Breaking Into Communications

How to transition into a new career

EditorQ&AAfter working for nearly a decade in human services, I obtained my master’s degree in communications in May 2007. Other than an internship in 2006, I have little communications experience. My dilemma is being overqualified for entry-level positions and under qualified for mid-level positions. Can you offer any suggestions?

—T. Lindsay
Philadelphia

The good thing about the communications industry is that there is a plethora of job opportunities available in advertising, film, marketing, publishing, public relations, radio, and television. First identify your area of interest by setting up informational interviews with seasoned executives, and ask them what their jobs entail. After you’ve narrowed your focus, search for jobs on MediaBistro.com or JournalismJobs.com, two Websites that list jobs, courses, conferences, and blogs for creative professionals nationwide. Be prepared to accept an unpaid internship or assistant-level position in order to break into the industry—we all start somewhere.

Also, consider joining organizations such as National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) to develop a network base through conferences and professional development seminars. Read Extraordinary Jobs in Media (Facts on File; $40) and Great Jobs for Communications Majors (McGraw-Hill; $15.95).