Back when she was still a kid, seasoned broadcast journalist Luchi Cruz-Valdes already knew what she wanted to become when she grew up. “I didn’t even know what it was called. I remember watching Jose Mari Velez on TV, and I asked my mom what he was called. And every time I was asked what I wanted to become when I grow up, I always answered broadcast journalist. It was just instinctive, and I just knew I really wanted to be one.”
Now, Luchi serves as the News and Information Head of TV5, but she only got to where she is now after facing down the challenges that came up on her path to success. Read on for five life lessons you can pick up from this empowered woman so that you too can further your career goals.
1. DON’T STOP LEARNING.
Luchi Cruz-Valdes fondly talks about her years with public affairs program Probe when she was still starting. “I was with Probe for 12 years, and in those years I learned a lot. If there is one thing rewarding about being a journalist [it’s that] you get to interview so many people.” There is something about giving great stories to people who are looking for something new. “I remember interviewing the first Filipino with AIDS, and people didn’t know a lot about it. I was proud of that story and what we did in Probe.” The fun is always in learning something new every single day.
2. DON’T LET TRENDS DICTATE WHAT YOU WANT TO DO.
“Sadly, it’s all about the ratings game now. It’s always the same topics like poverty, the Mindanao conflict.” Go beyond what society dictates and wants because you don’t know how it can inspire change in others. There are so many things that you can do if you go beyond the norm. “What I like most about the job is the opportunity it gives us to influence how other people think,” Luchi adds.
3. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Just because you have a menial job, it doesn’t mean that what you do is not important. Luchi says she always tells reporters to consider their job a blessing. “You have this chance every day--even if it’s just one minute on primetime news--to change the way people think. Even if it’s just a report and there’s no opinion involved, you can still change the way people think if you craft the story in a way that will affect them and make them think twice."
4. BE APPRECIATIVE.
When you know just how blessed you are, you are able to do your job better. “Broadcast journalists now have it better. They have expensive equipment, there’s social media,” Luchi says of the industry today. Be grateful for every opportunity and trial that’s thrown your way because you have the chance to learn from it and help other people in the process.
5. WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING.
All people make bad decisions, but that doesn’t mean your career should end when you make a mistake. “I’ve had my share of career boo-boos, in fact, to the point where I lost a job,” Luchi confesses. “But I would like to think those situations served me very well because I learned from them and I made it a point to learn from them. I’d like to think that it’s made a better worker.” Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because they make you a better person.
(Photo by Mike Dee)