1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Career advice, please.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by wittyc, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. wittyc

    wittyc New Member

    I actually stumbled across this board tonight while searching for jobs online -- easily the best wrong turn I've ever taken! :D

    I'm sorry if this topic has been overcooked, but I didn't see any threads that exactly fit my current situation. To the point, I'm a college grad (in July) with four years of part-time experience at a 40k daily/50k weekend circulation paper in the Midwest. Over the past month or so I've started my application process, but I'm not entirely sure what kind of jobs I should target. Would I be better off aiming for a part-time position at a large publication or a full-time position at a smaller publication? Rapid advancement is obviously among my goals, but living in a big city would be a huge bonus.

    Also, my degree is in economics. Could this cause prospective employers to pass me over, or will four-years' experience and 500+ articles be enough to entice them?

    Finally, I've never had the privilege(?) of doing layout, but I realize it would behoove me to learn this process. Is there literature I could digest to at least get me started, or is it simply a learning-by-doing exercise that I should concentrate on during my last month of employment at my current newspaper?

    Any advice that the collective minds here could lend me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  2. PEteacher

    PEteacher Member

    How about look for full-time jobs at large publications? Wouldn't that be better? Also, you seem like a writer. Stay away from layout!
  3. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Apply like crazy. Don't limit yourself because of what you think you can and can't do. Nothing is too big to apply for. The worst thing you'll hear is "no."
  4. MrMojave

    MrMojave Member

    I appreciate your situation. I stringed Triple-A baseball and Double-A hockey for the #2 daily in a, well, Triple-A market, was full time for a little over a year doing those beats plus preps. When the paper downsized, they saw my political science degree and moved me to news, then moved into management elsewhere in the company when we both realized it wasn't a good fit. Here I still sit.

    I'd say don't get discouraged, but don't aim too low. Keep sending your stuff out. Despite my own experiences, try for a job in a business department with your economics degree. Biz writers are harder to come by, probably better paid and you'll still have your sports clips ready to send out. Nobody says you have to do it forever but it beats unemployment.
  5. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    for starters, get over what you happened to major in. if you can do the job, you can do the job. shit, i'd hire someone without a college degree if they could kick ass and take names ... granted i've yet to meet that person, but you get the point.
  6. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    My editor doesn't have a degree and he does a damn fine job. But I do get your point. I've see journ. grads who suck and history grads who rock and roll.
  7. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    mu - i'm guessing we both have journ degrees and hope we aren't 'poo, pooing' this topic because we do. but from everything i've learned over the years, the only job you won't get if you don't have a journo degree is that of publisher ... but then again, some companies won't hire you as a pub if you come from the freakin' newsroom any way.

    but bottom line for me in hiring is: i don't care if you have a high school diploma. if you can make it happen and make your shit flow like the river nile, i'm hiring at the same price i'd hire for anyone else.
  8. House

    House Guest

    I wish I had known that degrees meant shit before I started.

    And if you want to write, and I mean just write and not much else, stay the fuck away from layout. If you have to start small and they find out that you can do pages, you'll be doing it at least 1/3 of the week. Any place that will turn you down for a writing job just because you have no design skills is no ideal place. It means they're too cheap to fully staff the department.
  9. wittyc

    wittyc New Member

    Thanks so much for the responses and encouragement. Very helpful stuff! :D

    The advice on staying away from layout was very helpful. I wouldn't have thought that my ignorance could actually prove to be an asset in attaining my goals. Quark what? Never heard of it. ;D
  10. LemMan

    LemMan Member

    If it helps, I have a communcations, not a journalism degree. That said, part of me wishes I would have gone a decent j-school, so I wouldn't have been so raw at my first job. But I strongly believe the best way to learn this business is to do it. And kudos to the posters who look at the person, not solely the degree, when making a hire.
  11. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    on a cold and gray Chicago mornin',
    another little baby child is born
    In the ghetto

    Good luck kid.
  12. pallister

    pallister Guest

    Do not listen to that bullshit about not learning layout. If you're lucky enough to get a job at a paper large enough so you can just write, great. But you may have to start at a paper where being well-rounded is not only encouraged, but expected. Therefore, if you get the chance, learn everything you can. The more you know, the more jobs there will be that are open to you. I just don't think it's smart for anyone just starting out (unless they're an effin' stud) to limit their options.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page