A key part of the career switch process — networking, networking, networking

March 27, 2015 By Kaitlyn Klein Conferences

Journalists and copy editors have felt the fear and stress of a shrinking job market since the recession, but the ACES session “Switching Seats: Transitioning to a New Career or Medium” reminds us that though copy editing can be an unstable career field, there are options beyond your current job.

Laura Browning, Paula Fuchsberg and Cindi Lash shared their experiences on seeking and starting a new job after working in another field.

If you’re at ACES you are already using the most important tool for transitioning — networking. All the speakers emphasized the power of reaching out to past colleagues or even strangers via social media.

After being laid off as a result of the recession, Browing often contacted people through social media. She said she simply offered to buy people in her interest area a cup of coffee and “no one said no.”

Lash and Fuchsberg were long-time newspaper women who transitioned to city magazine editing and corporate communications, respectively.

Fuchsberg said when she was laid off she began to think of networking as “talking to anybody, anywhere, anytime.”

She also found that her negative perception of corporate communications was incorrect. Don’t write off mediums or fields that you’ve never tried before, it could pay off like it did for Fuchsberg.

And though sometimes a career transition isn’t by choice, it can turn into a positive experience.

Some potential positives:

• Perspective on the negatives of your old job that you might not have seen while immersed in your work. (Lash said she realized after she left the newsroom how cynical it had made her.)

• A rejuvenated feeling from a new or possibly better work atmosphere.

• Less stressful deadlines (as Fuchsberg had when transitioning from news to corporate communication.)

• Learning new skills either in hopes of finding a new job or while working at your new job.

Kaitlyn Klein is a student at the University of Kansas.

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