Leah McLaren: Model Entrepreneur For Young Writers
Journalism and writing are popular career aspirations for today's youth, but most don't know the right way to go about chasing their dreams. Leah McLaren is a popular columnist, magazine contributor and author who sets a model example for young entrepreneurs hoping to see their names in print.
McLaren began her journalism career at 18, interning for Canadian monthly This Magazine and The Globe and Mail, before being hired on as a full-time Arts Reporter and later, an International Arts Correspondent based in London, England. Today, she has a regular Saturday column for the Globe, a monthly column in Flare magazine and is a published author of the novel "Continuity Girl".
Her lifestyle is unequivocally envied by many aspiring journalists looking to follow in her footsteps. After all, what could be better than living the glamorous single life in one of Canada's most happening cities; while writing articles about bar-hopping and getting through the work day in a home office, dressed in yoga pants and wellington boots? I like it. Well, I'm not a journalist (but a writer); I'm more domestic and opt for slippers over wellies...not the same at all, but still.
So, taking a note from McLaren's book, what can aspiring writers do to launch their careers?
1. Figure out if it's what you really want.
2. Go and get it!
If only it were that easy. Ok, there's more...
3. Get the appropriate education (consider English or Journalism programs).
4. Find a way to establish experience and build a portfolio early on (consider internships or pro-bono contributions to publications).
5. Seek the advice from a strong mentor in the industry.
6. Don't be too picky in the beginning...any job will help get you on your way.
7. Consider marketing yourself as a freelancer (connect with agencies, setup a website, put up web ads and flyers).
8. NOW, go and get it!
Consider it a New Year's resolution; write out your career plans and get on track to achieving your entrepreneurial goals, and maybe we'll see your byline in print, just like Leah McLaren's.