Throughout grade school and in college, there are so many courses that are mandatory to take, but has little influence in our adult lives. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would love to take courses centered around budgeting while adulting, managing a team as a young professional, and negotiating my salary (just to name a few).
There are so many things that young professionals need to know in order to be successful, but often much of that information is not taught in the classroom. This is one of the reasons why Kian Hervey started Forty Magazine. Kian wanted to provide young professionals with career advice and resources so that they can be successful after leaving their college campuses.
We recently caught up with Kian and learned more about her career journey and Forty Magazine.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Texas born and raised. I graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and concentrations in communications studies and business. Before starting Forty Magazine, I interned at Southwest Airlines, the Dallas Market Center, District Attorney’s Office, and Dallas Morning News.
Now let’s talk about your business. What is your inspiration behind Forty Magazine?
When I first graduated from college in 2014, I wasn’t fully prepared for the corporate world. When I tried to look online for career resources, nothing really stood out as helpful in terms of building a career. I started writing down what I learned in my early years on the job and tapped my peers to share their own experiences and talents to support my “crazy idea.” From that collaboration process, Forty Magazine was born.
What struggles (if any) did you experience while starting Forty Magazine? Is there anything that you would do differently?
My biggest struggle with starting Forty Magazine was sharing my work. I was so scared people would judge the magazine as poor-quality or low-budget, but was pleasantly surprised with how well received it was when I started sharing more. I also struggled with balancing full-time work and managing an entire publication, but I eventually found a good balance.
If I had the chance to go back, I would put myself out there sooner and stop being such a harsh self-critic.
What has been the highlight of your business?
What keeps me motivated to keep building Forty is thinking about how many young professionals the publication can help. I wish I had a guide when I graduated college and being able to help others like me build their dream career has been the best part of the business.
What does a typical day look like for you as the Editorial Director for Forty Magazine?
Since I’m still building my career in the corporate world, my day for Forty Magazine often doesn’t start until 6pm. I spend most of my evening following up on emails, scheduling posts, or designing. It takes about a month to 1) gather content for an Issue, 2) design the Issue, and 3) compile, edit, and release an Issue. So a couple months out of the year, my schedule picks up but it’s always something fresh and new so I love it.
How did you come up with the name for your platform?
The name was inspired by the number of hours in a typical work week. While most young professionals clock in more than 40 hours a week, Forty just seemed like the perfect name for a magazine all about young professional life.
What is something unique about your platform that others should know?
Forty Magazine isn’t just for young professionals in Dallas, Texas. In fact, some of our best features have come from professionals from Tennessee, North Carolina, Illinois, and New York. Forty isn’t just about my own professional experience; it’s about the experience of professionals from a variety of fields.
What is the vision of Forty Magazine?
The current vision for Forty is to keep growing. I one day hope to see Forty across college campuses and as a part of corporate new-hire training.
Since you have launched, has Forty Magazine stayed true to its initial vision or do you see it moving in a different direction?
Originally Forty was only a digital magazine. But by time Issue 4 came around, we quickly realized a magazine isn’t always the only way to reach young professionals. We renamed Forty “A Digital Resource for Young Professionals” to give ourselves room to grow and keep pace with a changing digital landscape.
Today we’re active on Apple News, social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn), and at fortymagazine.com because we’re striving to be a go-to digital resource for young professionals. No matter where you are online, Forty Magazine should be there for you.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer or blogger?
Find your niche. There are so many “lifestyle” bloggers out there; it’s hard to separate yourself from the pack. Defining Forty Magazine as the go-to resource for a “Young professional lifestyle” has made writing and maintaining the publication much easier than a generic label.