Everyone is jealous of magazine editors, especially the big ones like Glamour. They get to go to launch parties, meet celebs, get all the freebies, meet celebs, get their name in print, meet celebs… It seems like a glamorous life, although I’m guessing we can all imagine how stressful it would be at times.
Who am I jealous of? Jo Elvin – editor of Glamour. Although, the reasons I would call her inspiration aren’t just because she is an editor, but of because how she got there. And why? Because she became editor of Sugar Magazine at the age of 24! That is, me in two and a half years time. Me who is trying desperately and failing at simply trying to get work experience at a magazine, let alone a paid job, let alone a paid job with responsibilities, let alone be an EDITOR. She told The Guardian, back in 2002, about her career and how she got into it. Her first job was at an Australian magazine called ‘Dolly’:
“My first job was for an Australian magazine called Dolly, which is a bit like Sugar and is a big, famous magazine out there. I started out as work experience. I thought as it was a young magazine there might be more opportunities for writing. I remember they were looking for a feature on a country girl and all the other journalists turned up their noses at it. After about three days of ringing around the outback I found someone and after that they invited me back whenever there was a job that no one else wanted to do.”
After being half way through a BA degree in Communications, she was offered the job at Dolly which she agreed to take and sacrifice her degree (best decision she ever made I’m guessing). With a very low salary but a near-to dream job, it launched her career straight away. In the interview, her advice was as follows:
“You have to be prepared to do whatever it takes and understand that whatever you’re asked to do is absolutely integral to getting the magazine out. Do it with a smile on your face, immerse yourself in the magazine and soak it up like a sponge.”
I’m sure they always make it sound do easy. Although her interview on The Guardian made it sound like she hopped from work experience and a job at Dolly, to an editor of Sugar! An article in Glamour itself gives us more of an idea of her pathway to journalism:
“I moved to London. I applied for magazine jobs, waitressed, got rejected, applied for more – eventually getting the role of Deputy Editor at TV Hits. It sounds a big leap, but in a tiny team the role was part Deputy Editor, part tea-maker. And it was hard. We’d often get to work at 9.30am and leave at midday thenext day. But I learnt so much and I met Take That – a lot! The same company launched Sugar in 1994 and, thanks to my teen background, I was made Editor aged 24, under an Editor-In-Chief.”
So maybe it wasn’t as easy as it was made out… but being 24 and the editor of a teen magazine is something to be very proud of…