Hello everyone who visits my blog to read more on getting a job if you’re about to graduate, have recently graduated or are several years out of college with an English degree. I know it won’t mean much right now, but please accept my apologies for the lack of posting over the past year, and bear with me as I gear up for some new posts in the very near future.
So much has happened in the world of online publishing, even just in the past 10 to 12 months, with the explosion in social media like Facebook, Twitter and location-based social networks like Foursquare and Gowalla, that I feel like there’s so much more to write about now, and so much of what I’ve already written needs to be updated!
The irony of this, of course, is that — as everyone knows — we’ve been experiencing certainly the worst economic downtown of our lives over the past 18 months. But in the world of publishing, electronic media and technology, there has been this explosive flowering of new ideas, tools, technologies and services, all of which (I hope!) will present new opportunities for people with the kinds of skills English majors have in spades.
With that said, let me sign off this quick post to let you know that I’ll be writing more soon, and please feel free to share with me your thoughts either in the comments here or via email.
March 19, 2010 2 Comments
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I wanted to send out my apologies once again for being far too light on posting lately here on JobsForEnglishMajors.com. Travel to see family on the weekends has taken up some of my time, as well as some contract assignments as both a managing editor for a technical writing project and more recently as a content strategist and copywriter for another, different project.
However, the good news for the blog is that these experiences have given me some great ideas for future posts (as in very near future posts) about two subjects that will be very important for English majors and writers of all stripes in the medium and long term: technical writing and editing, and working for companies as an independent contractor.
Look for some new posts very soon (this week) and feel free to write in with your ideas and experiences as well.
May 10, 2009 1 Comment
What will jobs and career paths look like for those working in the writing, editing and publishing world in the not-too-distant future? The Los Angeles Times has given us a clear-eyed look at one likely version of that future in a front-page article from March 6, titled “It’s Web 101 for This Experienced Intern.”
The story of a Lois Draegin, a former highly-paid magazine editor for TV Guide who lost her job in the spring of 2008, the article provides a unique glimpse into the ways editorial work is changing in the 21st century.
Gone are the former staples of story meetings at which editors debated only amongst themselves which stories to include in the magazine. These days, research using services like Google Trends — which provides insights into what users are searching for and thus, which stories are likely to capture the attention of Web surfers — fill up an increasing amount of every editor’s day.
March 7, 2009 2 Comments
There’s a provocatively titled article that’s been making the rounds on the Internet from the Chronicle of Higher Education, titled “Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don’t Go.” Written by an English professor at Michigan’s Hope College, the article goes into great detail on why the value students get from humanities graduate school may not be worth the often exorbitant cost and time it takes to pursue a Ph.D.
I link to this article not to burst anyone’s bubble or crush any readers’ dreams about teaching in a college environment. Rather, I think it’s worthwhile to get a reality check about the real possibilities that await you if you decide to go down this career path, and to make sure you have backup plans in case it doesn’t work out.
You can read the full article at the Chronicle of Higher education website.
March 2, 2009 5 Comments
If you’ve scoured the major job search sites on the Internet lately, you’ve probably arrived at the same conclusion I have: there are very few jobs available that focus purely on writing and editing. Most jobs in today’s business environment that pay a decent wage feature some combination of writing/editing and what is called in the tech world, “content management.”
To be able to compete for jobs like this, it’s essential to build your skill set so you have a working knowledge of the elements of content management, and of how content is published and managed online. So how do you learn the basics of managing online content, and how to figure out what you need to learn?
February 27, 2009 3 Comments
In reading a piece in the business section of today’s Sunday New York Times by Caitlin Kelly, a well-known New York freelance writer and journalist whose writing I admire, I came across her website and found that she’s put together a set of 27 essays on writing, the business of being a journalist and a freelancer, and just working and staying sane within the world of journalism.
My advice: read every single one of these essays, whether you’re an aspiring journalist or writer, or someone in mid-career. In these economic times we’re living through, pay special attention to “When The Going Gets Tough,” “Running a Home-Based Business” and “Getting Fired,” which many of us out there are going through these days, whether we call it getting fired, laid off or downsized.
You can read the whole list when you visit Caitlin Kelly’s website.
February 15, 2009 No Comments
If you’re currently in college or are a recent graduate, then it’s likely you’re already familiar with the communications your educational institution has already sent your way. From quarterly magazines and annual reports to websites and email newsletters, the volume of both printed and electronic communications from colleges and universities as well as private, independent and parochial schools of all kinds is large and seems to grow with each passing year.
As institutions compete for donations and charitable gifts — a competition that is considerably tougher today than in years past as individuals and corporations tighten their belts — they must communicate in more creative and effective ways to attract the attention of potential donors, friends and institutional givers.
February 3, 2009 No Comments
As anyone who’s read the news anytime recently knows, the marketplace for print journalism is taking its most severe beating in decades. Newspapers from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to the Chicago Tribune to even the vaunted New York Times are hitting perhaps their hardest economic slumps ever, and it’s resulting in layoffs at papers and magazines across the country.
One segment for print journalism, however, is enjoying unexpectedly flush times: trade publications and industry newsletters. As this story on NPR’s evening drivetime “Marketplace” show reports, journalists who formerly would have spent their days chasing stories for general interest newspapers are now covering stories in much greater depth and detail, though for far smaller audiences than the papers they once worked for.
February 2, 2009 No Comments
Most writers, when they up a copy of Newsweek, Time or People in the supermarket or the bookstore, dream at least every now and then about seeing their names in print in one of the big-name glossy consumer magazines.
But as nearly every writer who’s ever searched for a job at a magazine knows, consumer magazine publishers almost never post their available positions on the major Web job search sites or really in any kind of high-traffic public-facing site, other than perhaps their own company’s sites. So where does an aspiring writer turn to find work with a magazine, especially freelance work?
January 29, 2009 2 Comments
If you’re in the hunt for an opening as a magazine editor — especially if you live in New York or on the west coast — then there’s probably no site on the Internet that’s as closely targeted to your niche as Ed2010.com. Begun just over a decade ago by Chandra Turner, who was then working as an editorial assistant for a New York-based magazine, the organization has since grown nationwide as a place for aspiring editors to look for jobs and share gossip with their colleagues.
Perhaps the site’s best feature is its “Whisper Jobs” section, which “Ed” (the moniker for the unnamed editors who update the site’s job listings) says is purely based on word of mouth within the publishing industry in New York and around the country. I’m not based in the northeast and so I can’t verify whether every single one of the whisper jobs are accurate, but the site features job listings you won’t find anywhere else — certainly not on the major job search sites like Monster, Yahoo’s HotJobs and CareerBuilder.
January 23, 2009 No Comments