It’s one of those days when I’m filled with new love for my career. In that spirit, here’s a post dedicated to all things great about working in a magazine!
1. You’re a girl-about-town I love being out and about. My restless nature suits the job perfectly because as a journalist, you get wind of cool events, new trends and product launches before anyone else. Last month, I attended an exclusive showcase of Dita von Teese’s famous “Martini glass” dance in Singapore. Too. Cool!
2. You’ll never get bored Every assignment is different and I never know who I’ll meet. Will I interview a CEO? Stake out a seedy bar? Undergo laser skin resurfacing? For the record, I’ve done all.
3. You’re always buzzing with ideas Every conversation and encounter becomes a possible story. You start to unconsciously think about angles and package the entire article in your head. The mental rush is exciting.
4. You’ll see people at their most vulnerable…I once wrote a story on nightlife in Singapore and had to interview a man (anonymously) on his not-so-honorable nocturnal activities. It was the first time we’d met and we spoke for two hours. I asked why he felt comfortable sharing so much with me. He said: “Well that’s the beauty of it, isn’t it? Pouring out all your secrets to a stranger.” You’ll be surprised at how some people aren’t willing to confide in their friends, but share their darkest secrets with a third-party. You listen and learn.
5. …And when they relive awe-inspiring moments There are many unassuming people who do awesome things. For instance, I met three women who mentored a group of youth who wanted to raise funds for tsunami victims. Everyday heroes can be hard to find, but when you do, it’s the most awesome feeling knowing that you can share their story with others - and hope it inspires someone else.
6. You travel the world I’m very grateful to have flown to Tokyo and Hong Kong for press events. Right now, I’m researching attractions in Milan to prepare for an upcoming story. Email me if you have any tips on what to do there!
7. You’ll have lots of “coffee catch-ups” I get my best story ideas just talking to people over a good cuppa. Being out of the office, they’re relaxed, chattier and likely to share interesting anecdotes. So during lull periods, I try to meet someone new every other day. This past week, I’ve had tea with an airline stewardess-turned-career coach, feminist author and pastry chef who, incidentally, makes the best mango tarts in Singapore.
8. You create something new…every issue I always feel a rush of pride when proof-reading the colour layouts of my stories. This is when my text is brought to life with snazzy fonts, illustrations and beautiful photographs - basically, how the story will look like when it goes into print. And yes, I still get a thrill seeing my byline.
9. You’ll hate cliches I’ve struck the terms “whopping”, “at the end of the day” and “you can have it all” from my vocabulary - boring, overused and redundant. You learn how to express ideas in engaging and refreshing ways - and that includes all kinds of writing outside of work. Like my resume. It’s been purged of hackneyed phrases like “team-player” and “problem-solver”.
10. You flip through magazines for work What more can I say?