Updated: Apr 17, 2019
I often speak to students at local school career day events, JAG programs, summer camps and as an invited guest. One thing I always tell students who are in the midst of figuring out what they want to do when they grow up (after I joke about still trying to answer this age old question myself) is don't limit yourself. You may find that you love doing a number of things, so don't allow yourself to be boxed in by any particular career path or job title.
For so long I felt "boxed in" and limited by my job title of a News Reporter. I started working as a news reporter right out of college at the age of 21. Now that I look back on it, I was so young and wide-eyed about life and still not quite sure if this was the career I wanted to commit myself to after struggling through my first eight months on the job. I even considered a career as a teacher and submitted an application to Teach for America. Yet, I continued to trudge through each day and eventually got hired as an education reporter in Shreveport, La. I eventually grew to love the job and the work I was doing. It felt that I was making and having a positive impact in some small way
I eventually got a job in Houston, Tx as a multi-media journalist, which meant I wasn't in front of the camera as much as I used to be. I started to feel antsy because I felt like I wasn't able to utilize all of my talents completely. After about five years in the news business, I was lucky enough to get a job in my hometown of New Orleans. I though, "THIS IS IT! I'm home, right where I want to be!" That was in November of 2012. By 2016, I started to get that antsy feeling again, that I wasn't fully using all of my gifts and talents. So I officially left my full-time career as a news reporter after about 10 years in the business. Many people close to me questioned the decision and some still do.
It was a real leap of faith, but also one that I needed to make. I wanted to feel inspired by my work again. I wanted to feel dedicated to something bigger than myself. I wanted to tap back into those interests and passions I gave up on a long time ago in favor of pursuing a stable career. I wanted to maximize my full potential, and that meant using all of my God-given talents. I set out on a quest to begin that process.
So now aside from freelance reporting at WDSU, I host and emcee community events and speak on and moderate panels. I am an Marketing Account Director at BAMM Communications, which keeps me busy with coordinating production shoots for clients, writing press releases, copyediting documents, drafting business proposals, decks and strategizing on marketing campaigns. I've recently launched my own radio show, podcast and Youtube series called In The N.O. which still allows me to interview and talk to people, but in a more in depth format.
I sometimes work as a media consultant and media coach. I even help my friends, family and young people who I mentor with writing résumés and editing resume tapes. I recently worked with a friend on publishing a children’s book called Casey and the Crawfish. I'm also working on writing and publishing my own children's book!
And I have recently returned to one of my childhood passions of acting, so I'm auditioning for roles in commercials, tv shows and movies. I recently even booked a role in a feature film shooting next month. While all of this keeps my schedule pretty full, I've never felt more free and fulfilled in my life!
So, I invite you to examine yourself and ask yourself “am I maximizing your potential?“ Are you using all of your God-given gifts? Are you living out your passions? What more can you do to live the life you truly want? As I tell students all the time, “don’t limit your own possibilities!”