Sunday, August 23, 2009

Freelancing can be a very good thing.

As I've been lucky enough to freelance while searching for the perfect full-time opportunity, I've been taking advantage of as many professional development workshops and club meetings as I can. This week I've had a few breakthroughs. 

During a Coast Young Professionals "Insights" luncheon (business leaders around the Coast come for lunch with a group of us CYP's and basically let us pick their brains for an hour), Vicki Barrett of the Sun Herald said something that really hit home . She talked about wishing she had the chance years ago to decide her next professional steps and consider being more entrepreneurial. Before finishing her talk, she said "be open in your career, because you never know what may come along." The core message Vicki delivered was to embrace professional evolution, which has been a recurring theme during my own job search. 

I thought about Vicki's advice again today when I read this post from Anonymous at Conde Nast, regarding the widespread panic among 30-somethings in the media industry who aren't sure about their next step. The pro's who've been writing/editing/being fabulous for a decade in the industry worry that as the feasibility of print subsides, they're high overhead and lack of digital trends are going to really end up screwing them. As we learn in marketing, "positioning " is unbelievably important for our clients, and these journalists--positioning themselves as entertainment/fashion media entities--may have positioned themselves against the trends. So how do I, approaching those years in my career, keep that from happening? 

It's difficult--and, I think, unwise--at this point in digital media/public relations/journalism to pigeonhole ourselves, am I right? What can we Gen Y'ers do to maintain our adaptability as the economy and media industry continues to evolve? For my peers who are also mid-job hunt right now, consider this time a gift to really think about how we can best contribute. I think during the past two months I've discovered so many new things about my abilities that I've really been able to narrow my search to the positions where I will be the absolute best. 

Despite this "blessing," pros, please tell me: how do we young professionals ensure our relevance in 10, 20 years? 

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