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Are friends/family shocked at your salary?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pulitzer Wannabe, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Now that I'm getting out of the business, at least on a non-stringing basis, I get the same question from a lot of friends and family: "Why??!!"

    We've all experienced/endured the, "You have the best job in the world!" reaction from people, of course, and, in the current recession, the "Be happy you have a job!" reaction. And I get only a blank stare from people when I explain that the industry is struggling, the travel can be rough on families, the job can be somewhat repetitive, the hours can be ridiculous and so on and so forth. You know, the usual rundown of complaints that we're famous for.

    But this one always seems do do the trick: "I'm over 30 years old, and I've never made $40K in a year."

    That always gets the "Holy shit" reaction I'm looking for.

    Not that I need other people's validation - I'm just talking everyday conversations with friends and family, in which career change is a common topic of conversation, especially in this economy. But that one little sentence just seems to knock people on their ass.

    I wonder how much people outside of the business think we make ...
  2. smsu_scribe

    smsu_scribe Guest

    I think people outside of the business are too caught up in the "dream job" thing and getting paid to go to sporting events part that they maybe think the pay is just an afterthought in this field. That, or they see sportswriters on Sportscenter and on talk radio and think they're all high-paid public figures.
  3. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    I don't think any family or friends know my current salary, other than it's way higher than what I made in the newspaper biz. There's a damn good chance I never would have reached the salary I have now even if I stuck with newspapers for another decade....if they'd even be around then.

    But I agree with smsu. People often get the wrong idea about writers and their salaries.
  4. A few months back, I spoke to a group of middle schoolers at a school as a guest career day type guy.

    Among the first two or three questions: "Are you rich?"
  5. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    See, it took me a long time to realize the same thing about on-air radio personalities. For a long time, I figured if you were on the radio, you must be paid really well.

    Obviously, with some exceptions, that's not the case.
  6. Bruce Leroy

    Bruce Leroy Active Member

    Completely agree with smsu. I don't know if friends/family assume we get paid a lot, but all they know is we get paid to go watch sports. And that gives them the impression that a sports writing gig is just the greatest job ever. So when you try to explain that, no, you don't have any money to join everyone on a trip to Vegas, they don't understand why. I usually just tell them my sister is a nanny and makes more than me.
  7. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure middle-schoolers will ask that to anyone.
  8. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    My salary is nobody else's business.

    Mainly because I don't like being laughed at.
  9. It's funny. In middle school, you think making a lot of money is important. Then you get it drilled into your head for years that you should, "Do what you love!" and that, "Money isn't everything!"

    Then you turn 25 or 30, have a couple kids, maybe start looking at houses in a community where you'd like to live, and realize that maybe the middle school you was kind of onto something.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  10. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    The only time my dad was ever impressed with how much money I made as a sportswriter was when I brought home my first paycheck. I think he was more stunned that someone would pay me to watch high school football. After that, he went back to wondering why I didn't want to become an engineer. Looking back, maybe he had a point. Then again, I would have stabbed my eyes out if I spent the last 20 years of my life designing computer chips or water pumps or whatever engineers do these days.
  11. kleeda

    kleeda Active Member

    Hell, I make what my did ... 23 years ago when he retired.
  12. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    My neighbor, who is in home building, was telling me about some openings on one of his work crews.
    He said it paid $35 an hour, "probably not what you're used to."
    I didn't have the heart to tell him it's way more.
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