Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Make the Best of a Bad Job

At one time, if you hated your job it was easy to say, "I can always leave whenever I want; I'll just get another job." These days, though, you may feel stuck in a job you don't like because finding a new job seems tougher than it used to be.

Instead of wallowing in your misery, it would do you some good to change your attitude. Don't stop looking for your dream job, but in the meantime (until more opportunities are available), also get what you can out of your current position. Identify what you'd like to do next, determine what skills you'll need or could improve on, and then try to develop those skills in your current position.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Reading List, Sept. 26

A weekly roundup of job-hunting tips, career advice and interesting articles relevant to the magazine industry and being an editor.

"7 Tips for Being the Best Editorial Intern Ever" by Ashley Ross on Excellent advice for anyone doing an internship at a magazine. Follow these tips and you'll stand out from other interns.

"Clichés to Ditch on the Job Hunt" by Meghan Casserly on The Globe and Mail. We all know better than to use clichés when writing articles, but do you fall back on them when writing your resumé and cover letter?

"Rant: Effective Resume Writing" on Rock-it Promotions' blog, On The Fourth Floor. A refresher on basic resumé writing tips. My favourite: don't forget to spell Canadian!

"Starting Off On the Right Foot With Your New Hire Orientation/Onboarding Program" by Nancy Mobley on Inc. How much thought do you put into making new hires feel welcome? Some points to consider.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Editor Profile: Gwen Smith, Allergic Living


WHO: Gwen Smith, editor and co-owner, Allergic Living 

WENT TO SCHOOL FOR: Journalism, Ryerson University

FIRST MAGAZINE JOB: City Desk copy editor, The Globe and Mail. “I interned and grew up at The Globe.”

SUBSCRIBES TO: Maclean's, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Azure, Toronto Life, Whole Living, Marie Claire, More, Donna Hay. “Plus, lots from the newsstand, depending on the articles.”

Previous positions include editor-in-chief of Elm Street, assisstant managing editor at Maclean’s, deputy managing editor of The Globe and Mail.

“We launched our U.S. edition of Allergic Living magazine this spring. Exciting times for a small team of Canadian magazine people.”

Monday, September 19, 2011

Charles Oberdorf, Mentor Extraordinaire

There is no greater boost to a newbie editor's confidence than an encouraging word from a more experienced magaziner. On several occasions, Charles Oberdorf – editor, writer and teacher, who sadly died this past Friday – had provided me with just such a boost.

I am one of the many students who have taken Charles' Magazine Editing class at Ryerson Univerity's Chang School of Continuing Education. It was a great class and I learned a lot, but Charles' friendship was by far the best thing I got out of it.

Twice, Charles wrote me reference letters that I have since gone back to read each time I apply to a new job or retool my resumé. At one time he told me he was "a fan" of mine. To know that I had a brilliant editor in my corner rooting for me, made me believe in my abilities as an editor when I was just starting out. I stopped second-guessing myself and learned that I could go to bat with the pros – that I am a pro.

There are others in this industry who knew Charles much better than I, but judging by the comments on D.B. Scott's Canadian Magazines blog, my experience is common – Charles often took the time to mentor new editors. I will always be thankful that I was one of the ones fortunate enough to receive some of that encouragement and support.

Charles, you will be missed.

Reading List, Sept. 19

A weekly roundup of job-hunting tips, career advice and interesting articles relevant to the magazine industry and being an editor.

"10 Good Things To Do While Between Jobs" by Blessy Vaidian on JobMob. If you're looking for work, do more than just send out resumés and mope around the house: network, volunteer or learn something new.

"5 Tips for Hiring Startup Interns" by Kwame Kuadey on the Young Entrepreneur Council. Although aimed at start-up companies, this piece offers a basic guide suitable for any company that hires interns. Tips 4 and 5 are particularly important: set expectations upfront, and consider interns as potential candidates for future staff positions.

Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, by Keith Houston. I highly recommend this fascinating blog, which tells the surprisingly intriguing stories of punctuation marks, their use and their histories. Trust me, it's not as dry as it sounds.
A Wordle (word cloud) of the most commonly used words on Dream Job TK.

Wordle. If you need an inexpensive (read free) illustration for an article, try out this cool toy created by Jonathan Feinberg (yes, the rights allow for commercial usage). Enter the article text and this tool will create a word cloud that you can customize by colour, font and layout. Also a handy tool for seeing if any words have been overused in a story.

The Fantastic Man editorial offices on Where They Create by Paul Barbera. Photographs of the magazine's editorial offices in Amsterdam. Also on the site: the offices of interior design magazine Frame in Amsterdam, Monster Children magazine in Sydney, and Sneaker Freaker magazine in Melbourne. (via magCulture)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How's Megan Lane Patrick on Her New Job Title

"When I became editor of HOW in May, it was clear that the title of editor-in-chief was no longer appropriate for the position. What do you call a person who's responsible for a magazine, website, blog, book line, and roster of events and competitions? 
I decided Content Director was the right title for me now and for what I will be doing long into the future."
– Megan Lane Patrick, Content Director, How, in her editor's letter of the September 2011 issue

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reading List, Sept. 12

A weekly roundup of job-hunting tips, career advice and interesting articles relevant to the magazine industry and being an editor.

• "5 Questions to Ask the Hiring Manager" by Lindsay Olson on  U.S. News. When you're being interviewed, it's a good idea to ask questions. Here are five decent ones that will help you decide if the job you're applying to is the right one for you.

• "Is Journalism as We Know it Becoming Obsolete?" by Mathew Ingram on GigaOM. Media and publishing institutions may be suffering, but journalism isn't dead.

"Teaching Magazine Journalism Beyond the Magazine" by Susan Currie Sivek on Media Shift. How a few journalism teachers stay relevant as the magazine industry changes.

"Anatomy of a Zine: When Magazines Go Indie" by Meredith Melnick on Time.

• "How The New York Times is taking Twitter reporting faster and deeper with @NYTLive" by Jeff Sonderman on Poynter. If your publication has just a single Twitter account, maybe you need to add another. The New York Times is finding that multiple accounts allows it to speak to different segments of its audience.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Editor Profile: Anicka Quin, Western Living


WHO: Anicka Quin, editor-in-chief, Western Living

WENT TO SCHOOL AT: The University of Guelph, where she got her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science; and Simon Fraser University, where she got her Master of Publishing

FIST MAGAZINE JOB: Circulation manager, id Magazine in Guelph, Ont.

SUBSCRIBES TO: Bon Appétit, The New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, Toronto Life, Fashion, Chatelaine 

INDUSTRY INVOLVEMENT: Past president of the BC Association of Magazine Publishers (now Magazine Association of BC); sits on the professional development committees of both MagsBC and Magazines Canada; regional board member for the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors; on the publishing advisory committee for Langara College.