My Career As A Magazine Editor – With Tara Craig
I dunno about you, but I LOVE hearing about how other people got started in their jobs.
Mostly because I’m nosy AS HELL, but also because I love to hear their how they achieved their successes and learn the journey of their winding career paths. I love getting an insight into someone’s life, the experiences they’ve had, the choices they’ve made and the lessons they’ve learned. By hearing new perspectives you’ll challenge your perception of the world, which is always the best way to grow.
So for that reason, I’m going to bring you some career Q and As with some of the biggest boss ladies in town. I’m going to profile people who have made a name for themselves across various industries and areas of expertise. I’m hoping that it will give you some serious career inspo and ideas so ponder.
So without further ado, I bring you the first in my ItsHerCareer series. And I’m starting it with an incredible woman, who also happened to play a rather influential role in my career. Her name is Tara Craig and she is the magazine and web editor at Penton Publications and she was my editor when I worked there. I asked her a few questions about her career, work life and some advice for others hoping to get into the world of magazine journalism and here’s what she had to say…
Tara Craig – Magazine and Web Editor at Penton Publications
What do you enjoy about your job?
Everything – the variety, the people, even the stress! I get to meet and interview lots of amazing people; I indulge my creative side by writing articles and blogs; I do some PR and most recently I’ve found myself working more and more in the area of digital marketing which I’m really enjoying.
Tell me how you ended up in your current job?
I was head hunted actually which is a nice thing to be able to say!
Was this always what you wanted to do?
Mmmm, I never really knew what I wanted to ‘be’ in life. I studied law and got a good result but I quickly realized I didn’t want to work in the industry. My passion was research and writing so I decided to pursue a career in journalism.
What or who inspired your interest in the world of publishing?
I devoured magazines as a student; I still do to be honest. I loved the glossy female magazine titles (Red, Elle, Vogue) and thought, I could do that!
Describe your typical working day?
I’m nearly always last in the office because I have three young children to get up, dressed and off to school before I even think about me. Once I’m at my desk it takes me about an hour to clear my emails and check all the social media platforms I manage; then I’ll make a few calls; write an article; do some proofing; review the company’s websites (we are busy planning exciting things in the digital field). By 11.30 I can’t wait for the coffee van to come by so I can get my daily caffeine fix! There’s usually a daily meeting with the directors and a catch up with the design and sales team. I also manage an editorial team so I make time each day to catch up with them too and check everything is on schedule.
What are the hardest/most unpleasant parts of your job?
One of the hardest things is interviewing someone who really has nothing to say – I hate awkward silences.
What was your dream job when you were a child?
It changed every other day – vet, doctor, teacher, mum…
What do you look for in a job – what are the most important things to you?
Job satisfaction definitely. I need to get a real buzz from what I do. I like to feel challenged and also rewarded when I deliver results.
What are you most proud of professionally?
It amazes me every day that people actually read (and hopefully enjoy) what I write. That someone actually takes the time to read the thoughts that I have put into words is quite a humbling thought.
If you could go back, start again and do something completely different, what would it be?
I sometimes think I’d like to do a job that really benefits people and the world in some way – so a nurse or a psychologist or something.
What are your top tips for others trying to get a job as a magazine editor?
Be determined. Never give up. Write lots, often and eventually, you will get noticed.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your career?
Words are very powerful things – they can bring a lot of happiness but they can also do a lot of damage. Always speak the truth.
What would you tell your 18 year old self?
You can’t live on beer and Sugar Puffs.
What do you see yourself doing next?
I can’t imagine ever giving up writing but I do want to drive my career down a more digitally focused path.
Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for more interviews with more fab boss ladies. If you like this and found it interesting, share it on Facebook and Twitter!