On Nov. 3, 2010, I published a blog here on Edge called “Wordplay: I Love My Major, Write or Wrong.” More than two years later, I’m happy to report that this statement still holds true (if you substitute “Job” for “Major,” that is).
I graduated from Gannon in the spring of 2011 with a degree in English. Since then, I’ve managed to nab myself a “big kid job” using that degree. (If there are any English majors reading this, don’t believe the people who tell you that you don’t have a real major – you most certainly do.)
I’m currently a social media specialist at Phoenix Idea Lab here in Erie. My job has two main parts – first, I write reports on the status of the nonprofit sector within Erie County. I enjoy writing, so no complaints there. The best part of my job, though, is working with social media. I get paid to update Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Youtube. Every day.
Now, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m practically obsessed with Twitter, and I have been for several years. While I was at Gannon, I used to disable my computer’s wireless internet if I had a deadline to meet; it was the easiest way for me to stay off social media and finish my assignments.
In addition to tweeting, I love experimenting with new social media platforms. Former Edge editor-in-chief Nicole Dohoda and I always try out new networks as we hear of them – our latest endeavors include Circle and Hilight. Now it’s my job to be informed about up-and-coming platforms. I’m literally getting paid for work I would otherwise be doing recreationally. Not too shabby if you ask me.
What used to distract me from completing my work has become my work. I am by no means advocating tweeting instead of finishing your lab report. I am, however, encouraging you to stick with what you love and to be open to somewhat nontraditional jobs – a social media manager wasn’t even a job a few years ago, and now it’s incredibly popular.
Don’t let anyone, including yourself, pigeonhole you. Everyone always told me that English majors could be one of two things: a teacher or, God forbid, a writer. I vehemently disagree – just check my Twitter. Even if you’ve decided on a career path, keep exploring your options with an open mind. Maybe one day your hobbies – no matter how quirky or seemingly distracting – can turn into a career too.