One of the best things I did, one year ago, was sign-on and apply to be an Examiner. It took maybe 15 minutes of my time and within a day or two I was ready to start my first "professional" writing gig.
If you like to write and are passionate about a certain subject: sports, cars, health, politics, music, fashion -- whatever -- I recommend applying! Yes, apply. You have to write a piece for submission and be accepted, however there's room for everyone, on whatever topic you want to report on.
I currently hold two titles and am vigorously working on a National title. If you aspire to get into journalism, want to try something new, or simply enjoy the endorphins you get from writing a spectacular sentence, take a stab at it!
Examiner has presented me with SO many wonderful opportunities, not to mention I have made tons of contacts in the beauty and fashion world. I get sent awesome gifts and swag to try (and write about, of course), and I'm also allowed the opportunity to go out to events and report on them the next day.
It could be segway to your destiny! Who knows? By the way -- did I mentioned you get paid? Yes, it's true!
Go here if you'd like to apply. If it asks you to refer someone, do me a solid and put my name in there (Kirbie Johnson)!
Hope to see some of you talented writers on the site soon!