Charlie Hedges co-presents the breakfast show on Kiss FM, DJs in clubs all over the world and makes her own music. Her working hours and relentless energy will make you want to have a lie down.
Forget a regular 9-5 job, Charlie Hedges gets up at 4am each morning and often works straight through until the next morning. We met up with the DJ to chat about how being truly passionate about what you do can make all the difference.
Describe your typical working day.
I wake up at 3:45am every morning Monday to Friday, leave my house (I´ve now managed to get ready in 20 minutes) then straight to the studios at Kiss to prep for the day´s show. I´m on air 6-9am then once the show finishes we prep a few stories and ideas for the next day. By 11am I’m normally doing voiceovers and planning my DJ sets for the next few weeks ahead. This involves meetings and booking in gigs all over the world.
From Thursday through to Sunday, I also DJ at clubs every night. The sets start from 1am onwards so I then normally go straight to Kiss for the breakfast show, or if I can get a cheeky hours sleep at home I do that. Also on Sunday morning at 2am I have my own show on Kiss where I play electro house.
How did you get to where you are today?
I took every opportunity I was given. I did work experience at national newspapers and magazines during every single holiday whilst at school and college. I also studied journalism at Harlow college and at the same time I worked as a runner at Kiss. I’d start at 4:30am every morning, finish the breakfast show at 9am and then drive to university. By the time I´d graduated I’d started saying a few words on air and had learnt how to produce behind the scenes. It was all I needed to get my foot in the door.
What advice would you give someone trying to break into your industry?
Work experience is key. Make as many contacts as possible, meet new people and attend events. Stay focused and don´t give up. It will happen as long as you keep your end goal in mind.
Which career achievement are you most proud of?
Probably playing the Space opening party in Ibiza. It was a proud moment.
What have you learnt along the way?
That anything is possible and, if you work hard enough, dreams really can come true.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
A DJ. There are videos of me dancing around the living room, attacking my brother with my headphones, when I was about 6. I was always singing (badly) and dancing.
How do you unwind after a tough day at work?
Go out for a meal or go to the gym. Then I normally listen back to some of the DJ sets I’ve recorded to see what I can improve on.
How would your colleagues describe you?
Genuine, fun and ambitious.
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Looking for more career inspo? It’s not too late to book tickets for Marie Claire’s @ Work Live, in association with Cointreau and Next. A one-day event on 23 April 2016, featuring advice, tips and inspiration from incredible speakers.