Keep Your Skills Sharp and Your Eyes Open
The sophistication of information distribution is improving exponentially. Our former clients and advertisers are embracing emerging new channels and following consumer trends at lightning speeds. Everyone is seeking a one-to-one relationship, which is very difficult—but not impossible—for a dead-tree publisher. The deeper the niche of your product, the greater the appearance of a one-to-one relationship.
So what does all that mean to you and your job? Is there any stability on the horizon? The answer is “yes” for some … and “no” for others. If you are in the right place at the right time and you have the proven skill set, there are plenty of years of productivity left for you. But you must stay ahead of the technological curve.
Remember that the way we distribute information is rapidly changing. It’s a fact that digital distribution will increasingly be the medium of choice as time goes on. To stay employed, you must be an able part of that change. There will always be a need for all the functions we perform today, such as editorial, art and design, production, distribution and sales. But nothing will be as it used to be. We all will need to be retrained and re-acclimated to the multitasking world of print/digital publishing.
What should we do? Keep your eyes open and be ready to jump ship at any time, for any legitimate new position, be it in this industry or another. Let’s face an industry fact: Most employers have little loyalty to you, so, within reason, why should you extend an abundance of loyalty to them? Those days are long past. You must continue to be an excellent worker and valued employee, but changing jobs when the opportunity presents itself is mandatory under favorable conditions.
Stay as informed as possible, and make yourself as indispensable to management as possible. Understand all areas of the business, new and old. Understand and work with all the other departments. Make them think that without you, the magazine would never get out. That is what I have always done. It’s a bit of a shell game, but you wouldn’t believe how much it helps. PE