English Majors · Life Choices

The English Major Conundrum

Hello fellow blog readers! I’m back with another post, but this time I am not going to be talking about books (well, maybe a little, but you’ll see what I mean in a moment). I am talking about English majors, and all the problems and choices that go along with being one.

Some backstory…

During my four years of high school, I struggled to find my calling. I was always drawn to reading from the time I could hold a book in my hand, but I didn’t know how my passion for reading could be a means of survival in a money hungry world.

My knowledge of career choices for a potential English major was limited. I mean very limited. When I thought of English major, the first (and only) thought that popped into my head was: English professor.

Don’t get me wrong. Being an English professor doesn’t sound unreasonable or horrendous, but I just knew that wasn’t what I wanted in life. I wanted to be able to sit down and get my hands on an inspirational, entertaining, fun, and adventurous novel. Maybe one with some faeries or dragons. 🙂

The problem was I didn’t know what other options were available until my high school economics teacher assigned us a project that required doing research on what careers one could pursue with an English degree.

What I Found…

After some digging around, I learned about how an English degree could land you a job in the publishing industry. Mind you, I didn’t know much about how publishing worked. However, the one aspect that caught my eye was being an editor. At the time, I saw editing in a publishing house as the perfect opportunity to do what I love most (reading, duh) and be able to make some $$$ while doing it.

I think most of us in life want to be able to do what we love and still be able to earn a living off it. It’s not entirely impossible (the word itself spells “I’m possible”), but it isn’t as easy as it sounds either. I’d love to catch some zzz’s like any other person and make some cha-ching, but you can’t exactly make a living off it.

What I Learned After the Search

I’d like to see this every time I have a breakthrough…

I have to thank my economics teacher because if not for the research project, I would not be where I am today: pursuing my dream of becoming an editor.

One important lesson I learned from the experience is to be proactive. Do not wait for the answers to come to you. Seek the answers out for yourself. Be curious. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but don’t forget that cats have nine lives. They always jump back on their feet and so should you. So, live yours to the fullest and pursue your dreams.

Ask questions. Many times opportunities pass you by because you were afraid to ask questions. Trust me because it’s happened to me many times. Questions are the beginning of your journey to finding answers. Someone out there in the career field is waiting for you to run up to them and answer any questions you may have.

These tips and advice apply to anyone pursuing any career. Not just English majors. But, for my fellow English majors and lovers of the English arts alike, don’t be intimidated by the pressure to choose a career quickly nor in terms of money or benefits.

Being an English major is amazing because there are so many opportunities to use the skills and experiences you have, and apply those to any number of careers. You have so much to give to the world, and you shouldn’t be afraid to use what you have to enhance and improve the creative industries.

So, whether you want to be an editor like me or a digital marketer, journalist, English professor, librarian, or even working in human resources, you have the choice. Be creative. Be passionate. And, most importantly, be driven, not deterred.

Hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions related to publishing, being an English major, or anything about my experience please feel free to comment below!

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