It was something I heard at job interview after job interview from hesitant employers. And it, more often than not, brought my prospects for the position I had applied for to a screeching halt. What could I say in response?
At the time, I was a recent college graduate. I had just graduated from the University of New Hampshire armed with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, a robust resume stock-full of experience from internships, and a heavy dose of naiveté.
I knew it would be hard to make a living as a writer, but I honestly didn’t realize how hard it would be. For a year, I juggled multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet while I was on the hunt for a full-time position. It was discouraging to think that I was being passed over for other candidates, not because of my skillset, but because of my area code. I was applying to job after job in Maine, Massachusetts, and even New York and I was beginning to think that I was never going to find a job that would allow me to use my degree.
That is, until I dig a little digging. On the surface, New Hampshire doesn’t seem like a hotspot for the media industry and it certainly doesn’t have the glitz and glam of a city like Boston, Los Angeles, or New York City. But I’ve been able to happily make a living as a Granite Stater by pitching stories and freelancing for publications around the state. I rediscovered the eCoast better known as Portsmouth when I began interning this fall for Raka, a digital media agency located just a short commute from my old alma mater. There, I’ve been working in social media and content marketing (something that is very editorial in nature) and introduced to the eCoast.
There are plenty of opportunities for New Hampshire writers if you only look for them. Besides the plethora of newspaper dailies from Foster’s Daily Democrat to The Union Leader and Nashua Telegraph, there are a variety magazines like ParentingNH, Rowing, Business NH, and New Hampshire Magazine. And did you know that perhaps the most renowned magazine in New England, Yankee Magazine, is headquartered in Dublin, New Hampshire? Just check out this directory listing that name newspapers alone.
So when I’m met again with that question by employers, I now have an answer.
“But you live in New Hampshire…”