Guest Post: “What I Look for When Hiring an Editor”

This is a guest post by Stephanie Stringham, managing editor at Dog Ear Publishing:

Over my years as an editor, I’ve heard a lot of people state confidently that they could be editors because they’re always finding errors when they read. I always have a couple of internal reactions to this. One is humor at how easy people think it is to do my job, and another is to feel a little bit insulted. Outwardly, I simply smile and murmur something noncommital.

The truth is, editing is a service, just like waiting tables, and a good editor, like a good waiter or waitress, will make the job look a lot easier than it appears.

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Single Parents and Why You Should Hire Them.

  1. They’re driven. There is nothing that lights a fire under you faster than knowing your family is depending on you—and only you. That translates into motivation and the willingness to go the extra mile.
  2. They know what they don’t know. It’s a skill that only comes with life experience and yes, age. It means these workers are willing to do what it takes to bridge the learning gap: classes, degrees, workshops, mentorship, et cetera.
  3. They’re climbers. They want more, and while they might be a little afraid or shy to go after it in the beginning, all it takes to get them rolling is a little push. So when you see untapped potential in an employee, give them the chance to prove to themselves—and you!—that they can do this.
  4. They’re calm in a crisis. They deal with little disasters at home every day. In the workplace, they use that ability to quickly extinguish potential fires calmly and with composure.
  5. They work smart. When it comes to time management, they’re experts. They have to be. Yes, there will be days their family needs them, but they will find a way to get their work done. All they need from you is a little flexibility as to the time and place the work happens.
  6. Their family is their priority. They love their work, but they also place a high value on family; it’s the reason many of them get up in the morning. Having a life beyond work means they know how to slow down and find joy in the small things, which helps to keep them thriving.
  7. They can laugh. Raising kids while dealing with all the little roadblocks life throws in your way is only survivable through a sense of humor. When they bring that wit into the workplace, the office environment lightens up, making everyone more relaxed and team-oriented.

(Note: Obviously, the above qualities apply to other individuals as well, but today I’m championing single parents. As an employer, so should you.)

Hired!

Starting on the 5th of January I made a goal to send out 5+ job queries per day, every day. That ended on February 4th. In that time I sent out at least 200 queries to every sort of publishing company and local marketing firm. I heard back from 48 of them, about half of which weren’t hiring. The other half requested a resume. Of those who requested a resume, I actually had prolonged conversations with 6 people.

The statistics look scary, I know. But I am happy to say that everyone I spoke to was kind, with a few going above and beyond (including Familius and Storey Publishing).

I am now very excited to be working for Dog Ear Publishing!

So for all those moms out there who might be going through a life transition or are just looking to get back into the workforce: do not give up! Rather, give it all you’ve got. You will get to where you’re headed.