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Feeling afraid to give up/get out

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 1GreytWriter, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. 1GreytWriter

    1GreytWriter Member

    Hey everyone,

    I have mostly lurked here, but something is weighing on my mind about getting away from sports, and I figured this is the one place where people would understand, as I'm afraid it's lost on my friends and family who think I have a great life and should love my job no matter what! (Go figure none of them do what I do or have attempted it.)

    I currently work as a web editor, though my dream is to work in media relations with a sports team one day. Unfortunately, I was ignorant as hell in undergrad and didn't realize all the interning and volunteering you needed to do to get a media relations gig. So a few years ago, I got my editing job and did some free writing for another website to build my portfolio. I did once want to work in newspapers, but got away from that late in college when I saw that the industry was going downhill. (I'm a 2008 grad.)

    Everyone thinks I have a great job. I work with good people and with sports, so what could be better to them? However, I'm starting to believe I won't achieve my media relations goal. I feel like I'm not cut out for the sacrifices of keeping my full-time job while balancing interning and volunteering. I wanted to go to grad school for sports management, but now I'm thinking I have the most foolish idea ever. I'm in my late 20s and I feel already sick of the late evenings of work, working six days a week, not having any holiday off, etc. And also, not to mention being asked to work when your slacker coworker needs three out of five Saturdays off in one month. My family tells me to just deal with the sacrifices but they are all off on every major holiday so of course they wouldn't understand that I have to go to work while they are all hanging around and watching TV or doing whatever it is people do when they actually, you know, have holidays off.

    I want to get out of my current role within the next 1-3 years. I've already been it for three years and I am feeling ready for a change. I am also single and have no kids if that helps. At the same time, I feel like a failure admitting that I'm not willing to do interning and free work while juggling my job responsibilities. I feel as if it makes me look lazy and that I don't really want it, and if that's what someone reading this thinks, then so be it I guess. I've wrapped myself up in wanting to be in sports for so long that getting away from it...well I am trying really hard to convince myself I haven't failed b/c I can't handle the career long-term, but I can't. I can't imagine what else I'd want to do. I mean, yeah there are other media relations/PR gigs out of sports, but PR agencies want PR agency experience, for example. Corporate communications wants experience in that area. Where else am I really going to go?

    I just feel so confused. Of course, I am not going to quit my job until I have something else in hand, but I almost hate that there are so many people who will cut off their right arm to work in sports and I feel guilty for not being sure if I'm among that group.
  2. Screwball

    Screwball Active Member

    If this is how you feel -- and better you realize this now than in your 40s -- then sports media relations is no place for you. The beat writers get days off. The PR guys do not.

    A guy at my college paper walked in one day and quit. He said he realized he didn't want to work weekends the rest of his life. He was smart to come to that conclusion at such a young age.
  3. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Screwball's right. Media relations/SIDs work longer and crazier hours than journalists. They have to be at the venue before you get there and they're still there after you leave.

    Nothing wrong with not being cut out for that kind of life, mind you. It's brutal, especially if you're not single.

    But you need to take an honest look in the mirror and decide what type of job can give you the type of life you really want. If you want to make a living in any sports-related position, working nights and weekends is mandatory. It just is.

    Maybe think about finding a 9-5 job where you can make a real living, and then get your sports fix on the side (freelance, volunteer, etc.) There's plenty of opportunities like that, but it's extremely hard to pay the bills that way.
  4. UNCGrad

    UNCGrad Well-Known Member

    Totally agree with Screwball and Buckweaver. I was able to get out of newspapers after a decade-plus as a Podunk SE and move into SID work at a smaller school. I enjoyed it, and summers were great. Other than that, though? It was 6-days-a-week (at least) and 70 hours-a-week. And travel. And game ops. And jumping at a moment's notice whenever the AD called. I have a small family and a kid in elementary school. And while I managed to get out of a lot of the travel, managing social media and gamers from home doesn't mean you're really home.

    That said, I liked it much better than Podunk newspapers. Hell, I loved it when the games started. I was running the show, even if no one in the stadium or arena knew it. I hated my Podunk job for at least the last two years of it.

    But now I've managed to move into a 9-5, 5-days-a-week PR gig. If you're willing to do SID work for a couple of years and put up with those hours, weekends and holidays, do it while keeping an eye out for the first 9-5er you can get. My quality of life the last 18 months has skyrocketed, and it's because I'm home every night at 6 and every weekend.

    When I was in college, I had a crusty newswriting professor, one of those guys who was an editor for 40 years. First day in a class of about 20, he asked how many wanted to go into TV. Half the students raised their hands. He asked how many wanted to go into "fucking PR?" The other half went up. "Anybody want to actually write for a newspaper?" Mine was the lone hand that went up.

    That was 15 years ago.

    I should've known then. It took me 13 years to get away.
  5. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    If you don't want to work nights and weekends, you can't work in sports. No way to sugarcoat that.
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