Career change options for editors
September 11, 2012 11:02 AM Subscribe
Can you help me determine a new career path and the steps I need to take to get there? Currently in editorial/publishing and considering communications, education, and maybe information architecture.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (3 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I currently work on the editorial team of a publishing house and have been there for about 3 years. I love both the book publishing industry and editorial work, but I have experienced little growth and see limited development opportunities in my current position. Combined with the shrinking nature of the industry, heavy competition for a limited number of positions, and famously low pay, I think I need to consider changing industries.
This is what I like about publishing/editorial:
- Making words and information neat and tidy.
- Being able to have a real*, finished product in my hands at the end of a project. (*Virtual products count too!)
- Knowing that I’m contributing to something that might be helpful or interesting to somebody.
- Being able to learn about many subjects as part of my work.
I’m lacking some confidence in my skills outside the publishing industry, but this is what I feel I can offer:
Copyediting and proofreading (obviously).
Writing – I’ve done snippets of writing for work here and there.
Photo research and some permissions gathering (but not price negotiations).
Project management/coordination – Maybe? I’ve found authors for small contributions or supplementary works, scheduled their work, and provided feedback. I don’t know if that counts as “project management”.
Web skills – This is where I’m fuzziest on my skill level. I worked on a project where I uploaded and edited text in a custom content management system. I also did some text formatting using custom mark-up tags. My coworkers were impressed with my ability to swim around in these environments, but I feel that I’m just not up to scratch outside the publishing realm. I am picking away at CodeAcademy tutorials when I have the time, but I’m not being terribly focused about it.
Administrative/organizational – I’ve done the typical administrative thing, and have helped set up an invoice tracking system (in Excel).
This is where I’m thinking of going:
Communications – Jobs for communications coordinators and communications officers seem to share a lot of skills I already posses and can be found in many interesting industries. However, a lot of them also ask for writing portfolios and experience in web development, graphic design, and social media. They also tend to seek people with marketing experience.
Education – I’ve been considering instructional design for some time, but I don’t know how to get my foot in the door, or find out whether it’s something I’d really enjoy. I see very few entry-level instructional design jobs, and most job postings require knowledge of specific software. What other jobs can I seek out in the education industry? (Open to anything from primary to post-secondary, public or private. I have some modest teaching experience, mostly to elementary-aged students if relevant.)
Information architecture – Sounds interesting, but don’t really know much about it or if I would enjoy it. How can I learn more about what information architects do? Would I need to go back to school for this?
So what’s my next step? How can I polish up my skills to make myself more appealing to companies outside the publishing industry? Buckle down with some tutorials and learn HTML/CSS and Adobe Creative Suite? Build a portfolio? Take a class? Volunteer or intern? Can you think of any other jobs or industries that I might enjoy?
Thank you, Career Coach Metafilter!
*Just in case anyone mentions it, I do not think I am cut out for freelance editorial work at this point in my life. I really need the 9-to-5 structure to be productive.