Thursday, September 10, 2015

Jobs for Journalism Majors

Disclaimer: Sorry, this isn't a recruitment website!

I've had enough of people telling me that I shouldn't be in a particular industry because that's not where journalists belong. I've been told that I won't be able to practice my degree in a BPO company nor would I be able to have a blossoming career in a hospital. Who are these people to conclude that journalists cannot thrive in such industries?

With my experience in the workforce, I'd have to disagree with people who put me inside a box and dictate what I can and cannot do as a journalist. To date, I've been with four different companies from four different industries and by far, I believe I had been an efficient employee in each job.

Journalism majors are flexible and can easily blend in other industries apart from the Media (TV, radio, print media). Let me share the jobs I took on for the past seven years.

1. A Junior Editor in a Textbook Publishing House
Journalists are Grammar Nazis. Their command of the English language is above average and that comes in handy in the textbook publishing industry. As a junior editor, I was tasked to copy read manuscripts and make sure that our textbooks are error-free before they get published. The books we make are used by students from pre-school to high school. This means that I have to read manuscripts of English, Science, Math, Filipino, History books from cover to cover. Every day, I learn and re-learn old and new knowledge. It was fun and fulfilling knowing that you are part of the youth's education.

The Perks: I got to author a pre-school text book! Apart from the honoraria and royalties I got, it was the biggest achievement of my life. I was 24 then.

2. A Marketing Communications Supervisor in a Cosmetics Company
Yes, journalism and makeup! At first, I found it a weird combination because I used to be a plain Jane (still am, actually) who doesn't have any idea on how to apply makeup, but eventually, I learned how fun it was to be in that industry! As a marketing communications supervisor, I wrote numerous articles and edited outsources editorials for the company's partner magazines and newspapers. I also wrote scripts for the company's TV segment on a morning show. I maintained their FB fanpage and website, scheduled when our TVCs would air, conceptualized monthly campaigns, and worked with graphic artists to execute the campaigns. To be able to write decent advertorials, press releases, copies, tag lines, and various write ups, I had to learn how to use cosmetics. I joined workshops, read blogs, watched videos, and eventually learned to do my brows, blend my smokey eye shadow, apply blush on, etc.

The Perks: I had a quarterly supply of makeup! How cool is that? I also got to travel and meet different people/celebrities! I got to interview Sonia Rocco, Sen. Leni Robredo, Miss Earth candidates, etc.

3. A Writer-Editor in a BPO Company
When finding a job, I always stick to my strongest skill -- writing. I knew I wouldn't be an effective call center agent, so I tried to apply to this position instead. I have to say, this is the highest-paying job I ever had. And if I'd be given a chance to go back, I'd accept the offer in a heartbeat! As a writer-editor, I copy read marketing collaterals and made sure they adhered to the company's branding guidelines. I responded to requests for proposals and maintained a database of responses. The job was kinda boring, but my awesome workmates compensated for the very formal environment.

The Perks: It's a high-paying job. Health benefits & travel allowance (75% of my employers did not offer this!). And finally, get this: WORK-LIFE BALANCE!!!

4. Corporate Communications Officer in a Hospital
Journalists have good communication skills. So I use that skill to communicate the hospital's services to its stake holders. This job is basically the same as Job #2, but it's a different kind of fun. This time, I'm in the hospital industry. I write, take pictures, run errands, manage social media accounts, update the website, spearhead events, assist in TV appearances of our doctors, plan and execute campaigns, etc. Most times, it is tiring but at least it's never boring!

The Perks: The company loves throwing parties! So yeah, what diet?! Plus, being friends with doctors means zero professional fees for surgeries and checkups!

See? For journalism majors who wish to deviate from being part of the Media (after all, the Philippines is a dangerous place for journalists), there are other jobs that need your communication skills! Though I envy my practicing journalist batch mates, I am very much happy with the path I took.



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