What’s your next career step? I’m not entirely sure…
From a very young age, I realised I wanted to be a journalist. A print journalist. A feature-writing journalist who would get bylines in national women’s magazines and write about travel and relationships and friendships and life and work. I knew it was hard, of course, but that was the dream.
When you do work experience, you can start to shoehorn the parts of the industry that you like, and the ones that you don’t. You will realise things you didn’t know before and granted, become more picky about your dream job. I began to realise that working for women’s magazines wasn’t for me, I wasn’t a big fashion fan, I just wore what I liked. I didn’t particularly want to write about boys and sex all the time, and I realised that I probably wouldn’t fit in. Which is fine. But I was still destined for a career in magazine journalism, or so I thought.
I worked on a magazine, and then I got my job in digital. And there’s parts of both I love and parts of both that annoy me. But now what? Now I’m at the stage for the first time in my life where I’m not really sure where I’d like my next step to be.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy where I am now, my job is ideal for me and is great at challenging me which is what I was desperate for when I applied. A challenge. I’m learning new skills all the time, and that’s exactly what I needed. But when you’re a driven person, you’re constantly looking and pushing yourself to see what you can aim for, and what you would need to get there. And of course, working at the company I do, knowing your ‘dream job’ is something that is chucked around and discussed a lot. Journalism is changing by the day and I don’t know which part of the sector I want to pursue.
I love writing. I never want that to change. I want to write. But think of all the new jobs and careers that are evolving out of that one skill… digital content writers, community managers, junior content editors, social media strategists, community journalists, digital writers, multimedia journalists, print feature writers. THERE ARE JUST SO MANY. So where’s my next dream step? I really have no idea. And then I see that retail companies, or famous and wonderful brands are hiring editorial teams to drive traffic to their websites and then I see that even INSTAGRAM is hiring an editorial team.
A lot of these writing jobs are moving into digital marketing, rather than journalism. So do I want to swot up on that? I have no idea. I enjoy doing social media, but I don’t think I could do it full time for one company, and that also shows the jump from journalism to marketing. I guess for the first time in my life I’m actually open to options. I’m excited by looking what other writers in the industry go on and do (a lot in PR but no, I don’t think that’s an option for me). There’s new editorial roles being introduced all the time and perhaps one of them will be the perfect fit.
But I really do think that it’s okay and perhaps even healthy to be open to options within your industry or skill set. The career market is changing, there are jobs evolving now that we don’t even know about, and it’s rare to have a ‘job for life’ these days, however much we don’t want to admit it.
For now? I’m pretty happy having the option and an open mind about my career, and I’m no longer defining my ‘dream job’ as a career choice that I don’t really know much about. What I do know is that I’ll be writing, somewhere, for some company, about something I love.