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Joanna Coles: Marie Claire goes to work

From your best friend to your yoga teacher to that colleague who’s beeneyeing your office for months, there’s no shortage of people out therehappy to offer advice on how to be a “better” woman in the workplace.

From your best friend to your yoga teacher to that colleague who’s been eyeing your office for months, there’s no shortage of people out there happy to offer advice on how to be a “better” woman in the workplace. So why did we take a second look at Marie Claire @ Work?

For one, we’re human and respond very well to catchy cover lines like “57 Secrets from Successful Women.” Additionally, the special supplement is headed up by Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles — a woman who not only loves her high-profile job, but is still passionate about the industry she knew she wanted to work in since middle school. How many of your friends can you say that about?

We caught up with Coles for some insight into her own career — and, sure, maybe a little reassurance about this whole print media thing.

When did you know that you wanted to work in print media?

I got my first article published when I was 10, in the community newspaper. When I realized I was getting paid for it, I knew it was the career for me. I just wanted to support myself doing something I loved.

When did you discover the magazine industry?

When I was 11, I did my own magazine that I delivered to the neighbors. I would photocopy it and drop it off to all the people on the street. I actually sent it to the Queen of England, and I got a letter back from her lady-in-waiting. I’m sure she didn’t actually read it, but it did very much inspire me.

What advice would you give to an 11-year-old today who wanted to edit Marie Claire?

I would tell them to read and look at all the best magazines you can find. My favorite thing is to spend time in European newsagents just picking up every magazine. I love European fashion magazines, and what’s coming out of the Far East now is incredible.

Would you include warnings about the future of print?

I think women love magazines and will always love magazines. You know that dreadful first 30 minutes when you’re on the plane and they say “switch off your electronics”? There will always be a need for gorgeous, beautifully done magazines.

 
 
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