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For those who've left: any regrets?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by partition49, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. agateguy

    agateguy Member

    Thanks, shotglass.

    What did the process for you getting your job look like -- was it website to interview (after interview) to the job?
  2. Bronco77

    Bronco77 Well-Known Member

    With the future of the workforce at our shop in doubt, I've applied for several non-newspaper editing jobs recently and made it to the interview process at a marketing firm and a financial newsletter. Both would have paid $15K-$20K less than my current salary. But the benefits were equal to/better than what I have now, with some interesting twists (unlimited PTO, subject to supervisory approval, at both companies; up to 20 annual work-at-home days with the marketing firm). And best of all, both companies were thriving and I would have had job security for the foreseeable future as long as my work was up to their standards.

    Mrs. Bronco and I have had several lengthy discussions about whether it would be wise to leave my current (at-risk) job for considerably lower pay if the tradeoff is greater job security and a happier work environment, and we've never really reached an agreement. She believes I will survive the ax in our company's impending reorganization and might be right; there are a lot of unknowns that management has yet to make public. If they keep me, I'm probably safe for a few more years, which would get me very close to retirement. Of course, if I'm let go, I'll probably have to go to work someplace for lower pay whether I want to or not.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  3. Roscablo

    Roscablo Well-Known Member

    My wife is about to take a 30 percent paycut in a different field. Stability concern not as much of an issue but it's there and the new job should never have that issue. Hours and benefits are a million times better and she is hoping stress is much less too (kind of hard to know without actually doing the job, right?). The transition has itself been stressful on her. She has to get out of her current contract and it's a process and then we do wonder about the paycut, but with some of the benefits it actually might be close to a wash. She's getting paid very well for a 9-5, which is not anything close to what she is working now. She just thinks she'll be a million times happier too and we've talked to other people that have done similar switches that haven't looked back.

    So it's exciting but nerve wracking all at the same time but we both feel it's the right decision at this time. Change is always hard.

    I can't imagine a situation in a newsroom where a job is secure. I brought it up when I responded here that I left each place I was at before layoffs happened, and they happened at each shop I've been at eventually, but feel if I had stayed at any of them I would have been axed at some point. I think it's wise to consider these if offered, if anything for the security. If the benefits are that good it should help with stress and the financial side some. You can always adjust there too, I believe. I just think this business is too insecure any more to not seriously look at an opportunity if it presents itself and then figure out the rest as you go.
  4. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    That's exactly what I did, with the punch line being 1) I'm still in the industry, though at a "hub" instead of at a "spoke", and 2) we'll never know what would have happened at my old shop, although my salary there had to place a pretty large target on my back. Wife is happier in a place with four seasons as opposed to a place with two ("summer" and "hell"), so that's a positive.

    A lot of the people I've seen leave the business do so for jobs I had no idea even existed. Wish there was a one-stop place that would tell me, "OK, these are the jobs out there that would be impressed with your qualifications and wouldn't automatically toss your resume in the garbage."
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  5. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    That's just what it was. I scheduled for the test, went in to the state capital and took it in 90 minutes. Got the score that put me in the "rule of three" category, which meant they had to offer me an interview for a job requiring that test (basically, typing, sorting, filing). I had some interview request coming in the mail almost every day.

    So, like I said, it was 21 interviews. And you have to understand that each one, you're probably up against maybe 15-20 other interviewees. If interviews make someone break out in a cold sweat, it won't be a particularly enjoyable experience.

    But all you need is one bite. I got two. Took the first with state nursing board. During my first break, my first day there, I got a call from the Department of Aging, offering me the job that I really wanted. I started there the following Monday.
    agateguy likes this.
  6. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    Just making an observation, not trying to be snarky, but this thread really reads different to someone who still works in newspapers.

    How many people on this message board actually work for newspapers and how many do not? When I first arrived here years ago, almost everyone here was a newspaper person. Now, by the way this thread reads and all the different names I see who have posted in it, it looks like there are more people out of the business posting here than actually in the business.

    And that brings me to my point. If newspapers suck so bad, and the pay and the people and all eat shit, and everyone on this thread has no regrets ... then why are you here? If you don't have some fond memories and regrets, why even come mingle with actual journalists? To me, as someone still employed in newspapers, it looks like there's a lot of regret here.
  7. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    I can't think of any place better for relating with people who realize how bad things got in our former profession. And I'm pretty sure I found some strength in it while I wasn't sure if I was ever going to get hired anywhere again.
    HanSenSE and agateguy like this.
  8. Roscablo

    Roscablo Well-Known Member

    There's a reason many of us joined this profession in the first place, and it is at least some passion for some element of the job or what the job once was. For many of us that passion was eclipsed by all the other garbage. You can still have the joy of journalism without regretting leaving it or missing the actual job.

    Many of us have been through a lot here and we understand what it was and even still is. Many of us want to keep following the biz as best we can. Observe. Critique. Whatever. Many of us still have friends on the inside. There are a lot of connections in the industry that haven't gone away just because we left. This is still a good place to see what's going on and participate.

    And I feel you can still be apart of it in these ways or recognize why you first went into it without feeling regret for not being in it any more. I love journalism. I hate what newspapers and most media have become. Maybe it's more of the latter taking over but I don't miss working in it.
    HanSenSE, agateguy, ChrisLong and 7 others like this.
  9. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    This. Roscablo just said it 50 times better. ;)
  10. Bamadog

    Bamadog Well-Known Member

    Every high school football season, I start to wax nostalgic. I sometimes catch myself missing the Friday night lights, taking stats, watching the games unfold, scurrying back to the shop to crank out a gamer in 30 minutes or less, putting the pages together, writing the out-of-area roundups and taking in call-ins. I remember the adrenaline as deadline approached and I remembered how satisfying it was hear the press roll with another Friday night in the books.

    Then I remember that I worked every other weekend. I also recall that I never saw my wife except during the summer. I also remember dealing with layoffs, threats of layoffs, idiotic decision-making above me and making no money. I don't miss those long car trips out to schools playing games in BFE, slathered in bug repellent because the mosquitoes would carry you away and desperately trying to find a decent WiFi signal to send a story at 10 p.m. (sending games using your iPhone as a mobile hotspot only came into being in my latter days in the business). I wore out two cars with those trips, barely compensated for my mileage and expenses.

    I also remember having to work holidays and working 70 to 80 hours per week and get paid for 40.

    I also remember the stress that took a toll on me.

    And I'm glad that I'm covering politics in a job that pays twice what I did in sports. I'm proud that my stories have led to several important bits of legislation being passed to stamp out the abuses in my stories. I also helped get a power plant that was never going to work as designed cancelled through my reporting. I'm home every weekend and holiday. My son sees me every day and we spend a lot of time together.

    Taking a stroll down memory lane about sportswriting reminds me of thinking of old girlfriends where you only remember the good stuff and conveniently forget that she cheated on you, took your money or treated you like dog crap. It was a good time, but when you remember the totality of the experience, you realize how good you have it now.
    murphyc likes this.
  11. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    My most-used line in the past year has been that I miss journalism on 14 Friday nights each year.
    HanSenSE, Inky_Wretch and Bamadog like this.
  12. Deskgrunt50

    Deskgrunt50 Well-Known Member

    Great thread. Really good stuff to digest.

    I look forward to not regretting a career change sometime in the not-too-distant future. Right thing just hasn't popped yet. And I do still enjoy it, for the most part. But I really doubt I'll miss it when I'm gone.
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