Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

She crouched down so her face was the same level as mine. ‘You can do any­thing,’ Mum said, smil­ing. ‘You are a clever girl. Never let any­one smash your dreams.’ I was seven, and wanted noth­ing more than to be a jour­nal­ist. My mother was a house­wife. My father drove a truck. Hol­i­days were spent camp­ing onmy grandad’s farm, rid­ing don­keys, mak­ing boats out of the cows’ old troughs, and chas­ing chick­ens.

No one in my fam­ily had ever been to univer­sity. There cer­tainly wasn’t any writ­ing her­itage inmy genes, but, thanks to my mother’s in­cred­i­ble ad­vice, I didn’t let that bother me. ‘You are a won­der­ful writer,’ Mum said, read­ing one of the many po­ems I wrote ev­ery day. ‘Let’s take th­ese to your teacher to see what she thinks.’

Luck­ily, my teacher loved them. So much so that she en­tered themin a na­tional writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion with­out me know­ing. Later, she handed me my win­ning pen tro­phy with a gi­ant smile. Fear of fail­ure? I never con­sid­ered it from that mo­ment on. I was a win­ner, so why couldn’t I do any­thing I wanted?

I sailed through school and univer­sity, and straight into a na­tional news agency where I had two front pages on the UK’s na­tional news­pa­pers inmy first week. I also ap­peared live on ITN, the in­de­pen­dent news broad­caster, and dashed off ra­dio scripts as well as court re­ports and fea­tures. In my spare time, I drove three hours each way to take the grave­yard shifts on Lon­don’s na­tional news­pa­pers and pop­u­lar women’s mag­a­zines.

I didn’t take a hol­i­day for seven years. I wanted to climb the ca­reer lad­der as quickly as pos­si­ble and never looked down as I clawed my way up un­til, fi­nally, I was an editor.

At the top, the real work be­gan – stay­ing there. I was one of the few women at a lot of the UK’s top me­dia houses– News In­ter­na­tional, Bauer, Sky and Emap, to name a few – and had to work three times harder than the­men. I would of­ten leave work at 1am, or miss my chil­dren’s school as­sem­blies and Christ­mas plays. Yes, I re­gret­ted it, but, I thought, that’s the price of suc­cess.

I know bet­ter now. But I rel­ished my work, and wasn’t – like a lot of my ex-col­leagues – frozen with fear or filled with para­noia and panic. I didn’t have a fear of fail­ure thanks to my mum, who in­stilled a sur­vival in­stinct inme at a ten­der age.

I didn’t go to the right school. I wasn’t plugged into the right net­work, but I had a mother’s love and a be­lief in my­self to takeme where I wanted. If I can do it, any­one can. Find out how you can con­quer your fear of fail­ure on page 38. And check out our ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with John Abra­ham on page 24 where he re­veals how he strug­gled his way to the top of Bol­ly­wood. A lion af­termy own heart!

Un­til next week,

Karen Pasquali Jones Editor kpasqual­i­jones@gulfnews.com

I didn’ t take a HOL­I­DAY for seven years. I wanted to CLIMB the lad­der as QUICKLY as pos­si­ble, and never looked down as I CLAWED my way up un­til I was an EDITOR. Then, the real work be­gan–STAY­ING there

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