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20 Things Only Editors Understand

20 Things Only Editors Understand

When you spend a good amount of your time going through all kinds of manuscripts and articles, you learn that not everyone shares your passion for proper grammar. Many people feel that creativity and the overall message they want to convey trumps any sort of rules that govern written language, and this is something that drives editors crazy. We tend to be a bit nerdy, sometimes bordering on militant, when it comes to grammar rules, but it’s only because we enjoy our work. After a while your job changes you, so there are plenty of small things that have a big emotional effect on editors, which other people just don’t get. If you are in this line of work, you will definitely understand these little struggles.

1. We have a deep appreciation of commas

Comma

    Most people don’t use them nearly as much as they should, and when they do it’s usually in place of a good old full stop.

    2. We get OCD about checking every little detail over and over

    Sometimes it’s difficult to be sure whether or not you’ve missed a minor mistake, so you get into the habit of checking everything multiple times.

    3. We start to apply our critical eye to real life events as well

    All that attention to detail tends to carry over into regular life, making editors overly cautious and unable to make decisions without double-checking everything.

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    4. We’ve lost count how many times we’ve had to correct simple spelling mistakes like form instead of from

    These may seem like simple mistakes, but they can often change the meaning of the entire sentence, and you have to go back to correct them. After a while, you start feeling like someone is doing it on purpose just to mess with you.

    5. We face-palm every time a word underlined by Word is left uncorrected

    Facepalm

      Hey, we live in a wonderful modern world where programs like Word come with a decent spell check function, and yet some people don’t have the common courtesy to clean up the biggest mistakes that get underlined as they write. It makes you lose faith in humanity a tiny bit at a time.

      6. We become a free editing service for our friends

      You know that wonderful feeling when you’re a bit lonely and a friend calls you up? Well, imagine the disappointment when all they want is for you to do a bit of editing for them. Sure, they’ll owe you one or buy you a drink the next time you go out, but you still end up spending Saturday night in front of the computer.

      7. We end up irritating people because we can’t resist correcting their texts

      When our friends actually ask us to go out for some drinks with them, our editorial instincts take over and we end up correcting their grammar. Quick tip – most people are in a hurry and don’t worry about grammar when texting, so they tend to get very annoyed when you slow down the conversation in order to correct them.

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      8. We cringe every time someone uses further instead of farther

      Cringing

        Seriously, a chill will go down an editor’s spine when he or she hears someone say: ”How much further do we have to go?”.

        9. We have to bite our tongue when our dates make glaring grammar mistakes

        Picture a lovely night out – you’re having dinner with a lovely guy or girl, you’re hitting it off and things are going great. Then, all of a sudden, your date makes a glaring mistake that you feel compelled to correct. However, you’ve had your share of dates get offended by your comments, so you summon all your strength and willpower, and just let it slide.

        10. We call up other editors to discuss funny mistakes

        Oh yes, we simply can’t keep our nerd rage bottled up. We have to share some of the funniest mistakes we come across with fellow editors, and we have some good laughs.

        11. We want to cry when people misuse “per se” while trying to sound smart

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        Vampires per se

          “I don’t believe in God per se, but I am religious” – lines like these will leave me on the verge of tears. If you don’t quite know how to use a word or phrase, you should just leave it alone. It’s safer for everyone that way.

          12. We are here to help you polish up your manuscript, not to ghostwrite it for you

          If someone has a decent manuscript that he or she has gone over a few times before sending it in for editing, then we can point out all the little mistakes and help the writer polish everything up. However, some people will send us an incoherent mess that lacks any semblance of proper structure, expecting us to fill in the blanks. Well, good luck with that.

          13. We look to the heavens, arms raised high, when we see a long and incoherent sentence

          Long, incoherent sentences that stretch on and bombard the reader with unconnected bits of information are the bane of every editor’s existence. They are what happens when a person swears a death oath against full stops, and abuses commas in dark and twisted ways.

          14. We get baffled by people who still try to copy material in the age of copyscape and similar services

          Once in a while you still get the odd plagiarist who has discovered the uncanny power of copying and pasting chunks of text, and thinks he or she can just cobble up a Frankenstein’s monster of an article and slip it past you. We are not even angry at you at this point, dear misguided soul, just slightly baffled and disappointed.

          15. We can’t bear to spend time on social media, lest we go blind with nerd rage

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          twitter grammar

            Too many… incorrectly spelled… words… Grammar, not even once. Must ignore.

            16. We find your lack of grammar skills disturbing, and we don’t think you’re fully aware of that fact

            Take a good look at that sentence. That is how you use “your” and “you’re” properly. See, it’s not that difficult.

            17. We sometimes go with “The Grammar Police” costume for Halloween

            It’s corny and even fairly silly, but we do feel a certain sense of authority, so a Grammar Police uniform seems quite fitting. It’s not like we wear it around the house or while we are editing. Alright we do, but not every day. Hey, at least it’s not a sexy Grammar Police costume.

            18. We want to throw our laptop across the room when we see a word repeated a dozen times in a short paragraph

            IT crowd monitor throw

              Sometimes you can’t really avoid using a particular word several times in a paragraph, but when there’s a particular word popping up in every single sentence then it’s time to throw some synonyms into the mix.

              19. We jump in excitement and pinch ourselves on the rare occasion when we can’t find any big mistakes

              It is rare, but you can sometimes hear editors telling tales of an error free article in a hushed voice. Few have had the pleasure of coming across this mythical beast, but those who do encounter it are said to stare in disbelief, stunned and awed by its glorious appearance.

              20. We will burst into a hate-filled rant upon hearing Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic”

              No Alanis, it is most decidedly not ironic, no matter how many spoons you have. That’s just not even close to the actual meaning of… You know what, I’m not even going get upset about it. It’s a stupid song anyway. I hope some of the fellow editors, who share my pain, can at least have a few good laughs while reading this article or perhaps just nod their heads knowingly with a little smile on their face.

              More by this author

              Ivan Dimitrijevic

              Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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              Last Updated on January 13, 2020

              Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

              Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

              Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

              Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

              Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

              Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

              How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

              The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

              You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

              Physical Signs

              Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

              It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

              In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

              Mental Signs

              One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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              I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

              Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

              • The tension in your neck
              • Difficulties with sleeping
              • Unable to concentrate
              • High anxiety
              • Depression

              If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

              Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

              Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

              The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

              Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

              Desire for an Increase of Salary

              The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

              At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

              Overnight Decision

              Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

              Rejected for a Promotion

              I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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              Bored at Work

              Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

              A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

              • How long have you worked in your career?
              • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
              • Do you receive recognition?
              • Can you consider working in a new department?

              If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

              How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

              I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

              One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

              It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

              A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

              You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

              • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
              • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
              • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

              How to Make a Career Change Successfully

              The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

              1. Write a Career Plan

              A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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              You can learn how to set your career plan here.

              2. Weigh Your Options

              If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

              You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

              3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

              It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

              A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

              • Economic factors
              • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
              • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
              • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
              • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

                A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

                4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

                A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

                • What is required to be successful in the role?
                • What certification or educational development is needed?
                • What are the challenges of the role?
                • Is there potential for career advancement?

                A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

                Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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                5. Research Salary

                Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

                It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

                6. Be Realistic

                If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

                For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

                Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

                7. Volunteer First

                A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

                Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

                Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

                8. Prepare Your Career Tools

                I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

                • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
                • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
                • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
                • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

                Bottom Line

                It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

                Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

                More About Career Change

                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                Reference

                [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
                [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
                [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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