Before I sign off, I'd like to share two things I've learned so far in my magazine editing career. Now, they're not the only things that matter, and they may not even be the most important, but you can't forget them in the pursuit of your dream job:
1. Trust your gut.
If you find yourself asking yourself whether your next career move is the right one for you, maybe it's not.
Excited and giddy about the possibilities of a new gig or assignment? Can't wait to tell everyone? Can you picture yourself doing the job? Jump right in.
Debating the merits of the offer over and over? Making a pros and cons list? Asking everyone you know if you should take it? You might be looking for permission or validation because something in your gut is telling you that it's not for you.
2. Make friends.
Some people might call this networking, but that word doesn't express the true nature of the relationships you can build in this industry. It's a community filled with wonderful people. Get to know them and they will help you over and over again in your career. You will find confidantes, mentors and many, many very good friends, and even some excellent acquaintances. When you're stuck in your career or have an editing problem to solve, nothing is more valuable than having someone (or a few someones) who know what it's like to be an editor to talk to about it.
Thank you all so much for reading Dream Job TK, and for your comments and questions over the years. It truly has been an honour sharing with you.
Wishing each and every one of you all the best in your careers. I hope you find your Dream Job.
PS – The Dream Job TK archives will remain online for you peruse anytime you need a little career advice. And you can find me online on Twitter @vangerwen or at my website, corinnavangerwen.com.
• "Why We Teach Journalism to Specialists, Instead of the Other Way Around" by Robert Steiner on MediaShift. A different type of J-school, where you're an expert in your field first, then learn the fundamentals of journalism.
• "How to Quit Your Job" by Alison Green on U.S. News. You probably know that you can't do it via text message, but here are some other tips.
• "5 Ways To Spot A Bad Boss In An Interview" by Stephanie Taylor Christensen on Forbes. Even if it's your dream job, work could become a living hell with a horrible boss. Some warning signs.
• "10 tips for journalists who want to be better presenters" by Tom Huang on Poynter. If you've been asked to speak at a conference or be a speaker at an event, read this first.
There are lots of ways, but do this one thing and you should be ready for most questions that come up: Read over the job description and think of examples in your career that demonstrate those skills and qualities.
It's one thing to say that you posses a certain qualification; it's another, better thing to prove you have the skills by relaying a story that supports the claim. Even if you're not asked a direct "give me an example of when..." question, having a stockpile of particular stories makes it easier for you to answer questions and volunteer examples from your career.
It also forces you to think about what the interviewer is looking for in a candidate, and will help you focus your answers so you're less likely to ramble on about irrelevant topics.
• "Women Journalists Confront Harassment, Sexism When Using Social Media" by Jeff Sonderman on Poynter. Ladies, you don't need to grin and bear those nasty, or even slightly uncomfortable comments left on your online work. Take action.
• The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks by Bethany Keeley. Check out the sidebar for additional amusing blogs.
• "How Do You Deal With Having to Fire Someone?" by Alison Green on Ask a Manager. Getting fired is no fun, but neither is having to fire someone, and there's usually a lot less advice about it. Here's a little.
• "Famous Magazines' First Covers" by Judy Berman on Flavorwire.
Corinna vanGerwen is a freelance editor and writer. She has worked as senior editor at Style at Home, senior design editor at Cottage Life and is the former Canadian Director of Ed2010. She has also held the position of operations manager at a boutique PR agency, where she handled strategic planning and daily operations.