My dream job is to work for a publishing house. My dream is to write a book one day.
I know I am not the only person in the world that has these dreams. Dreams can be dreamt all they want to. In such a competitive industry, how do we actually land jobs in such an industry?
I have done a fair amount of research on this, sometimes even when I should be listening in class. But hey, I’m preparing for my future.
I came across this article from the Society of Young Publishers. This article does a great job of giving advice about how to make yourself stand out. The basics are:
- English degree is best
- Degrees are a minimum requirement
- Experience matters
- Writing and spelling skills are crucial
- Research on trends
It is also worth noting that publishing jobs do not pay very well. This is a market where you have to want to love you career, not just for the money.
I also found this reading on what authors should be aware of about the state of the industry. These are the things future authors must know how to do, sorry if this is repetitive:
- Online Presence. Know how to manage websites across multiple platforms
- Don’t be so quick to trust the mainstream media on trends. There is also some very goo data in this reading on trends, but I will have a new post on that soon.
- A Journalists favorite saying: know your audience. Research them. Love them.
In many ways, these tips can be compared to the Journalism industry as well. However, they are massively different. They do have one thing in common: both are competing with technology. Computers are even becoming programed to write articles!
That means jobs are becoming extremely competitive for actual humans. Do whatever you can to stand out. Gain experience. Take a coding class, or even teach yourself to code. Write in our free time to keep up on grammar. There is a lot of free writing prompt apps I use to keep my writing fresh.
People often ask me why I got involved with writing for my school’s newspaper.
“You don’t get paid!”
“Newspapers are dying, why gain experience there?”
Yes they have good points, but I always tell them it’s all about experience. I didn’t start on the paper to get paid, I just wanted my stuff out there and published. Most internships I have looked at require published work, anyway.
The most important tool in gaining a job, from what I have experience during my college years, is experience. This really can’t be stressed enough.
Secondly, knowledge is key. Know what is happening in the industry. Not just from the news, but from actual people that work in it.
I recently had the opportunity to go to a Media Festival put on by my school. There, I got many pieces of advice from actual people that graduated in my major. Experience. Networking. Audience. Knowledge. These are the things I have not only heard from professors, but from professionals as well.