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Steve asks: I am a mid-level professional who is in the middle of a career change quest. I have experience as a news promotion writer-producer at a Top 30 market television station. I enjoyed the creative aspect of the position, which enabled me to write on new topics virtually every day. However, the creativity of the position became compromised when a greater emphasis was placed on assembly-line video editing. Between this new direction and a disdain for working second shift, I lost my zest for the job. I recently worked in Medical Communications yet I new that the job wasn't for me. I am trying to get back into the creative services industry however cannot seem to find an abundance of positions in Connecticut. May you have any suggestions in aiding my quest?

Hi Steve,

Connecticut may not seem the hotbed for these types of jobs but you are in a very strategic region in reach of both NY City and Boston; two hot-beds for employing the creative types.

You need to define several things. I think the key phrase is, "....enabled me to write on new topics virtually every day...." That would point to three areas: news writing, feature writing, column writing. The first two are more reasonable at this point. Parenthetically, we can say that freelance writing is an option but takes a good deal of experience to be successful at. It's something to look into at any rate.

Once you define what you want to do then define what type of organization you really want to work for. A big conglomerate? A small company with a cozy staff? A two-man operation such as a newsletter?

The key in finding the job you want is to target just those companies that will satisfy the real motive you have for working. Are you trying to make a lot of money? Are you trying to gain creative satisfaction? It appears to be the latter, so that will guide you in making decisions about where you want to look for a job.

Go to your local library and ask for two reference books called Gales Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media and Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, They have a regional listing so look at all of the editorial publishers that exist in Conn. and region. That would include newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, newsletters, and magazines. The best bet when looking for new opportunities is to make yourself persist in getting the attention of the person who will hire you. Don't wait for job openings listed on-line or in the paper. Put together a resume that features your creative skills and start presenting yourself to those who will pay you to use those skills. Do it professionally and with courtesy and someone will listen and even help you further along.

This link may help some.

The hiring environment is not too hot right now on the editorial side. The advertising slump has done damage. But, it will pick up through 2004 and really begin a decent recovery. So, keep at it. Develop a good game plan by researching those publications you'd be interested in working for.

The key, Steve, is knowing what you want and to do the research to find out all the possible markets you can sell you skills to. Don't wait for the ad to come along. Consult them but don't wait for the right job to come around through want ads. Go to the places you want to work and find the editor or person who will be your boss and get your resume in front of him.

Within the range that you'd be willing to travel to a job there are probably dozens of companies who use creative talent. Go to them and make yourself visible to them and start to network. That is still the best way to get a job.

Good luck in your pursuits!

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