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Virginia St-Denis

Career Builder: An Action Plan for New Editors

Editor Career Builder

A new free resource is available to help you build your new editing career. Experienced editors can use it for giving advice to would-be editors.

Editor Career Builder
sergeypykhonin ©

Launching a successful career just became a little easier for would-be editors, students and novice editors. The Career Builder provides valuable information to guide you through creating your personalized action plan to build your career.

The three-year, career-development plan covers specific, tangible activities, focusing on three key objectives:

  1. Becoming part of the community and expanding your network
  2. Training to build on your previous education and existing skills to become an effective and efficient editor
  3. Finding work by building your resumé and establishing yourself in the editorial profession

Choose your path

Although Editors Canada produced the Career Builder, this free, four-page PDF provides a generic action plan that can be used across Canada or around the world in any English- and French-speaking country. While it suggests joining professional associations, taking part in social media groups, and taking workshops and seminars, it does not specifically advertise Editors Canada’s offerings over others.

It provides a generic roadmap that shows you most of the places you should visit along the way to improve the chances of successfully launching your editing career. Which path you choose to take is up to you.

Be open to various possibilities. Some new editors discover that they’re drawn to certain kinds of editing more than others. Some become interested in related careers (such as indexing or communications and marketing). And some discover that they just weren’t cut out to be editors. To find the best path for you, be curious and be open.

Adapt the steps and suggestions to your own circumstances and preferences. For example, the Career Builder suggests taking part in Twitter chats. If Twitter just isn’t your thing, consider finding editors on other social media platforms, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. You may already have experience in some of the areas we suggest, so you can skip those. And you don’t have to do everything listed. Or you may do them in a different order.

Experienced editor insights

Experienced editors created the guide to help new and would-be editors build their careers by laying out a set of guidelines for education, networking and professional development. It’s information they wish they had when they started their careers.

Experienced editors can use the Career Builder when a student or novice editor asks them for advice on starting an editing career. It’s also a great conversation starter.

This resource is one of the many ways Editors Canada is supporting and advancing the profession and excellence in editing.

Please share the Career Builder with students, colleagues and prospective editors.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to would-be editors to improve their chances of successfully launching their editing careers?


Previous post from Virginia St-Denis: Understanding My Reading Communities

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About the author

Virginia St-Denis

Virginia St-Denis is a publishing professional with more than 25 years of experience in writing, editing, photographing, desktop publishing and managing newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals and websites.


2 Comments on “Career Builder: An Action Plan for New Editors”

  • Rosemary Shipton


    I agree that social media discussions, short webinars, conference sessions, and meeting presentations are all useful ways of enriching your knowledge as an editor, once you have a strong foundation in place. Fortunately, several universities and colleges are now offering publishing courses and programs that provide the three critical elements: well-organized content, real-work assignments, and generous feedback from experienced instructors. These courses have replaced the “apprenticeship system” in which many older editors learned their craft in the workplace.

    We expect our doctors, mechanics, electricians, and therapists to complete rigorous formal courses and gain some hands-on experience before we accept them as professionals. Along the way and for the rest of their careers, we require in many of their professions that they update their knowledge by attending conferences, registering for classes, and joining professional associations. Why should it be any different for professional editors?

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