Be gutsy, be bold: advice from a young digital content producer

Xu took part in Body + Soul’s 20th birthday celebration earlier this year. Picture supplied.
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“You’ve got to be gutsy in the media industry otherwise no one will see you.” Juna Xu, Body + Soul’s digital content producer, speaks to Breck Carter.

How did you get to where you are today? 

I was studying journalism at [University of Technology Sydney] … In first year I did an [internship] at Channel 10 and then at Harper’s Bazaar. In my final year I landed a job as editorial assistant for print Body + Soul … I got offered a casual job at Body + Soul online so I was working three days on print and then two days on online … I applied for the full time online role and then made the transition.

What are some of the highlights and challenges of working at Body + Soul?

Challenges would definitely be working in a two-person team. You’ve always got to be switched on … Social media editor and producer are two completely different roles in another publication team, but at Body + Soul it’s just all merged into one … Perks would definitely be just the dynamic between my editor and I … it’s a really fulfilling job … And of course, you have your perks of going to events, getting all these gifts and being sent on trips overseas.

How do you go about maintaining a work/life balance?

I’m lucky in a sense in that I work for Body + Soul and we’re all about health, wellness and fitness, so [when] reading all the content I produce or interviewing all the experts – they all give you advice on how to live a healthy and happy life … Working from home has definitely been a huge advantage, I’ve been a lot healthier this year in achieving that work/life balance.

When interviewing a celebrity, how do you approach the differing views on health and wellness?

Someone might say “oh I believe in doing the keto diet and I swear by it” but then other people will be like “oh that’s ridiculous” and then other people don’t think that meditation is great. You have to really understand that everyone’s approach to health and wellness is completely different because everyone’s bodies are different, no one’s made the same, no one’s built the same – mentally or physically.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for an article? 

We kind of push all the wacky trends over to freelance writers to try for us because we’re like, “we’re not putting our bodies through that”. It’s not that crazy, but I think the craziest thing that I’ve done is sign up for a 10km run, and write an article about it without ever doing 10km [before] in my entire life. 

Do you have any advice on how to break into the industry? 

Do internships, because it’s all about the people you meet. The media industry is really small, especially now … never be too shy to reach out to people. The bolder the better. I’m still learning that too, I’m a huge introvert so the thought of even reaching out to someone terrifies me but you’ve got to be gutsy in the media industry otherwise no one will see you.