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Thinking of a career in media?
You might just have come to the right place.
We’ve managed to get Niamh Maher, our Senior Producer here at Her, to spill the beans on all things career and the lessons learned along the way.
From the very early days of making her very own magazines (and distributing them to family) to wanting to be a barrister, Niamh’s own goals developed and changed over time.
She started studying journalism in DCU which gave her a yearning to jump right into radio and broadcast, and soon the right internship would be on the cards.
“Before I graduated I was in a news room. That’s where I wanted to be.”
“I worked incredibly hard and I got to the position of news editor across three different radio stations. That’s when I thought I was happy and where I wanted to be.”
The urge to progress and move onwards and upwards was so strong however, that Niamh wasn’t left too content in her position for long. It was time to make a shift to digital.
“You need to be very secure in who you are before you make any steps in furthering your career.
“I think you need to have confidence in what you’re doing and I think you need to have a huge amount of self-belief in order to do what it is you want to do on a day-to-day basis.”
Her ‘aha!’ moment came later when Niamh was recognised for her work with a 30 Under 30 radio award. She was praised for her success along with someone saying she was ‘doing so well, keeping up with the lads.’
It made her think. It made her ask herself, ‘Was it really worth staying in that same spot, so dominated by men, when she could be doing amazing things, such as a female-led podcast aimed entirely at women and the lives they lead?’
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The plan wasn’t going to fit in line with the brand she worked with, so it was time to move on.
Creating a podcast for women and not knowing if it was going to become popular was one thing, but at least she knew she wanted to work in audio – something she loved. In terms of creating her own platform for women, she says;
“I just don’t think I was ever given that on any platform across Irish radio.”
Always fascinated with storytelling and needing the space to create superb and meaningful work, it was time to work here at Her.
With the right platform entirely aimed at creating lifestyle, beauty and impactful content for women, she was now in the right setting.
“I didn’t know if it [Girls With Goals] was something people even wanted to listen to, but I’m so thankful I followed through with it.
“I remember being terrified that I had ruined my career.”
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When it comes to following her instinct, she admits it can be uncomfortable and taking chances can lead you to unfamiliar places. It’s a job that has it’s rough days (as do many do!) but on those days, Niamh turns to the shows fans – the followers of Girls With Goals, who help remind her, she’s in a lucky position and to keep doing what she’s at.
“I am being afforded this opportunity to do what I absolutely love to do every day, it’s not just about me, it’s about the responsibility for the audience, and the community we’ve created with a show like Girls With Goals.”
“If you surround yourself with positive people and if at the core of what you’re doing is trying to make a difference, whether that’s professionally or in your personal life, or whatever it is you’re doing, if you follow your instinct and you have good intensions at heart – you’ll do alright.”
Having support is something that has benefited her in her personal and professional life – team-work being a key factor. She knows that family and friends who believe in what you do is crucial.
“It’ll help you through every facet of your life.”
Those friends, do of course, include the women around her and who she works with.
“I was seeing so many other shows come up that were fronted by women, produced by women and all with women in mind. On the one hand, I was like ‘oh, competition!,’ but then on the other hand I was like, ‘this is fantastic, this is what I wanted, it’s incredible.'”
“It would have been incredible to work with more women [in the past], so now when I see more young women come into the industry, I want to teach them, I want to talk to them, I want to let them see that there is a path for them and there are incredible careers for them.
“I think any opportunity that I get to lift other women up and maybe talk to them, I embrace it.”
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