My Path Through The World of Journalism Part 2

by poppycoxhead

If you would like to read Part One, you can do so here – ” My Path Through The World of Journalism Part 1

So, there I was, in sleepy Shropshire. I was sending out about 20-30 job applications a day, writing as much as I could on my own blog, a Welsh music blog and anyone else who would let me write for them. I was still jobless, and with an endless stream of rejection emails. I was beginning to give up hope – I was clearly destined for a life in the sticks with a crappy job forever (ok, so maybe I was feeling a bit melodramatic and sorry for myself at this point).
That day, I got a call from an online editor at a ‘luxury for less’ interiors website offering me an internship I’d applied for. I had two days to find accommodation in London, so I checked into a hostel in Ealing (just outside the west of Central London) and packed my bags. The company turned out to be a multimedia company with a lot of links to big broadsheets (I got my name in a supplement for some writing!) and a well-known morning show which got me some great experience like writing for the official website and helping on video shoots, as well as writing loads of content for the website I was working for! There was no job at the end though, but I had a great experience and it was a great place to work.

Then, more job applications and still no job. Ok, back to the drawing board for more experience (still difficult to get unpaid experience, mind). I got another internship at a fashion and luxury website because they liked my writing style and they were impressed with the examples I sent them. This involved a little writing but a LOT of updating the archive – pretty boring but the writing I did get to do was great practice and a couple of pieces got to be on the website of a major bank’s lifestyle section. That ended, and, like the previous internship, they didn’t have the budget to hire another person permanently, so it ended after 3 months.

I went for all the jobs I could find: social media, online, print and ANYTHING. I got quite a few interviews but it was always the same: we like your writing style, but you don’t have enough experience. WELL GIVE ME SOME THEN, I wanted to shout. But I didn’t. Instead, I did the sensible thing and widened my horizons – maybe journalism isn’t the only thing. Marketing, PR, that kinda thing. Still writing and creative but a little less editorial. Plus, more scope for ideas! By chance, I saw a tweet advertising a marketing internship at a Michelin starred restaurant, sent my CV in and had been called in by the next morning and offered the placement by the afternoon (the power and speed of social media against recruiters, kids).

I had a fantastic month coming up with ideas, writing copy, improving their website, being proactive and watching a hell of a lot of cookery programmes whilst on Twitter (I know, hard life). Which brings me to now: I am currently waiting for an ‘informal chat’ at said place, today. I’ve got a pretty good feeling about it. In part 3, I’ll let you know if I finally got a job (in terms of time span, I graduated 1 ½ years ago and moved to London in March last year. I think I’ve waited enough) and if anyone’s interested, what I’ve picked up on the way in terms of what employers look for in your CV in terms of journalism and what I’ve learnt in my numerous internships.

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15 Responses to “My Path Through The World of Journalism Part 2”

  1. Fingers crossed for today, hope it goes well! I share you frustration at the ‘you haven’t got enough experience’ line, how can we get experience if no-one is willing to give us a chance!? arrgghh!

    • Thanks for commenting, it’s like an endless circle which can only be broken seemingly by being in the right place at the right time! Unfortunately it feels like a bit of an anticlimax for me as I have to wait til Monday now – I’ll keep you posted!

  2. Loving this! I look forward to reading more 🙂

  3. Hope the interview went well, praying that you land this job. You deserve it!

    • Thanks for your support, it means a lot! I will now hear Monday so hopefully I’ll have something good to write about next time!

  4. Great post Charlotte and thanks for sharing! I honestly know exactly how you feel. I was in the same position as you for a long time, but was very lucky to land a job as a Communications Officer in a college. However, I was put forward for it by my lecturer at University, so I wouldn’t have got it otherwise.

    Don’t give up and keep on going! You never know, Limebird might also be good writing experience that you could use. Also let me know if there’s anywhere in particular you would like to write for and I will see if I can use the power of social media to get their attention for you!

    Anyways, good luck today with the meeting! Let us know how you get on. 😀

    Bx

    • Thanks Beth, gives me hope that I’ll find something!

      Hmm, I will give that some thought, would be pretty cool! I definitely think it’s good writing experience and it’s nice to have such a great network of people giving me feedback and sympathy! Also writing about writing is something I’ve never really done so it’s great experience, definitely gives me something to think about!

      Will let you guys know Monday!

  5. I’m so impressed by how open you’re being to write all this before you know the end result! I really hope it’s going to be good news, but even if not this time you’re clearly doing everything you can to follow all the opportunities than come your way and more importantly, find the ones that don’t. That kind of proactivity is definitely going to lead you to where you want to get even if it does take a few steps along the way. It’s definitely not a circle because you’re continually moving forwards.

  6. Good luck! I have my fingers crossed for you.

  7. Good luck for the job! And thanks for sharing your job-hunting experiences. I’m in a similar position myself at the moment … and your blog post gives me hope. It’s always a combination of luck, experience, positive thinking and, well, gumption ;-). Mý Huê

  8. Goood luck! And you should tell us anything you know. 🙂

  9. Hope the “informal chat” went well! I spent more than a decade working as a newspaper reporter in the States. It can be a brutal, but rewarding, profession. The pay, of course, is lousy and eventually forced me into a marketing gig. While I enjoy greater job stability and a more generous paycheck, I miss daily newspaper work. The best thing about it is not knowing what you’re going to work on from one day to the next.

    Good luck!

  10. Well done! I’m doing an internship at a daily paper in beirut at the moment but don’t think it’s going to lead to a job, at least not immediately. It’s nice to see that you’ve followed a similar path and finally arrived at where you want to be (I already read your next post!) so congratulations and thanks for sharing your tips with others.

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