"I called my Mum and we both cried" Niamh O'Donoghue on landing the dream job with Vogue
If you don't follow Niamh O'Donoghue, you should.
I always feel odd when I tell people that I've been "following them" for years. I, of course, mean via social media and not in real life but it's good to explain that. That's exactly what I did when I got on the phone with journalist Niamh O'Donoghue to have a pre-chat chat (it's a thing) before we recorded an episode of Girls With Goals.
Working as an Associate Social Media Editor with British Vogue, fashion is obviously a massive focal point in Niamh's life. The sheer vibrancy of her Instagram feed has made hers one of the few accounts that I actively seek out from time to time when inexplicably the Instagram algorithm changes and shows me nothing but baby content for a week.
"Colour" is the word that springs to mind when you look at her page. On this week's episode we, of course, talk about style, fashion and how many times you actually have to apply before you land a gig in Vogue but we also talk about her family, her own history of health struggles and how perspective can get you through unimaginably difficult times.
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At 26 (soon to be 27?), I've just about taken the first wobbly baby steps of my career. Its trajectory has been anything but linear - those of you who have followed me and IRL friends will back this up - and I suspect there will be many more peaks and troughs as I figure out my next chapter(s). In the meantime, the brilliant @Niamh_Maher of @Her.ie kindly entertained my ramblings about journalism, story telling and fashion for Her's #GirlsWithGoals podcast this weekend. If the world's of journalism (print and digital) and fashion are part of your grand plan, it might make for useful listening. A key piece of advice for anyone starting out: 1) find yourself a mentor. Better yet, find yourself a friend who can guide you and show you the ropes (I still lean on all of my mentors). 2) If someone feels threatened by your ability - either online or in the workplace - don't let them ever make you feel small. Rise above it. 3) Take criticism and learn from it. 4) You can never read too many books. [Link in bio]
When I invite women on the show, I always like to find out what they wanted to be when they were younger. It's a classic question that usually brings up fantastic memories of childhoods gone by. For the sake of transparency, I can tell you that in my younger years I wanted to be a MoonDreamer and ultimately a barrister... I became neither.
Niamh explained that it was a career in medicine she had set her sights on before everything changed;
"Journalism was never on my radar, it wasn't something that I even considered as a career. I wanted to be a doctor, I am the baby of three brothers so I'm the little madam, I'm always right and I'm the boss! So, I've always loved the idea of caring for people and it was a toss up between wanting to become a doctor and wanting to become a vet".
It was Niamh's health struggles that ultimately put a stop to her pursuing a career in medicine, over the course of her teenage years she missed years of school as she battled to get healthy;
" I loved school if I could go back for a month I would but school wasn't as kind to me as I was to it and I missed out on a huge amount of school when I was younger, maybe two and a half years in total! I have a very long and dramatic history with my health...".
In this week's episode Niamh opens up about dealing with devastating loss, her own health issues and landing the 'dream job' with British Vogue.
Listen on Spotify here or click below to hear the full episode: