Throughout her impressive career, Joanna Coles has been the editor-in-chief of both Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire magazines. She is currently the first person to serve as Hearst Magazines’ chief content officer.
Coles began her journalism journey in a place very different from magazines, as a news reporter for The Guardian and The Times of London.
On an episode of Business Insider’s podcast, “Success! How I Did It,” Coles told Alyson Shontell that she decided to change from newspaper journalism to magazine journalism because she believes the lifestyle of a magazine editor is more flexible and would allow her to raise a family.
Coles stated, “I always urge women to aim for the highest job they can get because you get more money and you get more support and you get more control, and those are the three things that actually make life easier.”
Coles explained the difference between working for The Times of London and magazines:
“It was quite jarring to go from newspapers to magazines, and the reason I did it was that I had my second son, and with my second child I just thought I can’t travel at will, which you really need to be able to do. And so I had a sort of slow realization that I could no longer do the job that I loved. It wasn’t the job’s fault — it wasn’t the newspaper’s fault. I was just at a life stage that didn’t make sense.
“So I moved into magazines because I thought I would have more control over my schedule. I wanted a desk job, I didn’t want to be traveling all the time, and I’m not someone who found it easy to travel with young children, and I wanted to see them. And it was very difficult. In the transition to a desk job, having to be in the office at the same time every day, I found super hard. But I did it for three years, and that led to me taking over at Marie Claire, which was a really exciting experience.”
Coles accentuated the importance of being adaptable for her- and all other working parents.
“[When I took over at Marie Claire] I had the opportunity to make my own schedule a bit more, which was, again, something I always try and tell women who are anxious about taking on more responsibility when they have children that, if you can create your own schedule, if you are in control of your schedule, that’s one of the most important things that helps with children.”
Other executives agree with Coles about the importance of a malleable schedule. Weebly CFO Kim Jabal previously told Business Insider that flexibility is integral to work-life balance. “Rigid work hours and work location make it much more challenging,” she said.
Jabal’s personal schedule is “home an hour in the morning, get kids to school, work in the office 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., have dinner with kids, work three hours at night.”
Parents, if you’re yearning for a job that can easily accommodate your family responsibilities, take a look at this list of the best jobs for parents. If you’re looking for a well-paying, low-stress job with plenty of flexibility, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of 10 great options.
“It’s important to be realistic about what you can and can’t do at any one time,” Coles said. “Doesn’t mean you can’t go back to it at a later stage, and at some point, I would love to set off across the country again with a notebook and a pen and that’s all. But I’m not quite there yet, and also I’m rather seduced by the glorious office I have at Hearst Tower.”
Image courtesy of E!