Forums Club Ed Editors’ Forum Hello! And transferable skills Reply To: Hello! And transferable skills

Jennifer Lawler

Hi, Alex! Thanks for posting. I hope a few other people see this and respond. (The Club Ed forums are just getting started so we’re working on building some traction).

I have often said that information architecture is basically developmental editing in another field. It’s about figuring out the most effective way to tell a story or inform the audience (whatever your intention happens to be). I would imagine the information design is very similar as well. And of course having a background as a writer also helps as it gives you a good sense of craft.

A lot of the focus of Club Ed is on fiction, just because that happens to be what most of my students have been interested in, but nonfiction DE is actually easier to break into as there’s so much more of it being published. Having special subject matter knowledge also helps. For ex, publishers of art, art history, or museum related periodicals or books would be more likely to hire you because you have subject matter knowledge. If you’re interested in nonfiction DE, I will soon be adding an updated version of my NF class to the catalog (by June 1, fingers crossed).

A lot of my students have come from other fields, particularly law (where the ability to make cogent arguments is a highly transferable skill) but also nursing and computer science. Over the years, I’ve realized a lot of people love language and words but don’t really see how to make a career out of it and so test other fields first. But there is so much that can be transferred: nurses are empathetic but still have to do what needs to be done (a great trait for a DE); computer people tend to be logical and problem-solving–again, excellent traits for a DE.