General Journalism / Inspiration and Editors

When I grow up, I want to be…

Apparently a ‘fitness instructor’, a ‘shop person’ or a ‘popstar’ amongst other things…

I have a memory box at the top of my cupboard which has slowly gotten bigger over the years. I always find it funny to look through, not that I do it often. The last time I was bored enough to haul it down from the top of my wardrobe that is what I found.

I think 'shop person' was a bit of an afterthought here...

I think ‘shop person’ was a bit of an afterthought here…

A small, blue notebook and in it, I had written what I wanted to be in the future. I had wanted to move out by the time I was 20 (didn’t happen… in fact, still hasn’t happened), and I gave myself three options of a future career, none of which I am planning to pursue right now. Apparently my ten-year-old self liked exercise and retail?

Page beginning, 'by the age of 20 I will...'

Page beginning, ‘by the age of 20 I will…’

But when you are growing up and learning about the world, you are exposed to so many different industries, so many job ideas and companies that appeal to you. Maybe I saw a shop assistant working in my favourite shop and thought, ‘this looks fun’. When you’re younger these aspirations change, sometimes weekly, or even daily. I always ask my younger sister what she wants to be when she grows up (this eagerly started from around the age of 7). It’s constantly changing, and her passion to be a vet has now changed to an English teacher within a couple of weeks. I’ll ask her again tomorrow.

Sometimes there is one idea you have that just sticks, and it stops changing when you see new industries or other possible jobs. It’s not an ‘idea’ anymore, it’s a reality, or a dream that you hope will become reality. I blogged in the past about the films that opened my eyes to the life of a working journalist here. I’m not sure what age this was, but I know for certain that when I was fifteen years old and looking for my year 10 work experience at school, all I wanted was to work in a magazine in London. My naïve self began emailing the likes of OK!, Heat and Hello magazine before realising I was fighting a losing battle and I needed to find a smaller publication who would be willing to take me on for a week. It wasn’t that specific work experience that gave me a sudden urge to really want to pursue journalism, because I know that before I went there, I was certain it was what I wanted to do. I had stopped changing my mind, it had stuck with me and I think I knew deep down that in six year’s time when I would graduate university, I would most certainly be looking for a job in journalism.

It’s strange that it is something I have wanted for such a long time that it doesn’t feel like a choice anymore to choose a different career, and if I had that option I don’t know what I would pick! It’s just become a natural part of me for so long to aspire to work as a journalist, that I don’t really know any different. I don’t think this should happen to everyone, not everyone knows the exact career they want to pursue and sometimes it takes years before they find something they love and they are passionate about and I think that’s just as exciting. But for others they choose something at a younger age and it stays with them, it just sticks.

It was the depressive reality of the job hunt that inspired me to write this blog post. I am constantly, every day, on the internet looking for jobs in journalism. On Twitter, Google, job websites, Twitter again, publishing company websites, sending out the desperate ‘I know you don’t have any vacancies but I want to work for you’ emails. It’s so demotivating and especially in a media industry, it’s so competitive. Even if you do find the perfect job, that you have every requirement for, so does about 50 other people. I’ve started to think out the box, finding jobs slightly related to journalism: content writers, social media positions, editorial assistants, website contributors – anything that could give me an ‘in’ and get me on the ladder. But when you are hearing no replies, and no more jobs are coming up it’s hard not to lose a little bit of hope. I thought to myself, what do I do if I can’t actually get a job in journalism? If it’s just not meant to be, what else would I do? What else do I want to do?

I don’t know the answer to that really, and I don’t want to answer it because I’m not giving up hope just yet.

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