In 2002, when Kim Shiffman was an editorial assistant at Chatelaine, she heard about an American organization called “Ed2010.” This 11-year old group, formed to encourage editorial juniors to aim for top jobs, instantly struck Shiffman as intriguing. Although there was already the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors, Ed2010 was for people starting out, and was very specifically geared toward career advice, though it claimed members from all levels of magazine culture. Later that year, when Shiffman found out there wasn’t an Ed chapter in Canada, she decided to start one herself and e-mailed her idea to managing junior editors at magazines in Toronto, where she lived. Towards the end of 2002, approximately 10 people met, and the Toronto chapter of Ed2010 was born.
Liann Bobechko, associate editor at Cottage Life and member of Ed2010 since 2003, describes her first encounter with the community of young magazine editors as “probably the most important.” At the first event she attended, she met Michelle Kelly, who was (and still is) working at Cottage Life. Prior to the mixer, Bobechko had met Penny Caldwell, editor of Cottage Life, and Caldwell had given her a heads-up on a possible job vacancy within the magazine. Sure enough, when Bobechko talked to Kelly at the Ed2010 event, she was told that an editorial assistant position was about to be posted. She told Kelly she was interested and Kelly “made sure that I saw the job posting when it came up. Through that I made sure I applied and was able to get the position,” explains Bobechko, “I might’ve missed it, had I not been there that evening and not met [Kelly].”
As the economy softens and magazine jobs become scarce, Ed2010 is important not only for networking, but also for the organization’s affordable professional development opportunities. When the economy is uncertain, journalists are encouraged “to get out from behind their computers and go out and meet people, because networking is a way to find work. You have to bang on doors so to speak,” explains Ann Meredith Brown, editor at Design Edge Canada and special events coordinator of the Ed2010 Toronto chapter, “meet ups are a great place to find out what’s happening. It’s a great way to get news and gossip and find out who’s hiring and who’s firing.” Membership is free—a boon to cash-strapped journalists—and members can attend or participate whenever they want. Currently, the group’s mailing list has over 270 members.
Though she’s more established now, Jaclyn Law, a freelancer and managing editor of Abilities magazine, turns to Ed2010 to meet and connect with young talent. Kat Tancock, web and communities editor at Best Health agrees, “I think it’s always more effective for any job hunt in any industry to know more people, because so much hiring goes on that never gets posted on job sites, so the more connections you have, the better, no matter what the economy is like.”
In the past two years, Ed2010 has branched out beyond simple social networking. They hosted two guest speakers; Kim Pittaway and Sarah Fulford, and held a resume building workshop, matching members up for one-on-one consultations with industry professionals. The Toronto chapter is also working toward launching a Canadian Ed2010 website in 2009. The website will host Dream Job TK, a blog started in 2007 by Corinna vanGerwen, current Ed2010 Canadian director and senior design editor for Cottage Life magazine. The blog addresses the questions and concerns of magazine soon-to-bes and is currently in syndication on MastheadOnline.
“When the economy is harder and there are fewer jobs, it’s whatever little edge you have over the next person, especially in an industry like magazines where the jobs are never ever posted,” concludes vanGerwen, and Ed2010 could be the edge that people wanting to get into this industry need.