Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lindsey Pollak: "I'm a Literature Major...Help!"

Today author and careers blogger Lindsey Pollak answers a reader question that could have come from any of us: What can you do with a literature major?

Her advice is solid and exactly what I would recommend:

  • Learn about career options other than teaching.
  • Take classes in other, more marketable areas to supplement your literature major.
  • Get an internship.
  • Join related professional associations.
  • Get a related part-time job.
  • Find a mentor.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

... or you can get ready to sell a lot of French Fries.

Lori Cates Hand said...

Hey now, be nice! It's my hope that any literature majors who read this blog won't have to sell any more fries! (Although personally, I love fries and did my obligatory stint at Mickey D's in high school!)

Stephen Tiano said...

Eh. I mean, maybe just think about work where it’s an asset to be literate. Not the obvious things, like an author or English teacher. For instance, I parlayed my college ed—I was an English major, with a concentration on contemporary American lit and creative and expository writing—into a job as a proofreader, which led to my freelance book design and layout work. But in-between I was able to score well on civil service tests and wound up also as a court clerk for the past 24 years. Literateness can be an end in itself that also leads in unexpected and interesting directions.

l said...

The study of literature requires a lot of research and writing, and literature majors tend to be particularly good at the latter, partly because they are exposed so much to models of good writing. Many careers also require research and writing. The trick is to acquire enough knowledge of a field other than literature that one can research in it and write about it. Here's where an internship can come in handy.

Laurence Shatkin said...

That posting by "l" was mine. I accidentally hit some key combination that posted it before I could put in my name etc.