Matrix Monday Inspiration: What was Your A-ha Moment?

Does your job search leave you down? Maybe you’re in a rut? Have writer’s block? All of the above?

At the annual Matrix Awards luncheon today sponsored by New York Women in Communications, words of wisdom from some of the honorees may slay some doubts as you search for a new career opportunity.

Gayle Butler, editor-in-chief of Better Homes & Garden and executive vice president of Meredith Creative Content, explained that back in the day she simply “had a knack and raised her hand for every opportunity.”

After visiting the Columbia University School of Journalism when she was 16 years-old, she had tremendous clarity. The southerner’s calling in life became apparent loud and clear. “That was my a-ha moment, feeling my first real sense of ambition,” she told the audience.

Sometimes we need to remember not only where we came from but also how far we’ve come. When did you discover your passion for journalism? What was your a-ha moment? How are you able to keep that spark lit? How can you continue to nurture it?

Why not just throw your hands in the air and pursue something less exciting? Because you can’t, that’s why. It’s hard to shake once it’s in your blood, isn’t it? As journalists, we’re curious. We’re communicators. We’re in the business of storytelling, interviewing, and fact checking.

Ann Curry, co-anchor and correspondent on Today, remarked that she was told early in her career that women didn’t have any news judgment nor could women carry a camera. Well, that was over 30 years ago and she clearly made it her business to carve her path. Curry succinctly described her game plan to today’s audience at the Waldorf Astoria: “Oh, yeah? Watch me.”

Any time the job search gets you down, sometimes it may boil down to taking a few steps back, thinking where you came from, where you’re headed, and recalling your a-ha moment when you were bitten by the journalism bug. Other times, it may entail hearing successful stories from notable names who have led the way. As in Curry’s case, having someone tell you the word no.

So you can persist until you get a yes.