I feel like a broken record when I say that there is more to journalism than newspapers. Just last week, I was asked by my grandmother what I was going to do after graduation. My aunt has worked at publications such as The Washington Post, and for companies like AOL. She has been on the lookout for job positions for me around my hometown, and felt compelled to send the descriptions to my grandma, who then relayed them to me. Lo and behold, they were newspaper jobs. Though I appreciate the thought that my family is looking out for me, I have the feeling that they do not have the slightest clue about what I want to do!
And what I want to do is a hard question. I have always known that I wanted to be a writer, but it took me quite some time to narrow down what kind. After writing for the school newspaper, an internship in New York City and then my various newspaper classes, I have finally decided to attempt to break into the world of theatre journalism. Now this category of journalism may not be mainstream, but personally I’m okay with that. In this bubble are quite a few popular publications who I would be MORE than happy to lend my services to! But for my classmates, I don’t think the answer is coming that easily.
The conversations I’ve had with people as our graduation date looms closer is basically, “I don’t want to write for newspapers, but I do want a job.” I’ve read countless articles about how getting a degree in something you love is better than being miserable at a job. Now that we’ve made that choice, I have to agree with this line of thinking. But for the people out there who do want to be journalists, how do you narrow down what type of writer you want to be if you’ve never thought of it before?
This is definitely NOT an easy task. If I hadn’t been thinking about theatre journalism for the past few years, I’d probably be stuck in this boat actually. Writing and journalism can lend themselves to a multitude of things, whether that be non-profit press, public relations, publishing and all sorts of other things. Types of writing though I feel like is a different animal.
Sadly, they do not hand you a diagram as a journalism major and say, “here’s what you should do.” It would be helpful definitely, but not life changing. As writers we know how to get out there and find the story, so apply that same tactic to finding out what to do for a career is a good place to start. Also knowing what you’re passionate about writing about is a good start too. You don’t want to be holed up in an office wanting to gouge your eyes out, so pick something that you love already and bug people about jobs. And if you feel the need, research some more. The process may be annoying, but as recent graduates, I think we can take the pain now if we get the job we want later!