Thursday, March 29, 2007
How to land a writing job
I am interested in freelance writing. Please give me information about it.
Right - I should sell the job to you. I'm not that desperate! Here's another sample:
Writing has been my passion and media my obsession. Pls visit my blog ABCD to get a feel of my truest passion in life . Pls let me know about further proceedings..I am excited .
Slightly better. But again, I am unlikely to get excited by such an applicant. It's not clear what he can do for me.
So here are a few guidelines on how to apply for a writing gig - whether freelance or fulltime.
a) Make sure your initial email is written in the Queen's English. Not orkut English, or yahoo English,or sms English. I can't emphasise this point enough!
b) The fact that you blog is good, but not enough. Many people use blogs to express their thoughts and feelings - not the kind of stuff that can actually be printed in a magazine.
So using your blog as a sample of what you can do may not be a good idea. At the very least, give links to a couple of specific posts that showcase your best work.
c) Send a writing sample which you think might be worthy of publication. To do this, you'd have to make a quick study of the magazine/ paper/ website you are contributing to.
For example, poetry is never published in JAM (unless it's out and out funny). Neither are reviews of art exhibitions. So just don't send stuff like that!
d) Come up with story ideas. The Editor is not your teacher. He/ she is not going to hand out homework. The best thing would be for you to suggest topics you can, or would like to write on. If you have a special expertise or interest (say rock music, or technology) - use that as a selling point.
All your ideas will not get accepted but the fact that you came up with them shows you have initiative. It makes you stand out from the crowd.
e) Keep your deadlines. If you need more time, let the Editor know a bit in advance, not after you've missed it (and they've torn their hair out trying to reach you!)
Blank space is an editor's worst nightmare. Anyone who misses their first or second deadline is a no-no in my book. No matter how talented you might be.
f) Don't even think of cogging. We can smell it. It may be that freelance review writers in Delhi
Naaree.com: Freelance writers, columnists
JAM magazine: Full time writer
Twenty Onwards media: Writing and reporting
There is also an internship position in the editorial department of MoneyLife magazine which involves transcription, data collation and proofreading. If you wish to pursue a career in journalism, there could be no experience more valuable than working under two of India's most highly respected business journalists - Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu.
Learn more about this opportunity here.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
A Steep Learning Curve
Here are some of those 'learnings', that I want share with you -
- Keep your expectations about the nature of your job as low as you can and gradually you will learn to live with them. A betrayal on the expectation front can be quite heart breaking as many of friends including me have experienced.
- The things that you will do as a part of your job will in all probability be something you didn’t expect to do and something you don’t like to do. Unless you are a business tycoon’s son/daughter, be prepared to do some dirty/not-so-exciting work at your first job.
- Don’t expect your employer to lay out a red carpet to welcome you on your first day at work. Don’t expect people around you to teach you what they have hired you to do. You have to learn things by yourself. You have to find your own way. You are on your own now.
- For your first job, the salary shouldn’t be a criterion for deciding the company that you want to work with. This is because when you actually start working you will realize that there are no free lunches in this world. So if they are paying you a very good salary it is because they expect to be of equivalent use to them and they will make you slog accordingly.
- Just because you have got a job now and have a steady income doesn’t imply that you settle down and make merry. If you are not doing what you always wanted to do, don’t compromise now.
Along with the above list, I would also like to point out to you some of the direct benefits of being employed- these are to be taken with a pinch of salt -
- Earlier you were reporting to your teachers, professors & principals, now you have to report to your boss. Empirical studies show that you getting a good boss is as unlikely as you finding a wad of cash lying in the middle of the road. So welcome to world of boss-cribbers. You have enough people around you now who will empathize with you.
- In your school and college days you played a lot of games like cricket, football et al. Now you get to play the exciting game of office politics. You may not always enjoy this slug fest of oneupmanship but you have to play it nevertheless and there is no running away from it.
- When it came to your pocket money you fought with your parents to give you a raise. Most of the times you got it too. But no matter how much you got, it was never enough. Now you can proudly say ala Amitabh Mere pass mobile hai, ipod hai, Bank Balance hai aur Ma bhi hai, tumhare pass kya hai?
- You get to maro dialogues like Call me later I am in a meeting, I will get back to you soon but right now I am busy with the client, Yeh raha mera Business card can I have yours, etc. They all somehow someway make you sound important and wanted.
- I don’t know how many of you are lucky enough to be somebody’s boss on your first job. If by God’s grace you are, you get that moment of “over the moon” feeling when somebody calls you something like Amit Sir/Amit Saab. Isn’t that great. It provides for the much needed nourishment for your already pampered ego.
The above list is not an exhaustive one but I have wasted a lot of my time now without being productive for my employer, so I better get back to work before my boss finds out about it and fires me.
Labels: First Job
Monday, March 26, 2007
Let the fun begin
A first job - like a first love - can be something special. Or, like a forgotten rush, something which you were high on for a few days or weeks.
Hi, I'm Rashmi Bansal, Editor of JAM magazine - which conceived the idea of jobokplease.com. Interacting with so many of you over the last few years I have come to believe there are two things that a young person want most in the world:
The love angle we leave to you to take care of. The money bit we are here to help with.
But more than mere money we hope to expose you - through this website and blog - to the wonderful world of careers. Because courses and degrees can take you only so far. The rest you gotta learn in the Classroom of Life.
So, let the fun begin!
Tomorrow: My first job
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