I desperately want to find an entry-level job with a fashion magazine (assistant job would be great). I was just wondering how much more difficult it would be to find a job not being in NYC?
In an ideal world, you'd be able to land an editorial assistant gig at a New
York-based fashion magazine while sipping a margarita by your parents' pool
in the sweltering Texas heat. But it ain't gonna happen. Unlike other industries
that recruit college students and recent grads long-distance and even pay for
them to fly into town for interviews, the New York magazine industry as a whole
doesn't go out of its way to bring in a new crop of junior editors each year.
For one thing, magazines only hire when there are actual positions available,
not in "classes" like other businesses, such as law firms. An editor
will only hire an editorial assistant when her current editorial assistant 1)
leaves the magazine 2) gets promoted or 3) dies, which essentially the same
as number one. Anyway. My point is that a magazine editor hires when there is
a hole to fill and because the magazine never stops (damn those monthly deadlines!),
said editor doesn't want to waste any time filling it. You can already see how
living in Texas makes this more difficult.
Oh, I know. You say, "But I will fly to interview with her! Really I will!"
I have no doubt that you will. But chances are you'll never get that opportunity.
Assuming that the editor has your resume in hand (because you heard about the
job on Ed's whisper listings and sent it to her), she is going to take one look
at it and see Austin, Texas at the top and sigh, "Oh, if she only lived
in New York." Then she's going to throw it in the trash, or, if she's nice,
she'll put it at the bottom of the pile of the other 100 resumes she just got
in for the position. She doesn't want to a) wait for you to book your ticket,
schedule an appointment, deal with hiring you long-distance, and then wait for
you to move to New York City, or b) feel guilty for putting you through all
of that effort if she doesn't end up hiring you.
I know, I know. You can't afford New York. But most New Yorkers can't afford
New York. It's part of the fun of living here-scrounging to pay the rent and
managing to feed yourself all the while bitching and moaning about it. In fact,
it's part of the experience, so please don't let that stop you. If I were you
(at one point I was you. Ed grew up in a town in Indiana; at least people have
heard of Austin!), I'd save up a couple grand (babysitting, working at Papa
Johns, whoring yourself out at the mall, etc.) and move here. There are several
cheap(er) options available to new residents (See Moving to New York in the
archives below). Then get a job working retail, being a nanny, waiting tables,
etc. while you look for your first magazine job with your new NYC-addressed
resume. It's also not a bad idea to work part-time as an unpaid intern at a
magazine while you're at it; many magazines hire unpaid interns throughout the
year. Off-season-meaning not summer-internships are easier to get. (Ed has sent
out dozens of internships in the last few weeks, for instance.)
If you absolutely, positively cannot move to New York-or you think you'll move
here soon, but need to save up first-there are a couple of tricks you can employ.
Okay one trick: Lie. Ask a friend or relative who lives in New York City or
in the metropolitan area (New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut) if you can use
their mailing address on your resume. Your phone number can still have its Austin
area code-if you pass it off as your cell phone (because if you were to move
to NYC with your Austin cell number, it wouldn't change, right?). Or, you can
go one step further and get a cell phone number with a NYC area code (917 or
646 are used mostly for cell phones; 212 and 718 are more commonly home phone
area codes). The only problem with this plan is you'll have to jump on a plane
for your interviews at the drop of a hat (oh, and you'll have to never tell
your editor). And with multiple interviews on short notice, that can get very
expensive. Which, if you think about it, is probably more expensive than a first-month's
rent in New York. So that brings me back to: Maybe you should just move here
in the first place!
And when you get here, be sure to swing by and say Hi.