UK

Want To Get To The Top In The Media? Arianna Huffington Says It Doesn't Mean Burning Out

03/06/2014 17:25 BST | Updated 03/06/2014 17:59 BST

Can young journalists succeed in a cut-throat media world and still make time for themselves and their families.

A survey in 2012 by the National Union of Journalists found 72% felt under pressure to work long hours, and 58% said they had unachievable deadlines.

And it's a national problem that doesn't just affect journalists. The Health and Safety Executive has said that 105,000,000 work days are lost to stress each year, costing UK employers £1.24bn. And 75% of all psychological and physical illnesses in the UK can be attributed to stress.

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Arianna Huffington with the BBC's Liliane Landor

But in a fierce environment like the media, do young women need to make sure they keep their competitive edge by being willing to drop everything and do anything at a moment's notice?

Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post's editor-in-chief is convinced that had she stopped worrying earlier, it would not have adversely affected her career, and young journalists shouldn't be afraid that it will.

It is a concern of many journalists starting out, according to the women who attended the Global Women in News event at the BBC's Broadcasting House, where Huffington came to speak about her book Thrive. "We are at the top already," said Liliane Landor, the acting head of the BBC World Service. "20 years ago, would we really have been holding these principles?"

"I would have achieved whatever I achieved with less stress, less anxiety, less damage to my health and my relationships. Absolutely categorically. All the biggest mistakes I made were because of burnout and not really being connected with my own wisdom.

"I would have told my 20-year-old self to stop worrying and get some sleep. Sleep is a shorthand for a way of living, where we are not driving ourselves to exhaustion. We do as they do on airplanes, put your own oxygen mask on first. Then you will better at your job, be a better mother, a better partner."

Young women journalists who want to excel should know that "the more difficult life is, the more time they need to connect what Archimedes called 'a place to stand so I can move the world'. Why do some people succeed and others are destroyed? Because of resilience."

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