Radio Presenter and Popular Culture blogger Charlie O’Brien holds the enviable feat of finding career success and the man of her dreams along the way. I recently caught up with the lovely woman herself to get her career tips and find out just what makes the perfect guy?
Hi Charlie, congratulations on your successful career so far, what advice would you give to anyone looking to break into the media industry? WORK EXPERIENCE, WORK EXPERIENCE, WORK EXPERIENCE! As unfair as the thought of unpaid work may seem – I think it’s the only real way into the media. You don’t really see media jobs advertised, so you need another ‘in’ to the industry. I must have done about 3 years unpaid work in total, and have to sometimes! Work experience DOESN’T mean going to sit in a radio/tv station or newspaper for a morning though and thinking you’re qualified. We had a teenage girl who sat in on our radio show for 2 hours the other day. After her 4th cup of tea she announced “well I can now add radio to my list of work experience!!” No! Real work experience is getting your hands dirty, staying late, being willing to do anything and everything and not turning down any opportunity. Oh and making the tea. (Good tea, not stuff that looks like dirty dishwater with bits floating on top). Also in this age of amazing technology – take advantage of it! Write a blog, start a Youtube channel, a Soundcloud account. It’s all there for you, waiting!
You’ve obviously landed some pretty high profile gigs in recent times, what have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in getting to this stage of your career? There have been lots – right from funding my way through two universities and then starting out in journalism on a pittance, to trying to prove myself as a female. I think the media industry is still fairly biased towards men. Women have to work harder. Reinventing yourself is also a challenge. I started out life as a news journalist. I had to work hard to prove that I could make the move to lighter presenting and be funny after people were used to me being serious. I hope I’ve achieved that.
You’ve been with boyfriend Jay for 2 and a half years now, what set him apart from other men? He’s real! And just the loveliest, most uncomplicated person I’ve ever met. We’d both had enough of awful, destructive relationships when we met – and were in the same place emotionally. It’s cheesy, but he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I adore him. Hopefully it’s reciprocated!
How did you two meet? On twitter! We work for the same company so we knew of each other – but one day out of the blue I got a tweet saying “hey fellow breakfast presenter, how are you?” and the rest is history! Although he likes to tell people that I tweeted him first. It was definitely him!
Who was your teen crush? Mark Owen, Andre Agassi and Marti Pellow. You couldn’t see my bedroom walls for posters.
What is your idea of the perfect first date? Again, cheesy, but mine and Jay’s first date was perfect. A sunny evening, drinking wine out on the pavement in a restaurant just off Regent’s Street, followed by dinner, then dancing and one or two jaegar bombs!
Any ‘deal-breakers’? Good teeth, good conversation and even better sense humour.
What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on? Is it weird to say this – but I haven’t really been on many dates?! There was one guy who was obsessed with hummus … maybe that counts!
What are your thoughts on internet dating and the increasing popularity of apps such as Tinder? The world and technology has moved forward, so why shouldn’t dating move with it? I know a girl who recently married a man she met from a dating site. It can work. I’m slightly disturbed by Tinder though. I don’t like the idea that you can dismiss someone in one swipe. It makes people very disposable. I’m an old romantic – and Tinder doesn’t seem very romantic to me. But if it works for you, go for it.
What advice would you give to any women out there still searching for Mr Right? Don’t give up – it happens when you least expect it. A week before I met Jay, I said to my mum “I’m giving up. I’m never going to meet Mr Right or get married and have babies, it just isn’t happening for me.” 3 months later I was moving into a gorgeous flat with the love of my life!
How important is physical attraction in a relationship? I think physical attraction is important, especially initially. Let’s face it, you’re not going to get through the tougher spells if there was no attraction there to start with. But it’s only one part of a much wider picture. Being great friends, having the same values and wanting the same things out of life is just as important in my opinion.
Do you think our perceptions of love and what we look for in a partner change as we get older? Definitely! In my teens and twenties I used to think it all had to be hearts and flowers, like The Notebook. But as you get older those priorities change. Feeling safe with someone is very important to me now after bad past relationships and feeling a sense that you’re a team and working through life together. When you get to your 30’s and want to settle down I think it’s more usual to look towards your parents perhaps and how they made it work, or maybe didn’t. You have a clearer, less cluttered vision of what you want. But hearts and flowers is still good occasionally too of course 😉
Finally, how will you be spending the rest of your summer? Working on the radio, blogging, working on my joint radio and media ventures with my partner jay, all topped off with a week on our favourite island, Mallorca in September. I can’t wait!
You can catch Charlie on Heart Breakfast in Kent, Monday-Friday 6am-10am. Charlie is also a fellow blogger check her out at realgirlramblings.com and also see her vlogging with partner Jay at www.youtube.com/user/JkCharlieShouldWe
Lastly, Charlie is an ambassador for The Children’s University, check out the amazing work they do at www.childrensuniversity.co.uk
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