FAQ: Can I start in academic and move onto trade?

I ideally want to work in trade publishing. However, I have got to the second stage for a role in education at a top company. Will starting out in education make it difficult to transition to trade when a better role is available?

Quick answer: no!

Long(ish) answer: beginning in academic or another type of publishing is a great way to gain experience within the industry, without having to battle with the masses for every entry level job in trade publishing. That’s the most sought after, and most appealing for the majority of people coming out of uni, so that’s what they’ll be going for. However if you spend some time working at an academic house (or professional/STM/educational) you can gain a lot of skills and experience needed in trade, and then make the move over there when you’re ready. You may even discover that you love whatever sector you’ve gone into more!

The somewhat sad reality we are faced with is that there is too much competition and everything is too expensive to allow us to wait around until the perfect role comes along. So if you’re ever offered an interview/opportunity within a sector you hadn’t technically planned to get into, don’t turn it down on the basis that something else might come along. Because whilst that something might indeed show up, it also might not, or it might be given to someone else, or it might not turn out like you expected. Don’t place all your eggs in one trade basket.

I hope this is an alright answer?! As ever, if you have something you want to know, find me on Twitter (@emmastokesss/@pubinterns), send me an email ( or even comment on this!

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