As happens to a lot of students, she ran out of money before she finished the program. Oh well! On to the next stage of her life! Her management skills led her all the way up to a position as assistant vice president of human resources and strategic planning. Meanwhile, though, she had this idea in the back of her mind: She wanted to own her own bookstore. So while she was working at the bank, Villarosa started saving money.
The Denver-based store continued to succeed over the years and eventually became the largest African- American bookstore in the country. It had a large selection of magazines, greeting cards, unique gifts, and fine art prints. A Change of Plans After 16 years in the business, Villarosa decided to retire and relocate to New York City where her two daughters and two young grandchildren lived.
After all, she was 70 years old and it was time to just enjoy family for a while. As it turns out, she met a real estate developer who nudged her into changing those plans a bit. He was looking for a bookstore to join a commercial project he was build-. A bookstore like Hue-Man would be a perfect fit for the neighborhood, he said, and soon—quite unexpectedly— Villarosa found herself opening a new state-of-the-art book- store there. The store became such an important part of the community that former U.
Villarosa recalls that his visit was a very big day, complete with Secret Service agents, security checkpoints, and thousands of cus- tomers. She says they sold 2, copies of his book that day and that Clinton graciously stayed to sign every single copy. So much of education is based on reading. She says to start reading early and develop a real appreciation for books and learning. Two other skills important in any walk of life are speaking skills and writing skills.
She puts it very simply: read, write, and speak well. In , Villarosa turned the day-to-day operations of the bookstore over to a managing partner and is finally starting to enjoy her retirement. Now she has plenty of time to devote to encourage her grandchildren to cultivate good reading skills. She says that she asks Kali age 10 and Nic age 7 to read at least one book a week and write a paragraph describ- ing what the book was about. Each time they complete this process, Grandma rewards them with a silver dollar. Corporate Communicator ShortCuts.
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Getting the word out about a company in a way that builds a positive image is the main function of a corporate commu- nicator. Corporate communicators use their top-notch verbal and written communication skills to convey carefully crafted messages about the company they represent. To do so, the job may include working with the media and other sources to reach an external audience that is, all the people who are touched by the company, from the neighbors who live near the place of business to its paying customers.
This is especially important in large corporations that may employ thousands of people in dozens of locations. Some of the tools that corporate communicators use to reach these audiences include press releases, newsletters, brochures, annual reports, multimedia presentations, and bul- letin board displays.
Technology has added some new tools to the list in the form of some fairly sophisticated telephone or computer e-mail information systems. TAK Corporate Communicator. Corporate commu- nicators go by many job titles including public relations specialist, corpo- rate communi- cations director, community affairs coordina- tor, communica- tions specialist, press secretary, public information officer, and spokes- person.
Corporate communicators often specialize in a particular area within the company. Specialties within the profession include. This area might include special events, volunteer programs, and charitable giving projects. Preparing annual reports and coordinating shareholder meetings are part of the job. A college degree is essential for corporate communicators. Majors in areas such as communications, public relations, business,. There are three ways to boost your chances for landing a good job in this field. One way is to get involved in community volunteer programs. Another is to take advantage of every work-study, cooperative education, or internship opportunity that comes your way in order to gain some real work experi- ence.
The third is to spend time working or living in another cul- ture, perhaps as an exchange student or Peace Corps volunteer. Surround yourself with people who speak another language, and your communication skills are guaranteed to improve! These plans provide scripts and action plans so that everyone knows exactly what to do in case, heaven forbid, something bad happens. Pretend that you are the person in charge of handling public relations for your school. Here are a couple of sce- narios for you to consider. Make a plan to come through these mini-disasters with as little trouble as possible.
Each plan should have at least five steps. Corporate Image Corporations use logos, distinct graphic images, to build their brand or image. Do they work?
What company comes to mind when you see golden arches? So, pretend that your name is the name of an up and coming corporation. Use markers, crayons, or colored pencils to create an interesting logo using the letters of your first or last name. Their job is to put a positive spin on a bad situation; however their job is not to lie or deceive. Honesty is the name of this game. Only a fool would try to get away with lying to the public. Suppose your school has decided to add an extra hour to the end of every school day.
The principal is concerned that the students and staff might not receive this news very well. She asks you to come up with a plan for presenting the news in a way that will make the idea more agreeable to everyone. What would you do? First, come up with some good rea- sons and then develop promotional materials such as posters and special events that might help soften the news. Bemmer, Rod, with Tracey Nelsen Maurer. John Deere. Paul, Minn. Krohn, Katherine E. Just the Facts Biography: Oprah Winfrey. Lesinski, Jeanne. Bill Gates.
McLuskey, Krista. Women in Profile: Entrepreneurs. New York: Crabtree, Meachem, Dana. Andrew Carnegie: Captain of Industry. Henry Ford and the Model T. Ryan, Bernard, Jr. Childhood Aspiration: To be a pro-football quarterback. Current Job: Senior manager of community relations for Qwest Foundation.
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He grew up in Laramie, Wyoming, where his mother was a Spanish teacher and his father, a conductor for the Union Pacific railroad. He attended schools in Laramie and excelled academically in high school. College was the logical next step. He was accepted at both Stanford University and Notre Dame, but the necessary financial sup- port was not available for him to attend. He received a full. One was a position as assistant press secretary for then-Congressman Dick Cheney Wyoming. The other job offer came from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The job was outdoors editor for the Jackson Hole Guide which at that time was the top weekly newspaper in the country.
Chavez took the job in Jackson Hole. He needed a break after four hard years of college. Through his job he was able to enjoy and simultaneously write about downhill skiing, fly fishing, kayaking, canoeing on the Snake River, and climbing the Teton Mountains. He won five state awards for news, feature, and col- umn writing. He worked at the paper for two and a half years. He was hired by the Martin-Marietta Astronautics Group the company that designs components for the space program.
He went to work as public relations manager. He was thrilled to be working for a major corporation, making a good salary, and able to spend money on himself. Unfortu- nately, he was laid off nine months later when government contracts were cut. It was time to look for another job, so he hit the streets again. He says it was a wonderful job. Downtown Denver was coming into its own, and Chavez was right in the middle of it. He worked with the media and wrote speeches, brochures, and annual reports. He was going through some other life changes as well, including getting married.
When Chavez returned from his honeymoon, he received a call from an executive recruiter asking him if he was interested in a new job. One month later, he was hired by Qwest Communications. Chavez handles community outreach and events, works with the media, is the liaison and representative in the west- ern section of the country for the Qwest Foundation, and administers Foundation funds. He also handles employee vol- unteer programs and spends a lot of time reviewing proposals from groups wanting money for various programs.
Talk to them or write to them; ask them how they got where they are. Chavez advises reading at least one book a month and one or two newspapers a day. Keep up on cur- rent events, study how people write, and most importantly, do your own writing. There are always opportunities for those who look hard enough. Try helping your English teacher ed student essays.
See it how many gramm cal errors you can ati- find and fix. Editors make sure that the books, magazines, newspapers, and other publications that you read provide correct infor- mation and are written clearly and grammatically. In another sense, an editor acts as liaison for the publisher, acquiring new books and negotiating contracts that are mutually beneficial for the authors and the publisher.
TAK Editor. Another way that editors act as liaison is with the produc- tion staff. In production, manuscripts become books, and the process involves artists, page designers, and printers. Finally, the editor typically serves as go-between with the marketing department. It all comes down to selling books, and the editor is often one of the best resources for helping this process move in the right direction.
In short, editors have to be good jugglers because they are responsible for many aspects of the publishing process. It can be demanding but very exciting work. Fortunately, in many publish- ing houses, the various tasks of an editor are shared by more than one per- son. In fact, in larger houses, there are spe- cific types of editors who are responsible for specific parts of the editorial pro- cess. Following are descriptions of the different types of editors. Editorial assistants handle the nitty-gritty details of the edito- rial office in a manner similar to a clerk or secretary.
How- ever, due to the nature of their work and proximity to more experienced professionals, they are often being primed for bigger and better things within the publishing house. Assistant editors help sort through the sometimes massive slush piles, screening manuscripts, responding to queries from authors, and assisting in other ways.
Associate editors assume similar duties as assistant editors but have more responsibility for managing projects from beginning to end. Editors handle many of the same aspects of a project as associate editors, but full-fledged editors tend to work on more important books. In addition to working with authors and agents to acquire books from submitted manuscripts, editors may also come up with their own project ideas and manage all the processes of turning the ideas into books.
Senior editors manage other editors and work on major proj- ects. Senior editors also handle more of the administrative aspects of the process such as long-range plans, budgets, and sales projections. In smaller publishing companies, the senior editor assumes much of the responsibility for acquir- ing new books as well. Knowing the audience and understanding what it wants to read are crucial elements for the success of an acquisitions editor. Copy editors are among the last people to read a manu- script or other publication before it goes to print.
They cor- rect the facts, continuity, grammar, sentence structure, and spelling, and they make sure that everything is absolutely perfect before the manuscript goes to print. Publishers tend to hire editors with college degrees in areas such as liberal arts, English, and communications. Even with a college degree, most editors start at the bottom of the editorial career ladder as editorial assistants. However, with hard work, talent, and initiative, an editor might expect to start moving up that ladder rather quickly.
Try it out Get Your Act Together Great organizational skills are the one trait that all successful editors share. After all, they are often responsible for man- aging several or many! To make sure that no details or deadlines fall through the cracks, editors rely on a variety of planning tools and timelines to keep themselves on track. Next time you have a paper or other big assignment due, take some time to think through all the steps involved, list the due dates, and make a chart to keep yourself on top of everything.
Perhaps the use of color livens things up or the sidebars, maps, or tables that are included with each chapter are easy to understand. Finally, pretend that you are the editor at a textbook pub- lishing house and have been asked to update this textbook for a new edition. Write a letter to your publisher describing the ways you think the book could be improved to better meet the needs of its intended audience. Perhaps include a sample revised page or a photocopy of a page on which you have edited and updated.
Check IT OUT on the web The Cyber-Editor Get ready to impress your teachers and yourself with your extraordinary editing skills with a little help from the fun and games found at some of the Web sites below. Check out their very informative Web sites:. When it comes to grammar, good editors have it down. Here are some books to help you brush up your own skills. Block, Cheryl. Editor In Chief: A2. Seaside, Calif. Editor In Chief: B2. Editor In Chief: C2. Cleary Minneapolis, Minn. There are sep- arate volumes for nouns, adverbs, adjectives, and other parts of speech, all with attention-getting titles like Dearly, Nearly, Insincerely: What is an Adverb?
Childhood Aspiration: To be a reporter or talk show host. First Job: Scooping ice cream at Baskin-Robbins. Current Job: Online editor for Monster. She eventually made her way to a senior editorial position after learning the ropes at magazines such as Glamour, Vanity Fair, Traveler, and Self.
How to Become a Children’s Author | Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
Instead of working primarily with words and pictures at a desk, this job took her all over the city researching and filming segments. Putting together the content for a project focusing on American Sign Language involved incredible organization skills and attention to details. The pace was completely different from her work in televi- sion, as she found that just one project could consume more than a year of intense effort.
But, she admits, it was really exciting to be there at the very beginning to help figure out how to make the most of the new online technologies. Later, this Web site was bought out by Monster. She worked for a public relations firm and had the chance to be involved in projects involving famous sports figures, a fashion magazine, and sports events. It was here that she discovered what having a real job was really like. She learned how to dress for an office job, arrive on time for work, and work as part of a creative team. One of the perks of her current job is helping the women who founded the company forge new ground in this exciting new field of communication.
Skill Set Go visit the place where your local ne paper is published ws-. Try writing an ar ticle for your scho newspaper. Freelance writers are writers for hire. In a sense, they run their own businesses with their writing skills being the prod- uct offered for sale. Freelance writers find that potential clients are every- where. Virtually every magazine found on supermarket. TAK Freelance Writer. Newspapers often run feature stories written by freelance writers. Textbooks, encyclopedias, and other reference books are commonly filled with the work of freelance writers.
In addition, some publishers hire writers to work on books for a specific project under development. Two other lucrative areas for freelancers are business writ- ing and technical writing. Businesses of all kinds and sizes often hire freelance writers to work on projects such as pro- posals, speeches, annual reports, newsletters, brochures, and other publications. Some freelance writers work exclusively for public relations firms; advertising agencies, in particular, will use experienced writers to help with various projects.
This way the agency handles the marketing aspects of find- ing clients, and the writer focuses on pleasing the client with well-crafted written materials. Technical writers are currently in big demand to translate software programs and other complicated documents into instructions that just about anyone can understand. Sometimes the work requires a writer to have very specialized technical knowledge as well as top-notch writing skills. The ability to write clear and convincing grant proposals is a hot commodity among agencies that depend on funds from foundations and benevolent corpora- tions for their support.
Instead of receiving a salary like an employee or royal- ties like an author, freelancers are generally paid a flat fee. There is a big gap between low-end and top-end fees: some projects pay as little as a few cents per word, while others pay a generous hourly rate, and still others, on a per-project basis. Just like other independent business people, freelance writ- ers must spend a good portion of their time marketing their services. This generally involves plenty of research, lots of good ideas, and many letters. The most successful freelanc-. Instead they are constantly seeking out writing assignments from a variety of interesting sources.
It is quite common for freelance writers to start out writ- ing part time in addition to holding down another job. Writing well is the only credential that counts; however, education and experience can be the keys to opportunities for free- lance writers to prove their skills. Most people who succeed as freelancers have a college background in fields such as liberal arts, communications, or journalism, and have gained experience working as a journalist, public relations writer, or editor.
Writers with an entrepreneurial sense of adventure and deep reserves of creative ideas may find their future in freelance writing. One thing you know more about than anyone else expect maybe your parents is your life. Start with an outline first—listing key events and major characters. Just be sure to indicate which- ever path you choose. Once you get started, your life story may inspire other ideas—maybe a wild adventure story or a juicy mystery.
Just get writing and see where your words take you.
Two tools make it easier to accomplish this. Take some time to thumb through and learn a little bit about some of them. Web sites like those listed below provide opportunities for budding young writers to publish their work. What are you waiting for? Sharpen your pencils and have at it with tips found in books such as:.
Farrell, Tish. Write Your Own Fantasy Story. Write Your Own Mystery Story.
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Ste- panek. So You Wanna be a Writer? Hillsboro, Ore. New York: HarperCollins, Olien, Rebecca. Kids Write! Nashville, Tenn. Rhatigan, Joe. In Print! Asheville, N. Childhood Aspiration: To be a poet or writer. First Job: Playground duty for a parks and recreation program. Current Job: Freelance writer and editor. She says that probably 99 percent of freelance writers start out work- ing in-house for a magazine or book publisher, get some experience, make some contacts, and then go out on their own.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss! Wax graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English. The first two years out of school were spent traveling around Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey. She returned to live in New York City and got a job working as a waitress until she could figure out what she really wanted to do with her.
It just so happened that the magazine was getting ready to publish several articles on Israel and needed someone who knew something about the country to verify some details. Since Wax had just spent a year there, she was hired as a fact-checker. This project got her foot in the door and helped her make contacts that launched her career as a freelance writer and editor.
Wax now realizes that it was a smart move to start out in the research department. Research work allowed her to work closely with the articles and with a variety of editors. She learned a lot about so many different things and made great contacts with people who continue to be sources of work and encouragement. Being self-employed, she is free to choose her own hours and the types of projects she works on.
Since she loves to travel, it is not unusual for her to work day and night for a few months and then take off for a few weeks to some intriguing part of the world such as Turkey, Ecuador, or Peru. Working on a wide variety of projects keeps things fun. For instance, recent assignments have included writing biographi- cal sketches about women writers, an in-depth magazine article about estate tax law, and a short piece on her experi- ence in Turkey for a travel magazine.
Another project was. A project may last for a few days or for a few months. She accepts a variety of projects that involve writing, editing, research, training, or a combination of these skills. In fact, Wax is working on perfecting the art of the working vacation. Whenever she has the itch to go somewhere, she pitches story ideas. That way every vacation is an almost all-expenses-paid vacation there are still a few kinks in the plan!
Wax has also written articles for various books. Look for these books in the library and see what can happen when someone with a lot of talent and initiative creates a job for him or herself. Try writing a prop osal to your parent asking for a raise in s your allowance. Grant writers are expert at asking for money.
I’ve Always Wanted to Be a Writer
They approach carefully selected corporations, foundations, the government, and wealthy individuals to request money for nonprofit orga- nizations or charities. The catch is that the giver gets noth- ing in return except the knowledge that he or she has used money to do something good and get a few tax breaks ; therefore, soliciting grant money works best when the grant writer asks someone to support programs that fit with the interests of that individual.
For instance, a grant writer for a university might ask a former graduate who also happens to be a multimillionaire to help fund a new science facility. This simple strategy changes the dynamics of the process from begging for money to matching money with opportunities to make a difference.
Grant writers must use words to paint compelling pictures of the projects that need funding. Since they are gener- ally dealing with busy people who have little time to wade through well-intentioned junk mail, they must be able to describe complex projects in concise, well-defined terms. Quite simply, they must make it as easy as possible for a donor to say yes and write a check. TAK Grant Writer. Before a grant writer sits down to write a proposal, he or she has to do lots of homework.
A grant writer must know just about everything about the nonprofit organization rep- resented in the proposal. An extra dose of persuasive passion is added to the process when the writer really believes in the work being done by the organization. Fortunately, many groups with an interest in charitable giving publish reports and other doc- uments that provide helpful background information. Quite often grant writers find that it is not enough to just know about someone or some organization.
It also helps to get personally acquainted with the people behind the checkbooks. Grant writers are generally employed in the development department of nonprofit or- ganizations. In a small organization, a grant writer may be the entire develop- ment depart- ment. In larger companies, a development director, or development officer, may head a whole. And, instead of actually employing grant writers, some organizations may hire freelance writers to prepare grant proposals. Some grant writers have experience in other kinds of writing, while others have a background in public affairs or nonprofit administration.
Quite often, grant writers land in their positions by discovering a perfect fit for their writing skills in helping further a cause that is important to them. These courses are offered by various colleges and professional associations and can help you learn the ropes of this very specialized type of writing.
Grant writing can be a good choice for a writer who likes people and wants to use his or her talent to make the world a better place. First, you get a chance to lend a hand to a cause you believe in or enjoy. Second, it gives you experi- ence and contacts for future reference. Be prepared: Most volunteering involves varying degrees of behind-the-scenes drudge work. Play it smart, and give every task your best effort. These things have a way of pay- ing big dividends down the road. One way you can help is to use words to let people know about the problem and to provide some ideas for solu- tions.
So sit down and write a letter to your local newspaper, your local Congressman, or even the president of the United States to let them know what you think about the problem. The next time your school has a fund-raiser, get involved. Do all you can to make it a success. While you are at it, keep your eyes and ears open, and notice what kinds of projects work the best. Talk to people who sell the most, and find out the secrets to their success. It might even be useful to put together a little report to share your findings with the teach- ers or coaches in charge of the project.
Pick any major corporation, use a Web browser to find their Web site, and find out how and if they give back to their communities. Grant, R. Amnesty International. New York: Chelsea House, Hastings, Terry. The Peace Corps. Parry, Ann. Doctors Without Borders. Red Cross. Save the Children. Childhood Aspiration: To work for the State Department in other countries or to be a news- paper reporter.
First Job: A summer secre- tary for the U. Department of Education. Current Job: Assistant vice president of foundation, corpo- rate, and government relations at the University of Richmond. For instance, one summer when she was in college, she worked for a government agency that was responsible for awarding fellowships to students pursu- ing higher learning experiences. This work experience, along with her jobs as an English teacher and a community college administrator, gave her a place to put her words to work.
Curtler has been involved in writing proposals for projects that involve subjects as diverse as automobile safety, chemistry animation, Korean studies, and contemporary art. Her office helps the faculty, staff, and administration at the university find and manage grants money! These grants provide the funds necessary to support special research projects and creative work. That takes lots of homework, but it pays off when those big checks show up in the mailbox.
First, everyone involved in the project knows what to say. That means that the ideas about the proposed project have been hammered out enough so that its pur- pose is clear and easily defined. Reaching this stage of the process involves using two types of skills—verbal communication skills and people skills. Curtler must invest time and energy in developing rela- tionships with people before asking them for money.
She says it can be a challenge to get started on a new project. Fortu- nately, she works under a lot of deadlines, so sometimes she has no choice but to sit down and just write. Curtler calls this being backed in a corner by a deadline. One thing that helps her get going is knowing that the first thing she writes is never final. She urges those with an itch to write to read all kinds of new things. Everything you read gives you new ideas about words and the way they are used.
As for learning to become a writer, Curtler believes that doing it—writing—is the only way to learn it. One way to get practice is to share your writing talent with people and orga- nizations who might need it—your church or synagogue, a volunteer organization, or even a family member. Writing is something you can do to help others. Skill Set Go to the library and browse throug books in the refere h the nce section. New Yo rk: Scholastic, Information professionals, sometimes called information brokers, are part researcher, part writer, and part investiga- tor.
Often hired to find the most obscure and elusive types of information, information professionals must exhaust every resource on the trail of the answer. Chasing down elusive information often sends information professionals cruising down the information highway. In fact, computers and other technology were the cata- lysts that started this whole profession in the first place. The Internet, CD-ROM databases, and other sources of informa- tion opened a whole world of resources for skilled infor- mation professionals to glean from.
The information is out there. However, as anyone who has tried to find specific information on the Internet can attest, it takes skill and resourcefulness to navigate the system in search of what you need. In addition to all the high-tech methods, an information professional is also no stranger to libraries, news files, government record agencies, and other sources of hard-to-find information. TAK Information Professional. Information professionals are sometimes employed by corporations but are just as likely to be self-employed.
Self- employed information professionals can work from a home office or from a business suite. Clients from anywhere in the world can be served efficiently thanks to the convenience and affordability of technology such as computers, faxes, and modems, and the efficiency of overnight mail. Who needs to know that the information professional is sitting at the kitchen table working in pajamas? An information professional may serve a variety of differ- ent types of clients—anything from a start-up business to a major Fortune conglomerate.
Some specialize in a par- ticular area such as medical research, legal issues, or other technical research. Advertising agencies and public relations firms are frequent users of information professionals, as are publishing houses and educational institutions. A profession closely related to that of information profes- sional is that of researcher.
Publishers of magazines, refer- ence books, and other types of nonfiction books often have a research staff who use their skills in two ways. One way is to verify the facts found in com- plex articles or soon-to-be pub- lished books. The other way is to collect new information for projects that are in. The latter is called primary research and is usually the domain of more experienced researchers. Working on the research side of publishing can be a great way to learn about a particular subject or about publishing in general.
Since researchers often have to rewrite incorrect data or compile reports detailing their findings, it also pro- vides an opportunity to gain valuable writing skills. As for training requirements, there are none officially. Some of the most successful information professionals and researchers have a background in library science, which allowed them to master some of the finer arts of in-depth research.
Go to the reference section of a well-stocked library and see how long it takes to find the answers to the following questions. By the way, feel free to ask for help if you need it. This time park yourself in front of a computer with an Internet connection. Make a chart to compare the results of the library versus Internet research. Which method was quickest?
Which pro- vided the most accurate information? What method was easi- est to use to find the information you needed? Start by ask- ing questions. Ask parents, grandparents, and other relatives for details about other branches of the family tree. Record everything you discover and how you discovered it. Use a marker to trace what you learned about where your family came from and where they settled. If your family is currently spread out over the United States or elsewhere, print out another map and put big dots on all the places where family members now live.
See what new and interesting things you can learn at kid-friendly research Web sites such as:. Masoff, Joy. Oh Yikes! New York: Workman, Miller, Millie. Roberts, David, and Jeremy Leslie. Pick Me Up. Weber, Belinda. New York: Houghton Mifflin, World Almanac. World Almanac for Kids New York: World Almanac, I Know: Brain-Building Quizzes. Also, you can find all kinds of great information about top- ics ranging from ancient Greece to baseball and castles to spies in an illustrated series of books called DK Eyewitness New York: DK Publishing.
Ask a teacher or librarian to help you find a title that suits your fancy. Childhood Aspiration: To be a sign-language interpreter, or a doctor, or a librarian. First Job: Waitress at an all- night coffee shop. Back in the late s, she landed a job as a database manager for the library of a law firm. After that she worked for over 10 years in specialized libraries—not public libraries, but libraries within the federal government, the court system, and within private companies.
By she had reached two conclusions. First, she really enjoyed doing research and working with clients. Second, she liked running her own show. She had heard about people with her background and skills starting businesses as informa- tion brokers or information entrepreneurs, so she spent about a year planning and then launched her own company, Bates.
Information Services, in Now she is a nationally recog- nized expert in the field. Trade Secrets Bates shares that she learned many valuable lessons from working in libraries that help her succeed as an informa- tion entrepreneur. For instance, she knows how to conduct research cost-effectively and efficiently, which, with clients paying an hourly rate for her services, is a much-appreciated skill.
When it comes to tackling specific projects, she tends to spend some time educating herself about the subject matter at hand. In addition to the golf equipment project, other interesting subjects Bates has explored on behalf of clients include the origins of bungee jumping, all the possible uses for a new car- bide blade, and the disaster-recovery plans for every county in the country. Questions that have stumped her include one about how many flags were sold after September It was a large num- ber but no one seems to know for sure how many.
Apparently, that is inside infor- mation that companies will not share. When this happens she looks for something close, or some- thing that might suggest the answer. For instance, for the flag question she might contact the National Flag Foundation or the National Retail Federation or perhaps look for indications of an increase in sales of patriotic-themed greeting cards, and so on.
Future Information Professionals Be Advised Information professionals need to be creative, flexible, interested in lots of different stuff, and persistent. The best researchers are the ones with broad backgrounds in lots of different subjects. Who won the World Series? Should you wear a coat to school tomorrow? If you know the answers to these questions, chances are that it is because of the work of a journalist. Journalists, or report- ers, are the people who write stories about the people, places, and events that shape our world.
The latest news about sports and fashion, as well as developments in Third World countries and outer space, are brought to our door- step and television sets compliments of journalists who meticulously track down the facts and report them in news stories. Writing late-breaking news is quite a bit different from other kinds of writing. Reporters must continually find new ways to build stories around the six key elements of a journalistic report: who, what, where, when, why, and how. Successful journalists must develop a nose for news and be able to make quick decisions about whether a particular event is news or not.
TAK Journalist. Probably the most consistent challenge facing any jour- nalist is the time-crunch issue. Stories of even the utmost importance must be investigated and written quickly and accurately. Once a newspaper hits the streets, there is no way to take it back, so journalists have to get the story right the first time. The work of a given journalist might be as routine as cov- ering a local school board meeting or as heartbreaking as covering the aftermath of a terrible tragedy. Some journal- ists, particularly those report- ing from war zones or in other volatile situations, work under life-threaten- ing circumstances.
No matter what beat they are assigned, effective journalists share two traits. One trait is curiosity. Journalists have to be full of questions. The sec- ond trait is persistence. Journalists must have the energy and drive to do what it takes to find the answers. Also, plan on starting at the bottom of the ladder in the newsroom. The most exciting stories tend to go to the more experienced journalists.
Make sure to take advantage of every opportunity to get experience by working on school newspapers and actively seeking internship opportunities while you complete your education. This is a privilege that few other writing professions enjoy. Journalists get the opportunity to have a major impact on their world. Wars, environmental debates, and many a politi- cal career have been won or lost via the power of the press.
Look in the first section of a major newspaper and find a major story. It might be about a natural disaster, a political issue, or an international event. Cut out the headline story and any associated stories, sidebars, or charts. Continue to follow the story until its resolution.
Keep track of significant details and take note of how the story is reintroduced to readers on subsequent days. Is it the same person every day? Does it vary? If possible, follow the story from more than one source. Take notes about coverage on various television and radio stations. Read and clip stories about the same event that appear in other newspapers. Compare the. Notice what elements are emphasized in each story.
Can you detect any bias in the report? Both of these outlets can provide invaluable first experiences in scooping out news events, covering them, and writing stories to inform. Keep copies of your best work to include in your professional portfolio. The Internet is the source of news as it happens, when it happens. Find out how journalists keep the world informed on the information highway by visiting some of these hot news spots:. Following are some interesting books for you to read about journalists and their work. Ali, Dominic, and Michael Cho.
Tonawanda, N. Craig, Tom. Careers in Focus: Journalism. Eyewitness: Media and Communications. Jones, Sarah. Film Technology, People, Process. Media Wise: Newspapers and Magazines. Reeves, Diane Lindsey. Virtual Apprentice: TV Journalist. Sullivan, George. Minneapolis: Lerner, A Nose for News Find yourself hot on the trail of some newsworthy adventures in these books featuring young, fictional news reporters:. Ellerbee, Linda. Feinsten, John. New York: Random House, Givner, Joan.
Ellen Fremedon: Journalist. Speregen, Debra Newberger. New York: Watson Guptill, Trembath, Don. The Popsicle Journal. Custer, Wash. Childhood Aspiration: To be a forest ranger. First Job: Worked as a gofer for the Washington Post. She landed a job with the Washington Post by joking with a friend to put in a good word for her with his editor. He did, and she got a job. The same holds true with her present job. USA Today was just a new, upstart newspaper when Becker graduated from college, and they immediately hired her.
Today the paper is read by some 2 million readers every weekday. Becker volunteered to start reporting on these neglected events, discovered she liked it, and a career was born. Sports is still a male-dominated world, and Becker often finds herself as the only woman in the press box at many events. To get where she is today, Becker has had to work.
She specializes in covering gymnastic, figure skating, and cycling events. This beat involves more than just covering the main Olympic games. Long before the world gathers to compete, there are trials and national championships to keep track of. As a journalist, Becker gets to see lots of events for free—the same events that others pay top dollar for, if they can get tickets at all. Skill Set Go visit ever y lib rary you can find— school, public , corp orate, law, etc. Be sure to review latest news about bo the oks for youth.
Try creating a m ini-library with your own book collectio n. According to the American Library Associa- tion, librarians are professionals who organize and preserve recordable information and knowledge, provide library and information services, and deliver information products. On first guess, you might think of a librarian sometimes called a multimedia specialist as the person who helps you find information for research papers and check out books. If so, you are only partially correct. This type of librarian works in an area called user services, which involves dealing directly with the public the users of a library.
Another type of library work is technical services. The third area of library work is in administration. Much like any other business or government agency, someone must handle the day-to-day operations that keep a library running smoothly. Administrative duties may include managing the. TAK Librarian.
It is an especially good choice for someone who has an interest in the business side of the library. In addition to these three main types of library work, there are increasing opportunities for blending expertise in computer technology with a library career. In the past, most libraries kept track of their collections with card catalogs.
The mega list of careers for writers – work as a freelancer or as a job
New computer automated information retrieval systems make the process much easier and efficient. Professionals with the skills needed to plan and operate these highly specialized com- puter systems are in big demand. Librarians of all types can be found in several different kinds of libraries. You may already be familiar with the pub- lic library and your school library or multimedia center.
Other places where librarians work are in academic libraries at colleges and universities and special libraries that serve orga- nizations such as businesses, govern- ment agencies, museums, law firms, and medical cen- ters. Special librar- ies offer librarians an opportunity to blend a personal interest such as art or medicine with their general interest in books. You can earn your undergraduate degree in almost any area, although some would say that a well-rounded liberal arts education might be an ideal choice. In the meantime, while you are earning your degrees, there are many opportunities to work in a library as an assistant or technician.
New technology and the information highway continue to pave the way for exciting new opportunities for librarians as information managers. If working with books, people, infor- mation, and technology sounds like a winning combination for your future, read on. There are many people, however, of your own age as well as older and younger people, who do not know how to read.
Fortunately, you can help. One of the best ways to help a child learn to read is to read to them. Ask your teacher or school media specialist if there are any programs for older students like you to read to younger students. Make a list of the books you most enjoyed when you were little and start with those. Talk to your school or public librarian about your interest, and volunteer to help out. Whether your interests run to business , technology , news, public relations , or the arts, you can probably find a writing job to suit you.
Many of the jobs on this list even pay pretty well. Here are just a few examples of careers in writing that you may want to consider:. Overseeing various types of corporate communications and making sure the public views your company in a favorable light requires a blend of top-notch writing and marketing skills. In this role, you establish the communications goals of a company and develop branding and style guidelines for press releases, articles, newsletters, email campaigns, advertisements, and other marketing materials. This is a high-level position that requires several years of experience; be prepared to work your way up.
It's not just politicians and government officials that rely on speechwriters: You could also work for business executives, notable celebrities, or public relations firms. To do this job effectively, you need to be able to write persuasively about policies or principles that you may not always agree with. A degree in journalism , communications , or political science is a good place to start.
Joining Toastmasters or observing debates can also be good training. A key skill for any technical writer is the ability to take complex technical jargon and turn it into plain English. These writers design and develop software manuals, user guides, technical specifications, and other complex documentation. A big part of the job involves drawing useful and relevant information out of software developers, engineers, and other professionals, so solid interpersonal skills are essential.
Of all jobs in writing, this one has one of the best outlooks: It's expected to see faster-than-average job growth between and When people think of careers in writing, this is often one of the first that comes to mind. If you can create compelling characters that people want to know more about, and put them in unique situations that force them to tackle a problem or undergo a change, you might have what it takes to make it as a novelist. It's not enough to have a great idea; you also need to develop an outline and work out plot points, dialog styles, and character arcs.
Traditionally, novelists have worked with literary agents to market and sell their books, but self-publishing is an increasingly popular option. Do you dream of creating the next Hollywood blockbuster? Screenwriters are the creative energy behind films and television shows. You could adapt a novel for the big screen, write an episode of an established show, or develop an original movie script from scratch.
You need to understand the basic structure of a screenplay as well as how to create interesting characters and write peppy dialog. You also need to be open to constructive criticism: Making revisions is how screenwriters spend most of their time. Columnists are basically unshackled reporters: They're paid to give a subjective opinion on current events. As a columnist, you're expected to offer persuasive and reasoned opinions and perspectives on anything from city council's latest traffic bylaw to the current state of the U.
Many columnists also write books or serve as experts on radio and TV talk shows. You need several years of experience in your niche e. Suggesting changes and improvements to a manuscript that an author has slaved over for months or years requires tact and diplomacy as well as editing skills. Book editors are responsible for shaping and developing a manuscript to get it ready for publication. Your job is to bring a fresh eye to a piece of text and work with the author to strengthen the fundamentals and structure of the story. Many editors work for publishing houses, but going out on your own as a freelancer is also possible.
Cultivating relationships is key to the success of a public relations specialist. After all, you need to be on good terms with journalists, editors, bloggers, and other content producers in order to effectively control and manage the public image of your client or company. The ability to convey a message clearly and succinctly will serve you well in this field. Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door of many public relations firms. Also known as communications officers, these specialists create content that furthers an organization's marketing goals: brochures, e-books, press releases, and so on.
This role involves making sure that all written content follows branding guidelines and uses the company's agreed-upon voice. You need some knowledge of business and marketing as well as communications to make it in this field. A common fixture in consulting firms and sales departments, proposal writers prepare documents related to pricing, marketing, and product design.
They assess requests for proposals RFPs and develop responses to help their employers win new business and secure contracts. To succeed in this role, you need excellent organizational and writing skills as well as an eye for detail and a solid understanding of how your company can meet the needs of potential clients. Crafting proposals to secure financial support for foundations, non-profit agencies, and other organizations is a responsibility that falls to grant writers.
They are a key part of the fundraising staff in many places. Grant writers are in charge of identifying funding sources and developing written materials that target each potential donor. Flexibility is important; some donors expect a one-page document, while others look for much lengthier proposals. Whether you focus on TV, radio, print, or the Web or more likely a combination of those , you will spend much of your time as a journalist searching out newsworthy information and turning your findings into articles, scripts, and podcasts.
Most journalists start with entry-level writing jobs as general reporters, but with experience you could work your way into a niche like sports, business, science, or the arts. News can break anywhere, anytime, so be prepared for a non-traditional schedule. If you can write fluently in more than one language, you can seek work as a translator. And you may not have to look far to find opportunities: Employment in this field is expected to grow almost 18 percent between and You need meticulous attention to detail to do this kind of work.
Just remember: It won't be your job to make changes to or improve upon the text. Content strategists combine strong writing and communication skills with analytical thinking and marketing know-how to plan, create, and manage online content that achieves specific business goals. They apply principles of search engine optimization SEO and study analytics to figure out what kind of content is working and what kind isn't so that they can adjust their strategy accordingly.
Training in journalism , communications , or technical writing can be a good first step toward this career. Writing the narrative behind a video game is not like writing for other forms of media. Game players are constantly making choices that affect how the story develops and what happens to the characters, so you get to write scenes and dialog to fit all the different possibilities. You also get to work closely with developers , graphic designers , animators , and voice actors in order to make sure that what you write is technically feasible within the project's timeline and budget.
Creating captivating copy for print, online, television, or radio advertisements is another way to put your writing skills to good use. The ultimate aim of an advertising copywriter is to make people want to buy a particular product or service. Whether you're creating slogans, billboards, radio jingles, or social media ads, you need to be able to say a lot with just a few words. Internships can be a good way to get started in this field. Being a film critic involves more than just getting to watch movies for free.
You get to frame your thoughts as an informative review that draws people in. That means you need to have a thorough understanding of the filmmaking process. You also need to have solid interviewing skills and a knack for finding unique angles that make your story stand out from the crowd, so getting some journalism training will serve you well. Proofreaders are the last line of defense for a piece of content. They make sure there are no errors in the grammar, spelling, spacing, or margins of a document. In the publishing world, proofreading is the final step after the copy edit is complete.