Posted byat 18th August, 2010
In a recent interview with Magazine Editor, Taiia Smart Young she shares her secrets to have a great career, loving family, and the importance of “ME” time.
Q. What is your current position?
A. I am the Managing Editor of XXL Magazine, which is the nation’s number one Hip- Hop magazine and I am the Senior Editor of Juicy Magazine, both magazines are Harris Publications.
Q. Can you please describe to us what your responsibilities entail?
A. Sure, as Managing Editor, I am responsible for all administrative and editorial decisions. I ensure that the magazine is published on time, within budget and all our deadlines are met. Editorially, I make sure that the reader comes away with the story that is relevant to our brand. As, Senior Editor of Juicy magazine, I pitch, write, and edit stories that are based on African- American and Latino celebrities.
Q. You are on the top of your career now, How long did it take you to reach this level of success?
A. I have been in the media and publishing industry for 15 years; five of those years was spent as Media Relations Director at Girls, Inc., during my tenure at Girls, Inc. I pitched to the media stories about our national programs.
Q. What about writing drives you?
A. I love to see a story come together, stories that start out as just ideas during pitch meetings, then the pitch comes together and gets more of a fuller picture with mulitple story angles, this is what drives me. Also, being a journalists is so rewarding because I meet, interview, and talk to so many different people and I love to learn, so I am constantly learning about new people and things. Lastly, after 15 years I still love to see my name in print!
Q. How do manage to be married and have a great family life?
A. I can always have a career, but the people who you love and support you may not always be there, so I ‘ve learned to put my family first.
Q. How does your husband feel about your demanding career?
A. My husband is very supportive. We are high school sweethearts and he has always known that I wanted to be a writer, so he was prepared for me attending events, interviewing celebrities, and meeting deadlines. My advice to women is, when choosing your mate, it is important to select one that will be supportive and willing to assist you pursue your dreams.
Q. You have a nine year old son, How does your employer support you in being a Mom?
A. I believe if you are a good employee and do your work with care and excellence, then when you need to go to a school play, parents conference, etc. employers are understanding. Also, it helps to have staff members who are also parents, we form our own bonds and support each other as well. Children are very unpredictable, so it helps to have a strong support network.
Q. Ok, now for the ultimate question? How do you fit in your mani/pedi?
A. You can’t always be a mommy, wife or a writer. “ME” time is very important because if you don’t take the time out, you’ll feel very worn out and underappreciated. I also schedule girlfriend time as well, it helps to achieve balance and be a well rounded person.
Q. What are your words of wisdom for a young woman starting on her journey?
A. My advice, will be to pursue your education all at once and don’t take too much time off between undergraduate and graduate school. As we grow older we have more responsibilities and although women go back to school, at an older age, it becomes more difficult, and something or someone is going to get neglected. Also, have your own definition of success and “all” and be happy with that; it may mean that you won’t be the highest ranking person in your company, but certain titles and responsibilities aren’t for everyone. Lastly, make your own decisions and be happy with YOU!
Special thanks to Taiia Smart Young for her insightful interview and XXL and Juicy magazines are on the news stands now!