A tongue-in-cheek look at my journalism career
Age 5: Decide I’m going to be a writer (inspired by English teacher at primary school who gets a children’s book published).
Age 11: Enter a writing competition and decide being a reporter sounds like fun.
Age 15: Careers advisor suggests journalism not best career choice for a painfully shy teenager. Briefly consider other options.
Age 16: Ignore other options and careers advisor and pursue journalism dream. First work experience placement is on Smash Hits magazine on London’s Carnaby Street. Very excited teenager heads off to big smoke. Many other work experience placements follow. Still want to be a journalist.
Age 18: Start journalism and business course at famous London College of Printing to learn how to be a journalist.
Age 21: Get first full-time job on PC News Weekly, a new computer magazine based in London’s Docklands. Other titles in company include Asian Babes…
Age 21 and six weeks: New magazine closes after 10 weeks of opeartion. I’m made redundant six weeks into my first role and am gutted.
Age 21 and a few more weeks: Land job at computer magazine publishing giant VNU, working on PC Week as editorial assistant. Finally I’m a journalist (sort of). Three years of fun, fabulous press trips and much learning follows. Move from editorial assistant role at PC Week to reporter role on Network News, a new VNU title in the computer market that doesn’t close after six weeks. Hurrah!
Age 25: Having covered retail on Network News decide I want to work on Retail Week. Nag Retail Week for job. Get offered job on Retail Week. Salary not high enough. Burst into tears. Couple of weeks later Retail Week call with another vacancy at higher wage. Get job on Retail Week and stay for nine years – working as a reporter, senior reporter, deputy features editor and finally features editor. Only leave because of move out of London to Bristol to pop out a baby or two.
Age 34: Launch freelance career – initially working for Retail Week on a freelance basis and gradually expanding to include many different corporate, trade and consumer titles.
Today: Am established, experienced journalist of many years. Feel smug that I ignored the careers advisor.