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I'm on a British freelance writer mailing list and delight in the odd repartee there. The British even flame with more class than anyone else. At any rate, the list sponsor is a British writing site and this article makes a case for the serious freelance writer to publicize him or herself.

The journalism.co.uk site is "The Essential Site for Journalists," and I recommend it even if you are a Yank.

I got a phone call the other day from Weddle's Employment Guides and they told me Sunoasis Jobs had make their top 350 job and career sites. Considering there are tens of thousands of job sites I was pleased to hear it. When the book comes out I'll post a notice about it. Thanks Weddles!

Posted January 30, 2007

Questions come in here about the infamous liberal arts degree. One of the best articles I've read is about how a liberal arts degree can fit into many areas of business and that its advantage is not so much what you know but what you know how to do.

Posted January 26, 2007

The executive editor of Tampa Bay newspapers has excellent advice for journalists and journalism students. "Go get me a story." Much of journalism, just as in police work, is boring and mundane. The excitement is in tracking down a story and bringing it back to the editor like game that will help feed the rest of the tribe.

One thing most writers happily learn: Even the smallest story has interest to someone, somewhere.

Posted January 25, 2007

A young person is always told to "network." Few, even after years and years of being told to network, know what it is or how to do it. An article from Askmen.com tries to answer the question, "how to make and sustain contacts?" The key is in sustaining contacts which is akin to staying in touch with distant relatives. And for introverts a terrible chore.

You might check out our own, Networking for Freelance Writers article.

Posted January 24, 2007

Time has lowered the boom, a "bloodbath" according to the NY Post, and cut 289 jobs, 172 of them from the editorial side.

"It's like a funeral," said one editorial insider... "I think everyone is too scared to be ticked off or to show they are angry."

I don't know of too many businesses that improve when they cut back on the central value they possess: mainly talented writers and editors. Of course as this shake-out is occurring in the print publishing world, the digital publishing world seems to be adding hires. Is this an indication of a shift of capital from one medium to the other? In part it is. The print world is going through a classic shake-out; the problem being, as we noted above, they are shaking out what made it a unique galaxy of information products.

The feeling here is that the shake-out will start to lessen. Always remember, though, that during a shake-out period there are more job-seekers than jobs available.

This news made me think of an axiom from the world of career development. The best job does not always go to the best candidate. It goes to the best job-hunter.

A good hunter has to be both aggressive and prudent. You don't go into the office of an editor and tell him or her that you are the "only guy you're looking for!" You go into the office of the editor and you prove to her that you are a perfect fit for the magazine, for instance. In the good old days companies would over-hire and see which people would do the job and fit in with the culture of the company.

The hiring culture has tightened up quite a bit in the past decade and now a manager or editor will want you to do some smart things to prove to him that you are an intelligent fit.

Freelance writers are always told to read the publications that you plan to submit queries to. Prospective employees at a magazine, newspaper, publishing house, corporation, or government agency should do the same thing. Get as much background information on the industry and specific place you want to work at.

The more enthusiasm you create for your job opportunity, the more enthusiasm you build in the person hiring.

The beautiful thing about the internet is that you can now go to many sources of information and communication; learn and schmooze at the keyboard.

Posted January 19, 2007

Butch Ward tells an intriguing tale at Poynter about going from a journalism career to a P.R. career. In the course of his article, Ward outlines some basic things writers need to incorporate into their job search.

Posted January 17, 2007

We get a lot of questions here at Sunoasis.com. Many come from young people who have a degree, an ambiguous desire to write but don't know what to do next. One of the best things a person can do in that state of mind is to limit choices. And a job-seeker does that by targeting.

In the job-search world targeting means deciding a few very important conditions to put on the job search. For instance, deciding on the industry you want to work for. A lot of writers assume they will be working for the publishing industry but there are plenty of industries that use writers and pay them well. For instance, a student who has traveled a good deal might believe that a travel magazine would be the only place to look for a job. But there is a huge travel industry with organizations, publications, communications departments that could be a target for that wannabe writer.

Another delimiter is geographic location. This can be very helpful especially now that all job ads from every point of the globe are exposed to the prospective job hunter. How many miles are you willing to relocate and what kind of environment do you want to be living in? Ask this question and nail down a region where you want to live. The internet is great for finding information about different regions.

It's very useful to list down the prime position you are looking for, along with some alternatives. There are differences between staff writers, reporters, communications specialists, and copywriters.

Every job seeker has different priorities and will weigh the targets differently. When a person combines all three they have a large but useful way to start researching the exact job for them.

Posted January 16, 2007

Are you curious about the state of working for newspapers? Get an inside view from fifteen reporters of the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis/St.Paul. They talk a good deal about careers and offer a look into the inside of a large daily newspaper. It's worth reading if you are thinking of working on newspapers.

Is your local journalism educator's head spinning? Read why it is and what it means if you are going into journalism as a career.

Posted January 10, 2007

For those new job seekers looking for writing jobs or any other job you will be helped by this article in the California Job Journal. The author gives tips on how to prepare yourself to change careers.

This columnist tells job seekers how not to mess up getting the job.

"Today's job market is a process of weeding out candidates as aggressively as possible. It's hard to blame employers for their tendency to shorten the list of candidates when there are so many good people on the job market. It's a matter of survival for recruiters and hiring managers."

Posted January 9, 2007

More newspaper layoffs: About 16% of the editorial staff on the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Newspapers keep taking huge hits because of the impact of the internet on the reading/news gathering habits of young people. It's doubtful the newspaper is "dying." It's more likely adjusting to the economics and the decline in the industry will bottom-out in the next few years. The exciting thing for young would-be newspaper journalists is that newspapers are positioned well to take advantage of the internet. Make sure you learn to work with different computer operating systems, do some web publishing yourself, and understand the infrastructure that makes up the Net. Oh, and don't forget how to do real journalism!

Posted January 3, 2007

So now we're into it and the old is left behind. "Old" being the last year where we can look back and assess it like troopers before moving on. When I think of the new year some of the hopeful thoughts are these:

  1. A person no longer has to feel stuck in a job or a career. Change and flexibility are part of the modern economy. If you feel stuck the problem is not you, it is simply a sign to look for the resources to move on.
  2. A job or career are meaningful, therefore worth quality time reflecting on what type of career you want. And the experts identify more than one type: Careers driven by the type of lifestyle you want, careers where you can develop expertise, free-agent careers like freelance or contract writers, traditional, linear careers, "second-life" careers and so on. Wherever you may be in your career path there is plenty of room for excitement as you build-out from your skills and competencies.
  3. The global marketplace may threaten some traditional jobs but it also opens new markets for free agents.

The Sunoasis Joblog is going to focus more and more on career-building so keep coming back!

Posted January 2, 2007

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David Eide
Copyright 2007

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