Welcome to Ask Jen, a weekly Q&A with the “career doctor” herself Jennifer Kushell! Every Wednesday, Jen will answer one of your burning career questions so start sending them in!
If you would like to submit a question, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll do her best to get to them all. Oh, and don’t forget to register on YSN.com – Your Success Network and fill out your profile so we can link back to it!
YSN member LaToya asks: I am currently unsatisfied with my career in the investment industry. I always loved to write. I am thinking about starting a magazine. How would one get started in this industry without any experience?
Jen responds: Hi LaToya! There’s a great resource that could help you get started writing articles for magazines, even if you don’t have any experience. (You just need the talent!) Check out a big reference book called The Writers Market. Last edition I had was red, but they publish new editions every year or so and it lists writing and submission guidelines for thousands of different publications. Just find the ones that are most relevant to the audience you want to address and what you want to write about and start pitching your articles! This would be a great first step to getting the experience you need in starting a magazine.
Of course, it would also help tremendously to have some experience working in or with one. You could always volunteer for a small publication on the weekends. You could also start by writing for the investment industry publications while you start to lay the seeds for your big career jump. Just know that starting a magazine is like starting a restaurant. The failure rates are through the roof, so just be very strategic, do your research, talk to a ton of people in the business, make sure you’re okay not making money for a while, and definitely think in terms of publishing online to start.
Also, YSN members Jennifer Iannolo and Mark Tafoya are actually the publishers of an award-winning online food magazine. You should send them a YSN message at some point! Oh, and I just noticed some people from Business Week and Entrepreneur magazine are online at YSN, too. Start reaching out to some of them. There actually a lot of people with experience in the publishing industry on the site.