How you learn what NOT to do with your life

Part 3 of 3.

There are moments in life where you think to yourself “What the hell am I doing?” I dedicate my final blog about my trip to visit different magazines in New York City with Drake University to the moment I realized what I didn’t want to do with my life.

I love writing. I love reporting. I love interviewing people and finding a story in something. I love magazines. I love getting a story to a specific audience. I’m a magazine major in school now because I love all of these things, but I don’t know if I want to work for a magazine anymore.

I should say that I would be more than happy to work for a magazine when I graduate in a year, but I don’t know if I want what I wanted before.

Before New York (and this whole year really) I thought all I ever wanted was to be a staff writer at an entertainment or music magazine. I love to write about entertainment. I’m good at it. But what if there are other things I can do with my skill set?

I still want to work for a magazine if I can, but it has to be the right job. I always thought “The Devil Wears Prada” was just a fun movie making fun of magazines and their editors. False. At some places, that shit is real. I won’t name where or who, but I want to work at a magazine where I can both work hard and enjoy what I’m doing.

I used to think that the only place I ever wanted to be was NYC. I would still live there if the right opportunity came about, but I also wouldn’t be heartbroken if I didn’t. My magazine trip to New York really made me think about the other things I can do with my magazine skills. Publications are all about branding and marketing content to a narrow audience. In New York I learned that I can apply that to a lot of things.

Specifically, I’m interested in social media. People who don’t understand the value of social media are probably asking how that would amount to a career. Those are also the people who probably don’t have Twitter and only post about boy problems on Facebook (That was a joke. Sort of.).

Social media isn’t just for sharing cute pictures of your baby. It’s actually a huge branding tool. Think of it as a place where a business, publication, or even person can create a voice for exactly what they want to sell or represent. Take Better Homes and Gardens social media presence. Their print publication audience might be geared to women a bit older than I am, but they use social media everyday to brand themselves to all kinds of demographics. Have you seen their kick ass Pinterest page? One, I don’t really like Pinterest. I literally just got it to follow BHG because they do such cool things with it. Two, they are the number 1 most popular account to follow on the site. Why? Because they have people whose job it is to make their social media campaigns. They decide what to post and experiment with what people want to see. I find the things people do on social media fascinating. It may sound extremely nerdy, but I like reading analytics and seeing what people react to on the Internet. Both businesses and publications use social media to their advantage and if they haven’t started doing it yet, they will. I want to do that. I want to work with online content.

Sure, if I found the right job as a writer I would take it, but now I know that there is more for me to discover in my career than just a magazine. And, after all, today a magazine is the print, tablet, online versions with products, social media, and partnerships. A magazine is an entire empire. I have to be able to fit in there somewhere right?

Then there’s the other part of me that wants to just go into television. No, I’m really not kidding. Besides, there are plenty of shows and staffs that need someone to help them with writing and social media right?

I guess I learned that, once again, the opportunities are endless.

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