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 book published).
Age 11: Enter a writing competition and decide being a reporter sounds like fun.
Age 15: Careers advisers suggest journalism not the best career for as shy a child as me. Consider other options.
Age 16: Ignore other options and career advisers and pursue journalism dream. First work experience placement is on Smash Hits magazine on London’s Carnaby Street. Very exciting.
Age 18: Head off to London College of Printing to learn how to be a journalist.
Age 21: Get first full-time job on a new computer magazine in London’s Docklands. Other titles in company include Asian Babes…..
Age 21 and six weeks: New PC magazine closes after six weeks of me in the new role. I’m made redundant.
Age 21 and a few more weeks: Land job at computer magazine publishing giant VNU on PC Week as editorial assistant – finally I’m a journalist (kind of). Three years of fun, fabulous press trips and lots of learning follows. Move from editorial assistant, to reporter and then senior news reporter helping launch Network News, a new title in the computer market that doesn’t close after six weeks. Hurrah!
Age 24: Go travelling.
Age 25: Come back from travelling. Decide I want to work on Retail Week having admired the title when I was on Network News. Nag Retail Week for job. Get offered job on Retail Week. Salary not high enough. Burst into tears again. (*Must harden up more). Retail Week call with another vacancy at higher wage. Dry tears and apply again. Get job on Retail Week! (Double hurrah!). Totally love new job and stay for nine years – working as a reporter, senior reporter, deputy features editor and finally features editor. Only leave because I move to Bristol to have my first child.
Age 34 plus: Launch freelance career – initially working for Retail Week on a freelance basis and gradually expanding to include many different corporate, trade and consumer titles. Yay! Am proven journalist of many years. Feel smug that I ignored the career advisers.