When Laurie Segall first started at CNN as a journalist, she was basically working in the equivalent of "Scriberia" from "Inventing Anna." But instead of getting discouraged, Laurie used that opportunity to build out CNN’s tech coverage, and created a new role at the company in the process. And she ultimately became CNN’s senior technology correspondent. This week, Laurie shares how she used her different jobs - good and bad - as stepping stones to work towards the career she wanted. Now, Laurie’s her own boss, as the founder and CEO of Dot Dot Dot, a media venture exploring technology through the human lens.
Laurie: I think curiosity is important. And then I also think a job [can be] a placeholder. You know, when I was at business updates, "the bad wedding table," it's not where I wanted to be, but I was willing to do anything and do anything well to stay in the building. And then I used that as a way to do all these other things that I was interested in…. I created my own job position. I literally went with a piece of paper to the head of CNN Money and said, "I don't think this job exists…but I think it should."
So I think my advice would be…don't be afraid to take a job and…put your heart into it, but use it as a placeholder for another job….
Life's like a process of elimination. You take the job to realize you don't want that job. You date the person to realize you don't want to date that person and slowly you chip away at what you do want and what you are. And so I think it took me every single job to kind of get a better sense of who I was.
Laurie: I've interviewed the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, and the through line is you have to be able to accept ‘no’ and just be resilient. And so for me, I always looked at ‘no’ as a journalist as, “Oh, it's just four or five steps away from yes.” And some of the biggest ‘no's’ in my life have turned into the most important moments of growth or the biggest opportunities.
Skimm'd by Alex Carr and Andrew Callaway.
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"I always tell people to build those relationships when you don't need it."
"You in your own mind have to figure out what you want, what you will accept, and what you won't accept. And be prepared to walk away if they're not going to meet what you want."
"Preparation builds confidence and confidence builds success."