Doing It Yourself
by Annie Waters
Someone once told me that the hardest step in your career is figuring out where you want to be. That might be so, but since I decided half-way through my degree that I saw my career in publishing (specifically, as an acquisitions editor – the person in the publishing house who vets new authorial talent), I didn’t seem to find it any easier pursuing that dream.
I’ve applied for loads of jobs, chased countless people about an internship and taken up short courses and even a Post-grad course in an attempt to become ‘qualified’ in the eyes of the business world. The answer is always the same: “You need to move to Melbourne or Sydney to pursue a career in publishing. Publishing is a dying industry anyway, so don’t bother.” Not very helpful. And, inmy (albeit humble) opinion, not true.
In this expanding, connected world that we live in, where print media is being subsumed by online, at-the-click-of-a-finger resources, why should I have tomove interstate? And why should the quality of online media be undermined, as it so often is, by poor editing? So, where no-one else would, I decided to give myself an internship.
(Mint Magazine Issue #2)
Using Facebook to rally my creative friends, I started a monthly magazine that featured artistic content of all kinds. In the editorial role, I determine a theme each month, solicit for content, then put it all together using InDesign and publish it in an online format.
Currently on its fourth issue, I’m giving myself all kinds of “on-the-job” experience – getting feedback from those who read the magazine for free online, as well as ordering print copies and seeing how different the product looks on-screen and in real life. It’s also been an education in believing in myself and selling ‘Me’, one of the hardest things to do when transitioning from uni to the real world.
Although I’m still looking for a paying job, this project has been truly rewarding and has answered my biggest question about my chosen career path; whether I would actually enjoy it or be any good at it.
(Mint Magazine Issue #3)
With my doubts assuaged and hardcopies of my magazine in hand, I’m diving back into the job market with renewed energy. In my experience, I would strongly encourage anyone who is frustrated about a lack of job opportunities to find a way to ‘Do It Yourself’.
About the Writer
My name is Annie Waters and I graduated from Adelaide University last year with a double degree in Arts and Sciences, as well as a Diploma in French. I’ve just begun another (!) degree, a Grad. Dip. in Professional Communications, studying online through Curtin University. My tertiary education has afforded me many opportunities, such as studying abroad, meeting a diverse swathe of people and taking courses from many different disciplines. I’ve discovered that I really like words and numbers and patterns, and have recently started publishing my own magazine. Although it may feel like I’ve been studying forever, I’m sure that I’ve learned invaluable life skills and will continue to educate myself in one way or another for the rest of my days.
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