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Applying for a job that's potentially a step down

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by DeskMonkey1, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. DeskMonkey1

    DeskMonkey1 Active Member

    I didn't know the best way to articulate this in a snappy hedline (not a good sign for a desk guy, huh?) but here goes.

    I got wind of a job back home. It's in a small market (but near a market bigger than where I am now) and the pay is likely lower. There would be some writing opportunities, but it's an editor-position first, from what I'm told. Why do I even give it a second glance?

    Well, it's back home, or at least half an hour from it and my wife and I already have a built-in support base there both personally and professionally. Plus I'd be working with and for a couple of colleagues that I really respect, which appeals to me.

    Even if offered, I'm not guaranteeing I'd take it but I'm still interested enough to at least talk to them. My question is, how do I address this when asked? I've longed been advised against using the "I want to live in Podunk, so I applied here" argument so how do I address when I'm asked "why are you leaving your current job?"
  2. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    If it's home for you, that counts. Also, working with people you like and respect has a great deal of value. If you can afford the pay cut (and remember, EVERYTHING is negotiable), it's definitely worth your time to talk to them.
    Doc Holliday likes this.
  3. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    I think being up front about where you're looking to live would be a bonus, not a demerit. I had a similar situation several years ago where I left a full-time gig to take a part-time gig at home -- my dad was sick, and I mentioned that right up front during the interview.
  4. Tweener

    Tweener Active Member

    Agreed. Remember, as much turnover as there is in the newspaper business, it costs time and money to constantly replace people. I would think most places would ideally want someone with roots in the area, who wants to be there longer than just the time it takes to leap to a better job.

    I had a similar situation years ago. That fact that I was from the area and still had family and friends close by helped my cause, I believe. But it's important that you don't use that as the sole reason you want to work there. Being from there you should easily be able to find other reasons.
  5. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    There's nothing wrong with saying that this is where I want to be, particularly if there are specific reasons why, and you can articulate them, any more than if you were to say that about a place/position that would be considered a step up.
  6. Tweener

    Tweener Active Member

    Looking back, I've also had it work against me.

    Years ago I was one of two finalists for a job I didn't get. The guy who got the offer was talented but didn't have an equal resume, in my opinion. What he did have were deep roots in the area and to this day I believe that was the deciding factor. He's also still working there.
  7. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    I got the same advice about not focusing on the location as the reason for pursuing a job, but it hasn't been that way in reality, especially as I get older.

    It is one thing when you are one of 200 recent grads applying for an entry level job to say you really want it because it's close to a bunch of friends you can parry with. But if you are qualified, and it sounds like you are, a small town paper should be excited you have a reason to want to be there.

    You also say the pay would be less, but would being close to family help cut down expenses such as child care?
  8. DeskMonkey1

    DeskMonkey1 Active Member

    Not significantly. It's not likely I would take the job, unless the pay is enough that my wife could make up the difference. And it's more that I have friends there than I have family. I would actually be a slightly longer drive away from family, about an hour's worth (family has moved away, too).
  9. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Do all the math. Child care. Gas expenses. Cost of living. Factor that in.
    But the biggest factor should be if it will make you happy. If you've got a good thing going at your shop, going somewhere new might not be the move. If you're more comfortable where you are now than happy, give it a go.
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    As to your question, if asked, I would say that you have been keeping an eye for opportunities back home and the fact that it's an editor position jumped out at you.

    That's the next step you want to take in your career and this is where you want to be.

    (Now, whether you actually decide to pull the plug or not is up to you.)
  11. Bronco77

    Bronco77 Active Member

    I think you also need to take a long-term view of the situation. What appears to be a "step down" now may wind up looking pretty good a few years from now. Which company is in better shape? Where is your job probably more secure? I took what seemed like a less prestigious job early in my career and was told by numerous people that I'd made a mistake, but three years later it was apparent that it was the right decision both professionally and personally.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  12. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    This is easy. Be honest. Tell them home is home and it's appealing to come back home. It's the truth, they'll believe it and they'll respect it.
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