Wednesday, September 23, 2009

 

Navigating the black hole of writing job applications

I love writing. Really I do. Which is why I have chosen to write for a living.
As many freelance writers do, I don't put all my clients into one egg basket. Among my clients I count newspapers, electronic media, book packagers, TV producers and custom publishers. When I don't query well or when I feel I'm spending too much time researching, then it is my fault. The guilt can pile on. But I generally feel okay if I've done my best.
However, sometimes a job catches my eye and I apply for it. In ordinary times, I hopefully assume, all the applicants would be contacted. However, in these extraordinary times of MediaBistro and CraigsList postings, e-mail boxes at hiring companies are overflowing. So I am thrilled when I have applied for a writing job and have been told I've reached the first cut of writers. Contacted by the company, I know that the pool of applicants has grown a bit smaller. But that's when things get a little fuzzy.
Then, it seems, I fall into the black hole of job applicants. It's a lonely hole--not because one is actually alone, but because you don't know who your fellow travelers are. To make the journey even more awkward, you don't want to be a very squeaky wheel. In this world of social media, you become a social media pariah if you tweet your unveiled frustrations.
I know the saying is that squeaky wheels get the grease, but what if the person you squeak to uses a delete button on a whim.
"Ugh, a second e-mail from this job applicant, we'll take care of that!"
What if you remain stuck in the black hole even after a stellar interview where you "connected" and yet the potential employer never contacts you again?
"We'll let you know on Monday."
In fact, the employer refuses to respond to direct e-mails but continues to write pithy tweets while you scan for any mention of a job hiring. Do you un-follow them?
Herein lies my dilemma, I love writing for the versatility and the sheer energy I can expend on my assignments. But it is the business of freelancing that gives me a woozy feeling. One that makes me wish that I'd never applied for the job because then I wouldn't be watching my mailbox like a shunned lover. I enjoy the relationships I've built with my editors and, yes, some of them stem from blindly sending a letter of introduction. But sometimes, like today, I want to know who my fellow travelers are so I can commiserate with them and, maybe together, we can become a squeaky wheel that tells employers to give us some love...or at least some writing jobs.

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and freelance writer. She also blogs at www.CoastalCarolinaMoms.com and www.TheWriteElizabeth.com, delving into creativity in everyday places. She will try not to check her e-mail and Twitter every minute today...well, maybe just every other minute. Just in case.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

 

Salaries in the Magazine World

This is from an editor's website: http://www.ed2010.com

"Next Stop: Your Magazine Dream Job"

The title says it all! Check out these sad pay rates of our industry:

Salary Reports

Meredith
Position/Job title:
Editorial Assistant
Salary:
$33,600
Other:
2 weeks vacay, once you accrue it; 2 personal days

Conde Nast
Position/Job title:
Assistant Editor
Salary:
$38K
Other:
2 weeks vacay, 4 personal days, good benefits

Time Inc.
Position/Job title:
Associate Editor
Salary:
$46K
Other:
4 weeks vacation

Dennis
Position/Job title:
Production Editor
Salary:
$45K

Hachette/Elle
Position/Job title:
Fashion Assistant
Salary:
$20K + OT
Other:
with prior experience

Unspecified Regional mag
Position/Job title:
Designer
Salary:
$37,500

Niche Media
Position/Job title:
Editorial Intern
Salary:
$1.25/hr

King Media
Position/Job title:
Editor
Salary:
$27K

Trade magazine
Position/Job title:
Freelance Assistant Editor
Salary:
$15/hr
Other:
$31K when full-time with sb, 2 weeks vacation, and traveling to trade shows

Hollywood Life Magazine
Position/Job title:
Editorial Assistant
Salary:
$10/hr
Other:
Health and Dental

Rodale
Position/Job title:
Intern
Salary:
$10.60/hr
Other:
Becomes $15/hr with master's degree

Time Inc.
Position/Job title:
Editorial Intern
Salary:
$10/hr

Bauer
Position/Job title:
Assistant Editor
Salary:
$36K
Other:
401K, free health; dental and life insurance; 15 days vacation; annual reviews

Unspecified Trade mag
Position/Job title:
Associate Editor
Salary:
$29K
Other:
Plus $3K in bonuses

Manhattan Media newspapers
Position/Job title:
Features Editor
Salary:
$30K
Other:
Half of full health benefits. 12 days vacation.

San Francisco consumer mag
Position/Job title:
Editorial Assistant
Salary:
$32K
Other:
Summer Fridays, 2 weeks paid vacation, full benefits, bonuses on birthdays, "anniversary" of company, and New Years. Paid editorial travel 3-4 times per year.

Meredith
Position/Job title:
Associate Editor
Salary:
$45K
Other:
3 weeks vacation, sb

Time Inc.
Position/Job title:
Assistant Editor
Salary:
$36K
Other:
4 weeks vacay, good benefits

McGraw Hill
Position/Job title:
Project Assistant
Salary:
$30K
Other:
no benefits or paid vacation, but can take days off when you need it.

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Suddenly freelancing is sounding a lot better!! You could make more by writing one of our feature articles than you would working for a straight week in some of these jobs... yikes.

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