Working as an on-air news anchor can be exciting, but it’s not the right career fit for everyone. News anchors need to be able to stay strong in the face of criticism, adhere to a tough schedule that can include very early mornings and very late nights, and be ready to move across the country if duty calls. Here, former anchor Michael Cully explains how to decide whether working as an on-air news anchor is the right fit for your personality and career goals.
How Do You Handle Pressure?
Most news shows are recorded live, with no room for error. It’s important that news anchors are able to adjust to situations quickly and perform well under pressure. This can be especially difficult when tough news stories develop. Reporters must be able to thrive under pressure and keep their emotions at bay even when delivering difficult news to the public. Sometimes, reporters also need to be able to deliver changing news stories as they happen, which can require quick thinking and an ability to describe what’s happening in a way that both shows compassion for the situation and tells audiences what they need to know.
You’re Open to New Schedules
As a news anchor, your schedule will be at the whim of your network. This can mean very early mornings and very late nights. If you want to move up in the industry, a promotion could mean adjusting to a totally new schedule, according to Michael Cully. Changing schedules can make it difficult to have a social and family life, and can mean that it’s hard to get enough sleep or participate in hobbies.
How Do You Handle Criticism?
When you’re on-screen, you may be surprised at how many people have comments about your appearance, your voice, or the way you deliver the news. The best news anchors make their jobs look easy, and it’s all too simple for the general public to write in complaints about anchors. It’s key to have a thick skin and be able to handle criticism if you’re interested in a long career as an on-air personality, according to Michael Cully.
Are You Ready to Move Around?
It’s an unfortunate reality of working in news media: anchors are often replaced. You may need to be ready to move across the country to take on a new job with just a few days of notice. It’s important that your family is also on board with quick changes. This can be tough if you have older children, or if you have a spouse with a career that ties them to one area. You’ll also need to consider whether you’re willing to move for promotion opportunities or a preferable schedule, according to Michael Cully.