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Career Advice From Katie Couric

Brittney Morgan
Brittney Morgan

Having made history as the first woman to anchor a weekday evening news program by herself, Katie Couric knows a thing or two about career success.

  • Rather than relying on luck, it’s important to maintain a strong work ethic and prove yourself.
  • While taking risks is nerve-wracking, it can lead to great career opportunities. 
  • We are currently experiencing what is known as the Great Resignation, which involves workers quitting at a rapid rate. This is encouraging workers to ask for pay raises or seek more authoritative roles.
  • This article is for anyone who is looking for career advice and Katie Couric fans. 

Television journalist and talk show host Katie Couric has a long resume filled with accomplishments. She made history as the first woman to anchor a weekday evening news program by herself, is a New York Times bestselling author, and recently became the first woman ever to guest-host Jeopardy! 

Couric has seen incredible success, with a career spanning all the major news networks – NBC, ABC and CBS  – and she’s learned valuable lessons along the way. Here are five tips from Couric to help you find success in your career. 

1. Respect is key.

The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re starting out in your career is to be respectful. You might not get along with everyone you encounter, but you still have to maintain a cordial relationship with them. 

“It’s essential to value all your colleagues, no matter what position they are in, and treat them with dignity and respect,” said Couric in an interview with USA Weekend. After all, you never know which co-workers you’ll wind up sharing an office with again in the future.

2. Don’t rely on luck.

You might get lucky with opportunities in your career, especially if you have a large professional network, but luck is not enough to get you your big break. Use the advantages that you have, but work your hardest to keep them and grow. 

“I have been at the right place at the right time, [but] if I didn’t have the work ethic to back it up, it would have been a short-lived thing,” said Couric in an interview with Gotham Magazine.

3. Prove yourself.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and you won’t get anywhere on the corporate ladder if you just stand idly by. Earn every raise and promotion by maintaining a strong work ethic. Show your bosses what you can do, and you might be surprised at how far it’ll take you. Even Couric, now a household name, started at the bottom. 

“I was new and largely unproven,” she said in an interview with Marie Claire. “Rather than expect parity immediately, I thought, let’s see how it goes. As I became more successful, salary increases followed.” Do your best and be patient. [Related article: 7 Female Entrepreneurs Share Their Biggest Challenges]

4. Take risks.

Playing it safe will get you only so far. Going outside of your comfort zone to take risks and exploring new opportunities can elevate your career, landing you in places you never thought possible. 

“I love a challenge, I like to get out of my comfort zone, and sometimes I leap before I look, because I think you have to try to set yourself up for success as much as you can,” Couric told Gotham. 

When you have the chance to try something that could be great for your career, take the risk. The payout could be great, and you’ll never know unless you go for it. If you always turn down the scary opportunities, you’ll miss out on a lot of potential success.

5. Negotiate the right way.

When it comes time to negotiate a raise or a promotion, be smart about it. Show your supervisor not just why you deserve it, but how it’ll benefit the company. 

“Every boss is different,” Couric told Marie Claire. “You need to really understand the person – their likes, dislikes, how they feel. Do they spend 24/7 in the office? Then cater the negotiation with those things in mind.” 

If you make your negotiation personal and tailor it to your boss, they’re more likely to listen and follow through with what you’re asking for.

Did You Know?

According to Forbes, 70% of managers expect to negotiate when they make a job offer, even if the offer doesn’t appear to be flexible. Sharpen your negotiation skills to make sure you come out on top.

Succeeding during the Great Resignation

What is the Great Resignation?

COVID-19 has brought on a level of job crisis never previously seen. Workers are quitting their jobs all across the country in what is being called the Great Resignation. This trend comes about as workers demand better working conditions and higher wages that are more in line with the cost of living. 

For six straight months, the number of Americans quitting has exceeded pre-pandemic records, proving that this trend isn’t slowing down. According to the World Economic Forum, a record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September 2021 alone.

Before the pandemic, workers seemed more willing to accept less-than-favorable working conditions. However, for many, the pandemic has caused extreme burnout, leading workers to reevaluate their priorities, lifestyles, and terms of employment. Many are fed up with the current conditions and quitting their jobs in search of ones that match their values. 

The quit rate is particularly high for frontline workers, as many face concerns for their own health during the pandemic. They see the importance of maintaining their own safety and are valuing their lives and their time more highly than in the past, rather than letting employers take advantage of them through low wages and little benefits or protections.

Tips for thriving during the Great Resignation

While the Great Resignation has guided many to find a company that better suits their values and makes them feel more in control of their lives, others are content in their current roles. For those workers, the Great Resignation has increased the workload, stress and responsibility as their co-workers walk out the door. However, there are ways to leverage this added pressure, which can help employees who stay to thrive within their roles. [Related: Stressed Out! Unrealistic Expectations Put the Pressure on Workers]

As workers leave their jobs, remaining co-workers are left to pick up the slack while the company looks for replacements. In this situation, it’s important for managers to make sure work is evenly distributed so the majority of the responsibility isn’t placed on a minority of workers without fair compensation. However, if you’re one of the employees who chooses to stay, this is also an opportunity to reposition yourself and gain more authority within your role. 


Reflect on how you are handling the added pressures of the Great Resignation to make sure your role still excites you and that you are not experiencing burnout.

You may be able to use a worker shortage to leverage your position and ask for a pay raise, compensating you for the extra work you’ve had to take on. This is also a good time to discuss flexible, nonmonetary work-life improvements with employers, such as child care vouchers, commuting benefits, working from home and gym memberships. 

Companies that experience employee turnover due to the Great Resignation will have to deal with a lot of restructuring. As this occurs, employees will find it worthwhile to have a hand in the restructuring process whenever possible. With a lack of staff, this is a great time to establish yourself as an integral part of the company and carve out a path for your future. This is your chance to rid the company of bad habits that many employees have come to accept, and help management reevaluate how things have been done in the past to see if improvements are possible. 

Sean Peek contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.

Image Credit: Everett Collection /
Brittney Morgan
Brittney Morgan
Staff Writer
Brittney Q. Morgan is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor, as well as a graduate of Drew University, where she majored in History. Her work can be found all across the web at Apartment Therapy, HuffPost, and more. You can also find her on Twitter at @brittneyplz.