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5 Questions with Misa Han

Misa Han

Q1. What’s been your best career move?

My best career move was applying for this job – as Finance Editor at LinkedIn News Australia – in the second trimester of my pregnancy. I was hesitant because you don't want to change jobs while you’re pregnant, and you don't know how colleagues might react. But I talked myself into applying, and when I got the job offer, I was actually in the middle of the gestational diabetes test. I started the job in the third trimester, which is obviously unusual, but the team was fantastic. They were able to onboard me and also matched me with a mentor through the Families in LinkedIn program – with someone who’d returned to the workforce as a mother. I went on maternity leave six weeks into the job and they also paid me mat leave for six months.


Q2. What do you wish you'd known when you started out in media?


When I started 10 years ago, I thought having a personal brand was only for established journalists or leaders, so I didn’t invest any time or effort in building one. If I went back in time, I’d post more regularly on social media and say yes to more external opportunities, whether it's appearing in media interviews or speaking as a regular guest on radio. No one knows about your work unless you tell them, and no one cares. People think it's for people who are already famous or already leaders: “Who’s going to care what I – a journalist with two years’ experience – have to say?” But it's not true. It's something you should do from the very outset, as a grad journalist or even as a student.


Q3. What do you think the media scene will look like in 10 years’ time?


There’ll be a much lower barrier to entering the media industry. If you look at the finance media, we already have mortgage brokers, finance planners and other professionals who produce excellent podcast content and newsletters, and people will consume that content as their major news source, so I think we'll see more experts – lawyers, accountants, engineers – who essentially become part-time media professionals and work in that ecosystem to contribute to the debate.


Q4. Given your time over, what would you do differently?


I’d apply for senior jobs earlier. When I was a reporter two years into my journalism career, I was invited to apply for a business editor role at a national publication – smaller than the AFR but very well-regarded. But I turned it down because I thought, “I'm not good enough. I'm not experienced enough for the role.” If I had the time over, I would at least apply. Even if I didn't get the job, I would have learned something, made connections with people in the industry and pushed myself further.


Q5. What's the best advice you've been given?


One of my mentors told me that your career is a marathon, not a sprint. When you're starting out, it's easy to say yes to everything. You're trying to impress everyone, you work really long hours and you end up burning out. You're trying to compete with peers who have better contact books, so it's really easy to lose your sense of work/life balance. You see it all the time with young journalists trying to file stories when they're on leave – I've done that before – responding to emails at midnight, filing extra stories that no one asked for. That advice is really valuable because it tells you to take a break and focus on the long term. Invest the effort to have that work/life balance.


Misa Han is the Finance Editor at LinkedIn News Australia, specialising in business, finance and economics coverage. With nine years of professional experience in journalism spanning digital, print, and broadcast media, Misa has held roles as a business reporter at The Australian Financial Review and as a producer at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation before joining LinkedIn.


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