Editor's Note: The stories begin…
“No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else’s draft.”
This quote – as well as multiple variations of it – is frequently (but not definitively) attributed to H.G. Wells. Although its authorship has never been confirmed, it neatly sums up what put me on the path to the position I now hold, editor of Safety+Health.
I thought I’d have a career in public relations writing. I had taken several PR classes in college and secured an internship at the state chapter of a national nonprofit organization. The head of PR at the chapter was a generous mentor, letting me write several press releases and radio spots. He also gave me his work to proofread.
I found that I loved proofreading. At least, that’s what I thought I was doing. I had no idea that, in my enthusiasm, I had gone well beyond looking for typos. Thinking about it now, I realize my mentor easily could have gotten irked at my overstepping. Instead, a few weeks into my internship, he looked over a press release I had handed back to him with suggested changes, looked at me and said, “Have you ever thought about going into editing? Because you’re really good at it.” With those few kind words, he gave me an “aha” moment that steered me to a career I hadn’t previously considered.
That’s my story. What’s yours? In my December column, I asked readers to share their stories about how they got into the EHS field. We’ve enjoyed reading the responses, and we’re pleased to feature some of them in the “My Story” column, debuting this month. Please keep those stories coming! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “My Story,” and yours could be published in S+H.