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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Preventing being pigeonholed


This week Alex has been thinking about what to do should your career aspirations change.

I’ve been at TARGETjobs Towers for nearly three months now and I’ve found myself to be in a dilemma. It’s not the commute, the early mornings or the routine that bother me, or the lack of ‘student mobility’. I’m wondering whether I know what it is I want to do. Call it a mid-life crisis for a 20-year old if you will.

On my first day, I had an idea that I was going to gain a valuable insight into the way magazine editorial works. This, I have come to realise, was a rather naïve assumption. Not only would I be experiencing the publishing industry from a grassroots level up, I would be thrown into a world that dipped its feet into multiple industries on a daily basis.

Being delegated tasks by editors who are responsible for fields as diverse as engineering, law and management consultancy, you can imagine that my knowledge of these different career paths increased significantly during the first few weeks of my tenure. My youthful, journalistic mind was intrigued and weirdly, I flirted with the idea that I could transfer into one of these industries.

Funnily enough, and for me it really is funny, the industry I most came to be enticed by was finance (SIGH). Up until this point in my career, I have not had the slightest inclination to pursue a life in financial services, but now I would be lying if it wasn’t a consideration I was making.

But I love writing – something that I am not prepared to give up. So on to my dilemma. How do I keep writing whilst also indulging my fancy for finance? I have lost many (one) nights’ sleep to this question. The answer, by the way, is pretty simple and, coincidently, it gets into our office every morning at about 10:00am. This came in the form of a hot off the press Financial Times. Cue an Olympic closing ceremony light bulb hat – Eureka.

It’s a pause to kick myself moment, how something so obvious could be overlooked. Why have I never thought of specialising in the way that I write? Yes, there is the traditional print media, those that get circulated every day to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of readers, but the number of specialist newspapers and publications is staggering. It didn’t take long to realise the plethora of opportunity that lay just outside my clammy reach.

I’ve realised that I shouldn’t be so rigid in my thinking. Yes, I know what career I want, but things may change depending on what you’re exposed to – in this respect TARGETjobs has been a rebirth for my career aspirations. I’ve allowed a wide variety of career paths to fall into my lap, ones that I had previously never considered or knew of. Journalistic curiosity flowing, I’m ready to go out and hunt one out.

But not now, it’s raining.