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I am a recent college graduate with a Bachelor's degree in English. I have been asked to join a new startup online magazine as an editor. I have the choice to be either a Copy-Editor or Editor in Chief. I was wondering if anyone could help me determine which position is more fulfilling or challenging?

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Have you checked that there are actually two different positions or just one role encompassing the full range of editorial responsibility and you get to choose your own title? –  Fortiter Jun 6 '13 at 12:06
    
Conventionally, those jobs are pretty different, both functionally and in terms of the experience usually expected. Have you seen job descriptions? –  Monica Cellio Jun 6 '13 at 15:34
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2 Answers

Your question is very specific: which one would be more fulfilling or challenging. At a start-up, there is no doubt in my mind that editor-in-chief would be more challenging.

A copy editor can always make a weak excuse and slip out the door. The editor-in-chief is there until the last typo is fixed.

Being the editor-in-chief would be very exciting, not to mention exhausting, not to mention fulfilling, not to mention scary, not to mention unbelievable for your first job out of college.

You might want to make sure that this startup has solid funding, and that you won't be looking for a new job in a few months. It is very unusual to be offered an editor-in-chief position straight out of college, except if this is your best bud, or bff, in which case, double check the funding AGAIN anyway.

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As the copy editor, I believe you'd be responsible for the text itself, the person who does the actual work of editing. As the Editor in Chief, I think you'd be responsible for the bigger picture and for more management-type tasks.

For which position would be more fulfilling or challenging, that depends on you. Do you like to focus on the nitty gritty details? Do you enjoy working in leadership positions? Can you delegate? Do you work well with others? What about deadlines? How well do you manage stress?

My best advice would be to ask for more details about both positions and think about which one better suits your personality and lifestyle. And hey, there's nothing wrong with challenging yourself if you think you can rise to the occasion.

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+1 for "ask for more details". That really is the key. Different companies put different responsibilities into the same title. When you know what responsibilities you would have in each position, you can make a decision about which would be a better fit for you specifically. –  Michael Kjörling Jun 5 '13 at 22:24
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