Maria Bartiromo: “The year of my career”

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Something struck me in the article in today’s New York Times about Maria Bartiromo. If you recall, 2007 started out kind of sucky for the Money Honey:

It was only in January that Ms. Bartiromo’s name was tied — through leaks from Citigroup — to the company’s decision to oust its chief of global investment, Todd S. Thomson. Unidentified executives at Citigroup, which is both a CNBC advertiser and a frequent subject of its coverage, told several publications that among the reasons Mr. Thomson was fired was his decision to invite Ms. Bartiromo to speak to a group of Citigroup clients in Asia and to fly her to that event in the company jet.

After weathering a hail storm of rude accusations by jealous rivals and bitchy articles by gossipy journalists, it appears Bartiromo picked up just where she left off–and then some. She’s landed huge interviews (try Prez Bush, honey). She scored Angelo Mozillo, CEO of Countrywide Financial, just as that lending firm was in the midst of the nationwide mortgage meltdown. And she was picked to co-moderate the debate last month among Republican presidential candidates about economic issues.

She told the Times:

“I really feel like I have had the year of my career,” Ms. Bartiromo, who is 40, said, “the best year of my career.”

Huh. The best year of her career. I take away two things from that:

1. The best year of your career might follow a really crappy one.

2. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to score a season for the record books.

I never really looked at my career like that: a bar graph, with some years reaching higher than others. In sales, I guess your career is all about the bar graph. In my line of work, which is sort of the same as Bartiromo’s, even though that’s the only thing we remotely have in common, it’s pretty subjective: you tally up your stories and assess their quality and impact. You might throw in extracurriculars (12 TV appearances, book on best-seller list). Maybe a promotion. Or an award.

I’m reading my own list and thinking I definitely have not had a career year yet. Sure, some have been better than others, relatively speaking. And the calendar year is a rather arbitrary span of time, isn’t it? Last year, I was rocking until I got sick in October.

Maybe I’m just looking for bits of firewood to feed my current career-related existential crisis. But what happens if I have a career year, and nobody notices? Is it still a career year? What if I never have a career year? Tell me: what would your career year look like?

Here’s Bartiromo talking about her slightly unconventional career path and giving tips on careers in broadcast journalism (notice she recommends an internship at TIME magazine):