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12/10/2011 / melgardener

The grass is always more glamorous on the other side

Think of the most glamorous or exciting profession you can imagine. Now, ask yourself why you chose that particular profession? Is it because it involves a lot of international and interstate travel? Maybe there are lots of opportunities to hang out with celebrities? Or possibly it sounds like it should involve plenty of lunches and outings?

When I tell people I’m a writer and editor I always get the same response. People are envious of what they perceive is the lifestyle which comes with such a job. I’m sure they immediately picture me living some Carrie Bradshaw-esque lifestyle: rising late, sliding from bed wearing nothing but my designer slip, daintily perching my behind on an oversized armchair and casually tapping out 1000-odd words in a few minutes. Then  dressing and spending the rest of the day shopping and having lunch with my friends.

Working in the media does bring a certain amount of opportunities to hob-nob. I get invited to an amazing array of functions – from product launches to industry get-togethers and conferences. If the need ever arose, I could easily spend almost every lunchtime and practically every evening at some event sipping free champagne and nibbling on tantalising goodies.

But, if I did that, when would the actual work ever get done?

The sad reality is that, no matter the profession, anything that looks or feels glamorous to an outsider is hiding the true hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Putting together a magazine, or any publication really, does not happen overnight – nor does it happen by luck. Most publishing houses employ teams of people to produce the glossy pages (or websites) you see before you.

When we are on deadline we work late into the night to produce the lovely words that go with the pretty pictures. We agonise over the contents of every story – did we use the right images, the correct caption, or the most engaging headline? We co-ordinate photo shoots, deal with PR agencies, manage clients, liaise with sales reps who all want their client in the best possible spot, and trouble-shoot when things are running late or last minute changes must be made.

All of this…and more.

It must be said that if we didn’t want to be doing all these things, we wouldn’t be here. I’ve worked with countless people in the ten-or-so years I’ve toiled in publishing and I’ve never met a more dedicated or hard working group of individuals. The payoff for all that hard work is that there are sometimes a few perks. We get products sent to the office, we have opportunities to meet some extraordinary people and interview them, and we take great pride and pleasure in seeing the end-result of all our efforts.

Do I love what I do? Yes, with a passion. Is it as glamorous as everyone else seems to think? Definitely not. But I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Do you work in a field that is seen as ‘glamorous’? What is your idea of the most glamorous industry to work in?



Leave a Comment
  1. Eliot / Oct 13 2011 11:37 am

    I share your pain, Mel. Having been a photographer for almost 20 years, I have been flown to a location less times than the number of fingers I have on one hand. Additionally, I don’t get to drive a fast car, nor do I get to shoot semi naked women in lingerie (or less) for vast wads of cash and/or sniffable drugs, and I go home to my wife and kids, and not home with some random gorgeous buxom glamazon when I feel like it.
    Still, I love what I do, and get great personal reward out of doing it well, which makes up for the lack of all the above, and then some.
    The worst part of my job? Being asked by at least 75% of people (95%+ of women) if I do weddings. No, no and NO. There are 2 questions I get asked when I tell people I’m a photographer: Women usually ask “Do you do weddings?”, and men will usually ask “Do you shoot porn?”

    • melgardener / Oct 13 2011 2:04 pm

      I love the gender divide – “do you do weddings” and “do you shoot porn”? LOL

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