Editor (Female, Age 32) in Chicago, IL

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 32 who works as a Editor in Chicago, IL. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitleEditor
Salary$35,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week40
Company Size(not answered)
LocationChicago, IL
Years Experience3 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
My company employs about 300 people, and we’re split into two locations. We publish everything from auto guides to cookbooks, history books, craft books, etc.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
As an editor, I edit manuscript for any given project. I also help plan the book, hire the writers, help figure out any art needed, attend photo shoots if needed, and continue to edit the book through each stage.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
PPO insurance, 401K, 15 days vacation, eight “1-3” periods (where we can be absent from work up to three hours), summer hours

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
It’s fair, I suppose. You don’t go into publishing to make money.

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I do work with others, but the level varies daily, and depending on what sort of book we’re doing. Each book involves a team of people – writers, editors, production editors, acquisitions editors, art directors, etc. – who I have to corral every so often, to make sure we’re on the same page. Sometimes I meet with team members several times a day, sometimes I won’t talk to any of them for a week.

I actually really like the level of interaction. It’s not overbearing.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
The previous answer was an explanation. I work closer with my coworkers than with the outside public. Unless a writer really screwed up or needs guidance, my interaction with them is limited. Same with illustrators.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 3
Benefits: 6
Hours: 7
Co-Workers: 2
Supervisors: 5
Job Title: 4
Level of Responsibility: 8
The Actual Work: 1

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am
8am to 9am8:30 – Arrive at work. Drink massive amounts of tea, go through the morning’s e-mails.
9am to 10amWrite a list of everything that needs to be done during the day. Check in on calendar to make sure I know what deadlines are coming up. Check in with acquisitions editor to see if we’ve snared any more potential writers for a certain project.
10am to 11amWork on editing articles for a 600-page book. Check in with production editor on another book, to see when he’ll have his copy in to me.
11am to 12pmContinue working on articles. I have a lot to go through, and each one takes time and some research.
12pm to 1pmLunch!
1pm to 2pmBack to editing. I’m spending more time on this project than usual because I’m waiting for pieces of other projects to come in. When i get those pieces, then I can divide my time.
2pm to 3pmEditorial staff meeting. This usually entails discussing upcoming projects, arguing about grammar style, and lots of snacks.
3pm to 4pmMore editing. Also, working on the writer’s guidelines for another project, so they know what’s expected of them.
4pm to 5pmContinue editing. Send batch of edited articles to the fact checker, and another batch to the art director, who will make a list of needed art assignments based on them.

And go home!

5pm to 6pm
6pm to 7pm
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
Internet listing, plus a friend referral

What was the application process?
Endless. Submitted cover letter and resume, went in for a test and interview.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Yes – I came in, took an editing test, and met with a group of editors, who asked the usual interview questions. I was asked back later to interview with the department head.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
How do you handle a stressful situation?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

What’s your communication style at work?

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Again, not particularly. But you learn as you go. And frankly, a lot of this job is entirely that.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Not really – the other editors were too busy at the time.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Sort of. I never had any grammar classes or an editing class. My B.A. is in English, so I knew good writing when I saw it. Again, past experience prepared me.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
n/a

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Frankly, while a B.A. in the field (English, journalism, communications) is nice, I’ve found that experience goes way further. If you can’t get an internship, freelance for anyone you can – even web sites that can’t afford to pay. Build up the resume to show that you’re capable of doing the work. Join publishing groups and organizations to reap the rewards of their job listings and word-of-mouth.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
Obviously, you need to know what makes good writing and what doesn’t. This includes basic grammar skills. I don’t know a dangling participle from a gerund, but I know when something is wrong with a sentence and how to fix it.

From there, organizational skills are a must. We handle several projects at a time, and each require their own level of babysitting. Multitasking is key.

It’s also important to be able to get along with other people – your coworkers are your support staff. Plus, publishing is an industry where “who you know” really matters (especially when job hunting). Schmooze away.

Finally, it’s really important to know how to get over any hurdle thrown your way without it flipping you out. Because, inevitably, things WILL go wrong at some point.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
I think i already answered this: A degree certainly helps, but experience speaks leagues.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Brush up on basic skills – you’ll probably have to take an editing test at some point.

Meet people, talk to others in the field, don’t be afraid to network.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes. I want to stay in publishing, and this is a fine place to accrue experience.

What are your current career goals?
Ideally, I’d like to work at a children’s book publisher.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
Not particularly!

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

TitleLengthSalaryDescription
Prior Job 1project coordinator3 months (contract)$21/hrKept track of the copy between each department. Made sure each dept. had what they needed, and made sure we kept on schedule.
Prior Job 2Assistant Editor1.5 years25000Was the Arts and Entertainment editor. Came up with story and feature concepts, assigned writers and photographers. Edited copy. Wrote constantly.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:not sure

GPASchoolDegree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.4University of North DakotaB.A. in English
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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