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Janet Abena Quainoo | Ghana | Flexible Mindset


Media Correspondent | Broadcast Journalist | Founder


After completing my National Service at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) in 2015, I had a strong desire to work for the State Broadcaster. Unfortunately, my dream of getting a permanent position at GBC did not materialize. However, I remained committed to pursuing my passion for journalism and continued to seek opportunities to tell stories. During my time at GBC, although I was not a permanent employee, I was given the chance to explore and report on my own stories, which were featured on the news channel. This experience helped me develop my skills as a journalist and fueled my desire to continue in this field. In January 2019, I decided to apply for a job in a different sector to gain financial stability. I saw an advertisement in the newspaper for an Assistant Director IIB position at the Local Government Service and applied. After a long wait, I was finally invited for an interview in July and eventually offered the position.That same year, I also applied to pursue a Masters in Development Communication at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and submitted the news stories I had worked on at GBC for consideration when the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) opened nominations for awards. In 2019, I was thrilled to receive the "Best Rural Reporter, GTV" award from the GJA for my coverage on the lack of access to clean water in rural communities of Ayensuako and Okwampa in the Central Region of Ghana. My reports resulted in the installation of mechanized boreholes and water tanks in these two communities, which improved access to clean water.


In October 2020, I was honored to receive the "Best Water Supply" category award from the Humanitarian Awards Global for my work in improving access to water in rural communities. Despite the challenges I faced in securing a permanent position at GBC, I am grateful for the opportunities it presented to me to grow as a journalist and tell important stories. I am excited to continue on this path, using my platform to highlight issues affecting communities and bringing attention to solutions that make a difference.


What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?

Initially, my biggest hurdle was the fear of leaving my passion for journalism to pursue a career in the corporate world. I felt like journalism was the only thing I could excel in. However, I overcame this hurdle by realizing that I needed financial stability and growth in my career, and that there were other fields where I could learn and excel. This motivated me to apply for a position in the Local Government Service and pursue a Master's degree in Development Communication at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. It was a difficult decision, but one that ultimately helped me grow both professionally and personally.


What books are you currently reading?*

"Ego is the Enemy and Atomic Habits"

Did you ever face opposition from your family and friends regarding your career choices?

How did you manage it and what would you do differently in hindsight?

Initially, my mother was not supportive of my decision to pursue journalism. She believed that nursing was a more noble profession. However, I was able to convince her that any field could make a positive impact, and she eventually came around after seeing the results of my work, particularly in rural communities. My friends, on the other hand, were very supportive, especially those who had known me since junior and senior high school. They had always seen my passion for writing and knew that journalism was the right path for me.


What would you say has been the most significant factor in your progress so far?

While I do not consider myself successful yet, I believe the most significant factor in my progress so far has been my perseverance in the face of challenges. Rather than waiting for opportunities to come to me, I took the initiative to offer my services for free and let my work speak for itself. This allowed me to gain valuable experience, build a portfolio, and establish a reputation for myself. I've also remained open to learning and taking on new challenges, which has helped me grow both personally and professionally.


What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?

What I know now that I wish I knew when I got started is the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone and exploring new avenues. Instead of solely relying on my passion, I have learned to embrace new challenges and opportunities that may initially scare me but ultimately help me grow both personally and professionally.


What advise would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

The advice I would give to upcoming youth and talents locally and internationally is to be open to opportunities that may not align with their original plans or passions. It's important to have a flexible mindset and be willing to learn new things and take on new challenges. Networking and building relationships with people in their desired industry can also be extremely helpful in getting their foot in the door and finding opportunities.


Additionally, hard work and dedication are key to success. Whether it's through volunteering, internships, or entry-level positions, putting in the effort and showing initiative can lead to bigger and better opportunities down the line.

Finally, it's important to take care of oneself and prioritize mental health. Pursuing a career or passion can be rewarding but also stressful, so it's crucial to find a balance and take breaks when needed.


Social Media Handles:

Facebook: Ewurabena Quainoo (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003261732325&mibextid=ZbWKwL)

LinkedIn: Janet Abena Quainoo (https://www.linkedin.com/in/janet-abena-quainoo-56a166151 )

Instagram: Ewurabena Quainoo (https://instagram.com/ewurabena1quainoo?igshid=YmJhNjkzNzY=)

Twitter: Janet Abena Quainoo ( https://twitter.com/janet_abena?t=No2KYCiyGyrBGql16z3Arw&s=08 )

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