Military skills such as self-discipline and adaptability can be applied to journalism, according to ex-special forces commando and author Jamie Zimmermann.
Mr Zimmermann spoke to Macleay College journalism students this morning, giving advice about professional standards, personal character development and resilience in the workforce.
“There is no doubt that you will face setbacks [in your career]. But, it is how you react that counts. Being disappointed [in the face of setbacks] is healthy, and is probably a good measure of your emotional intelligence,” he said.
Adapting to change was a big part of Mr Zimmermann’s ability to overcome challenges in his role.
“Conscientious people are more likely to adapt – if you think you can improve, you’re more likely to be adaptable,” he said.
Mr Zimmermann also gave tips on war reporting, highlighting the importance of getting to know your unit’s commanding officer, being open about your agenda, and learning the appropriate practical measures.
He concluded the session by telling students to “know who you are, your endgame, your contribution to the big picture and investigate with rigour and with purpose”.
Mr Zimmermann trained and mentored hundreds of commandos over his fifteen-year special forces career.
He also published a book titled The Promise last year, which explored the themes of mateship and sacrifice and detailed his experience with the death of his friend and fellow soldier Sergeant Brett Wood.
As well as the release of his book, Mr Zimmermann established the Australian Hero Games in 2011.
The online fitness challenge raises money for Soldier On, a charity which supports soldiers who have been affected physically or psychologically by their service.
He will return to the college on March 23 for the International Reporting Conference where he will contribute to discussion on war reporting. – Jessica Staveley
Top photo of Jamie Zimmermann by James Mott.