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  • Writer's pictureAlex Young

Stripped Back with The Know's Lynn Anderson Clark

Introducing Lynn Anderson Clark, Co-founder and CEO of The Know, purpose-driven media company on a mission to help you have a healthier relationship with the news.

Lynn talks to us about her career to date and how she manages being a co-founder, mother, wife and student (she's currently finishing up a postgraduate degree at Oxford... yes, that Oxford). She also sheds light on how to find your passion, successfully network and avoid burn out.

Thank you so much for finding time to speak to us, Lynn! Please tell us what you do and what you love about it?

I am the co-founder and CEO of The Know. We're a startup on a mission to change your relationship with the news. We're best known for telling the news with less anxiety. That means explaining complex issues in relatable terms, prioritising stories about women’s issues and mental health, and aways highlighting the good news. We publish a daily newsletter to keep people informed (but not overwhelmed) with what’s happening in the world, in 5 minutes or less.

I love my job as I believe access to news that is conscious of mental health should be free and open to everyone. The Know is part of the solution, and that gets me up each morning.

How did you get into the position you're in?

I worked my way up at NBC Universal in New York and Los Angeles for 10 years. My last role there was Director of Partnerships and Product for NBCU's 50 digital properties. I loved my co-workers and my job but felt super burnt out after so many years at one company.

I felt like I needed to get out of my comfort zone to grow, so I took a leap of faith. I left my role, without another job lined up! I traveled around the world with my savings for 6 months to get a new perspective.

This was completely out of character for me as those who know me would describe me as very rational and organized. I ended up meeting my now husband in New York who wanted to move back to London where he was from. I did stints at both a media startup and a corporate backed venture capital fund before landing at The Know.

Career paths aren't always stairs. Mine was a curly arrow that looped back around a few times. Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, it's the only way you'll grow.

What are the challenges you face in your line of work?

Being a CEO, co-founder, mother, wife and student (I'm finishing up a postgraduate degree at Oxford 🙃) all at the same time can be hard.

Prioritization is crucial. Don't buy into 'having it all.' It's unhelpful pressure that society puts on us.

For me, I am happiest when I am busy which is why I've taken on what I have. But, there are tradeoffs. Sometimes I miss waking my son up in the morning as I'm already off to meetings. And other times I have to reschedule a team meeting as I need to take my son to the doctor. It can be chaotic at times but I am doing what I love. Find what you love and go after it.

Lynn at Oxford

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into this industry?

It's all about network. But, don't don't have to already have a network, I didn't! I knew one person when I moved to New York City, a city of 8 million, from a small town in Virginia. But over time, I built up friends, colleagues and mentors who were crucial to my career progression (and my mental health). My advice on how to do that:

Be as helpful as possible. Don't do favours for people with the expectation of something in return. Do your best to help others when possible, personally or professionally. Give the world what you want in return and see what happens.

We love that. How do you prevent yourself from burning out, especially in a line of work which sees distressing stories come to light (24/7)?

Burn out is a real threat when it comes to people working in the news. One of the things that keeps me going is that my company is helping so many others not get burnt out by the news. I also have an incredible, supportive, and positive team who help each other out when we're feeling low.

In addition, it's important to have things outside of work that you're excited about - that could be a hobby, person, learning opportunity, anything really. At this stage in my life, it's family and friends. My son and husband keep me laughing and my friends are always there if I need advice or a glass of wine.

If you feel burned out by the news but want to stay informed, check out The Know - a daily newsletter helping people feel better about the news. They cover the stories that matter in a digestible format, and share good news and ways to take action so it's not all doom and gloom.

Thank you again, Lynn. We are avid readers of The Know and have come to love its approachable, digestible, and visual rendering of the news headlines. Your mission to help people feel less stressed about current affairs and more capable of implementing small changes in their daily lives, as well as incentivising heftier change in policy and investment is so inspiring. We still don't quite understand how you have time to do all that you do but we totally agree that laughing and spending time with loved ones makes everything feel that little bit more manageable.

Find out more about The Know here, check out their purpose-driven Jobs Board here if you're looking to change roles (or want somewhere to list your own roles).

You can also get in touch with Lynn directly if you want to ask her for her advice on journalism, being a founder or managing a million things at once!

This guide forms part of the Stripped Back series which have been designed to provide open, honest and encouraging information. They're a chance for you to understand the real ups and downs those being featured have experienced in their journeys to date. The aim is to demystify entry points to certain industries, as well as outline tangible advice for those looking to get into a new area of work. We hope you enjoyed this guide by The Know.


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