own culture. I’ve had to learn not only British office politics but also some of the very subtle cultural cues of British society. That notwithstanding, I’d give myself this one bit of sage advice:

…take time to figure out the invisible org chart when you start a new job. Those invisible walls you run into are just border crossings between one fiefdom and another.

Like most journalists, I know how to work in a newsroom. I know what’s expected of me and how to tick the necessary boxes. When you become an editor, you enter an entirely other world, especially in an industry in crisis.