Advice from Jessica Linzey

Let go of your worries about finding a job. Live an interesting life, and the work will follow.

Move to another country, another province, another city, another neighbourhood. Travel alone, live with locals. Talk to strangers. Take your headphones off. Eavesdrop. Let conversations breathe. Listen. Really listen. And don’t be afraid of silence. Read. Read. Read. If someone’s work inspires you, moves you, say so. Get contact details for everyone you meet. Collect business cards and write bits of info on them. Go through those cards every few months — there are stories everywhere. Do not blow deadlines. And if you must, talk to your editors — they’ll appreciate it.

Spend as much time working on your pitches as you do on your stories. Learn to love the editing process. Find a mentor. Ask for help. Ask for clarification. Ask your colleagues for feedback. Play nice — this is a small industry. Be careful with what you put online. Always follow up — with leads, with thank yous, with pitches, with promises to buy drinks. Have a life outside of journalism. Remember that there are hundreds of ways to practice this trade. So take a chance. Everything is an opportunity. Everything. Do something that leaves you a little off balance. You never know where it will take you.

About Jessica

Jessica Linzey

  • Name: Jessica Linzey
  • J-school: UBC
  • Current/Past Employers: CBC, self, Chef Abroad (The Food Network), NewsXchange, The Riz Khan Show on Al Jazeera English, The Frontline Club, The Coast
  • Publications: The Coast, OpenFile.ca, Momentum Magazine
  • Platforms: print, radio, TV and live production (see NewsXchange, Frontline Club), online
  • Twitter: @jesslinzey
  • Web:  jessicalinzey.ca (under construction)
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