How I Became an Editor: 5 Professionals Share Their Path
Ever dreamed of being an editor, but not quite sure how to get there? Turns out, there are a few different ways to land the gig. We sat down with five successful editors and learned about the paths they took to get to where they are today.
Editor, Huffington Post Youth Network
Elizabeth has always been a writer and editor, but it took going down a few paths before she found her dream gig. Her first internship was in Montreal at a small entertainment news publication. Entertainment wasn't her passion, but, she recalls, it was a great way to learn about interviewing and reporting.
After college, she moved to New York with dreams of writing about science. But "I applied to 30 places, and heard nothing, dead silence!" she recalls. A friend encouraged her to apply to women's magazines, and she landed an internship at Seventeen. Much to her surprise, she loved it. "I had no interest in fashion and beauty, but I loved working with young people."
Now, as the Editor of the Huffington Post Youth Network, she gets that chance every day. The lesson? Keep an open mind—you just might just find what you're looking for.
Hear from Elizabeth
Senior Food Editor, Tasting Table
Raquel has always loved food, and she really got into cooking in college when she became a vegetarian. After graduation, she pursued her interest of writing, including stints at consumer and healthcare publications—but she also kept her love of all things food alive with a decision to go to culinary school.
She finally merged those interests with a gig at Cooks Illustrated, where she learned the ins and outs of recipe writing. But when she heard about Tasting Table, a national daily foodie newsletter, she knew it was the perfect way to combine all of her interests and skills.
Now, Raquel spends her days doing her dream job: creating and perfecting recipes in Tasting Table's test kitchens.
Lance Ulanoff knew he wanted to be a journalist ever since he toured two newsrooms as a child. So, he took the "traditional path" to become an editor: going to journalism school, working on the school paper, and interning and working at local papers.
But even as he worked on print newspapers and magazines, he always had an interest in the digital world. He became a tech journalist in the 90s when he joined PC Magazine, and when he found an opening at Mashable, it was a position he couldn't refuse.
Now, Lance runs Mashable’s digital newsroom, overseeing all articles, features, and news coverage decisions.
Senior Editor, Politix
Mary took "kind of a strange route" to get her editorial gig. She's always been a political junkie, but she got a PhD in English, and from there she went on to work as a visiting English professor living in New Jersey.
When she moved to California, she planned to look for academic positions, but an editorial opening at political news site Politix caught her eye. “Writing about politics for an interactive product was a dream—and a dream I’d been repressing because I was training to become an English professor,” she explains. But now that she got the gig, she's never looking back.
Michelle worked at various editorial roles at magazines and publications in her early career, but was drawn to HowAboutWe when she found the then-brand-new startup dating site on Twitter.
She got connected to the founder through mutual friends, stayed in touch, and when a Community Manager position opened up, she jumped. Over time, the role morphed into creating and editing content, her strength and original passion. And that's some great job search advice for all of us: You always have the opportunity to create your own dream job.
Want to learn more about breaking into the editorial world? Check out our Editorial Career Path Guide at The Muse!
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