Keep your friends close and your editors closer

By Amanda Smyth Connor1285834_four_hands

Steady employment for those in the writing/editing industry appears to be going the way of the Dodo in the midst of today’s economic crisis. You may find that one day you are happily emailing your favorite editor and the next day, they’re gone and you’re suddenly working with a new editor – or worse, you can’t figure out who to contact at all.

Crap. Now you have to start the relationship from ground zero and work your way back up with a new editor.

The good news is that, as an editor, every time I have left a job, I have taken all of my favorite writer’s contact info with me. The first thing I do upon taking a new job is to begin reaching out to my existing arsenal of writers. It looks good for me, professionally speaking, to bring these existing relationships with me and it works out well for my writers when I am once again in a position to begin hiring them for new projects.

Editors and writers have a delightfully symbiotic relationship. They need you as much as you need them, so don’t ever believe for one second that you are entirely at their mercy. And because of this shared need to maintain relationships despite unsteady employment, I make it a point to update my LinkedIn as often as possible and to keep my writers up to date on any career changes I undergo, whether it is taking on a new position with my existing company or whether I move to an entirely different company.

Employment opportunities are, as they say, not about what you know as much as who you know, and you never know when you will be in a position to help a friend secure a new position. My advice to you is to keep networking, maintain your relationships and keep that contact list up to date.

One thought on “Keep your friends close and your editors closer”

  1. Amanda, these are great tips. As an assigning editor, I’ve done the same thing as you, continuing working relationships with talented writers for years. And when I went freelance in 2007, I was pleasantly surprised how many opportunities I had to write stories for editors whom I once hired as freelancers. Are there other networking tools you like, in addition to LinkedIn?

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