From freelancing as a college student to logging tape, Dana Bash worked her way up the ladder at CNN. Now, she comes to us live on TV as CNN’s chief political correspondent, covering elections and the biggest political news. Dana says she wouldn’t have gotten there without luck– and some good old fashioned patience. This week, she spills the secrets of her career marathon, and how to pace yourself.
On Her Approach to a Role Transition
Dana: The person who was hiring me at the assignment desk was like, “really, you want to do this? Are you sure?” And I said, yeah. I really do. It really looked like a step back to a lot of people. And it's because I wanted to try something new. Especially when you're younger—and it doesn't matter how old you are—you should always be willing to try something new. I thought if I'm not going to do it now, when am I going to do it? So I think the answer is: try to tune out the noise and have the conversations with your bosses or with the people who can help get you there.
On How She Found Career Success
Dana: There are a lot of overnight successes. There are a lot of people who just either have a moment and their star goes into the stratosphere. Or they get their mojo really young. And none of that is true for me. I've almost hit the 29 year mark at CNN and it's been a very steady, almost tortoise-like situation for me. And I think that's fine. I really do. And what I mean by patience is that my motto has always been: put your head down and do your work. Are there times where I get competitive and say, “excuse me, I should have this position”, or “I should have that assignment.” Absolutely. We all have to stick up for ourselves, especially women. But that has not been the trajectory of my career. And that for me has served me well. It's been the best.
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