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How To Climb The Editorial Ladder

So, you wanna be EIC, huh? Depending on the size of the publication and the stability of the market — which, let’s face it, has not been that kind to print publications lately — the magazine masthead is not the playground of overnight sensations. You can, however, climb the editorial ladder with a little strategy and lots of hard work. For example…

Sign up for the un-spectacular.

You know those grunt assignments that nobody else wants? Take ‘em. They’re like little learning boot camps, said Marie Claire features director Lea Goldman, who found unique value in a notoriously tedious task.

“When I started out, transcripts and fact checking were the most useful things I did because they taught me how to put together a story,” she remembered. “I often just copied the source with the head of an organization and add that name and number to my Rolodex like, ‘OK, that’s a source. Now, I know if I’m ever working on a story like this, I can call that person.’ So they’re very useful and they shouldn’t be dismissed as just scut work.”

To find out how other magazine veterans got promoted, read How To Become an Editor-in-Chief.

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