Katie Couric is one of the world's most well-known television journalists and talk show hosts, not to mention a New York Times best-selling author. With a career that spans all three major news networks – NBC, ABC, and CBS – and has made history as the first woman to anchor a weekday evening news program by herself, Couric knows a thing or two about being successful.
A career that incredible may seem unattainable when you're just starting out in your field, but if you work hard enough, anything is possible. Here are five tips for success from Couric to help you land your big break.
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," Couric said 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 connections, 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," Couric said 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 by idly. Earn every raise and promotion you get 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, once started at the bottom. "I was new and largely unproven. Rather than expect parity immediately, I thought, let's see how it goes. As I became more successful, salary increases followed," she said in an interview with Marie Claire. Do your best, and be patient.
4. Take risks.
"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, but you'll never know until 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 for a raise or a promotion, make sure you're smart about it. Show your supervisor not just why you deserve it, but how it'll benefit the company, too. "Every boss is different. 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," Couric told Marie Claire. By making your negotiation personal and tailored to your boss, you make it more likely that they'll listen and follow through with what you're asking for.