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Getting out ... just to get out

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Hey Diaz!, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Hey Diaz!

    Hey Diaz! Member

    New(ish) handle, long-time poster here.

    Not sure how many of you have reached this point. Or are slowly getting there. Or have been there and come out immeasurably better for it, but I want out of this business.

    And not in a "let's wait it out until I find something better" way. This is more a let's find something -- hell, anything, even retail -- to get my foot out the door for good.

    I'm just tired of the hours. The nights and weekends. The downsizing. Taking your work home. The feeling that no matter what you do and how well you do it, many readers still won't be happy. Having my job from 23 to today in my mid-30s be the center of my life, rather than the other way around. I feel when you lose the enjoyment of being in this profession, there's no point in continuing on unless the pay is (somehow) too much pass up. And I haven't even gotten to the idiot callers. :)

    OK, enough rambling. I'm just curious what you have done if in the same position.

    Did you cut ties as soon as these feelings began creeping up? Did you stick it out for a good while and wait to find the right opportunity? Did you take lesser pay -- and a blow to the ego -- by working at a job you were overqualified for as a means to permanently head for the exit?
  2. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    I made the jump, as I have said in another thread, off the Titanic last year. Well into my 19th year, I'd just had enough: hours, no such thing as holidays, sorry pay, more and more work being piled on you because the staff had been cut to about a third of what it once was. I took an incredible leap of faith and just handed in a two-weeks notice. I didn't have a job lined up or even a concrete plan the day I decided to quit.

    Now, I couldn't be happier. Getting out of the newspaper business and getting a pretty sizable bump up in pay really isn't that hard. I don't work nights or weekends. I get holidays. I get to spend more time with my family and do things in the evenings that I want to do. Perfect example: for all those years working as sports writer, my typical Friday was no less than a 14-hour day. Today, because we have a short day on Fridays, I work from 8-2:15.

    I was fortunate that I have a wife who supported and even encouraged me just leaving, and we could financially absorb a short-term loss of income. Everybody can't do that, I know. But to say that getting out was the best thing I ever did is a pretty fair statement.
  3. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    I left under my own power, 18 years to the day after I started, nine years ago. I've never made a better decision in my life.
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I stuck it out for a while because I carefully crafted my exit. I would recommend doing the same. Start constructing that light at the end of the tunnel for yourself. Don't rush into something just to get out. At least that's my take, and I feel like it worked out beautifully, even though it wasn't always easy.
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I have yet to meet a single person who, a year after the fact, was unhappy about leaving. Not a one. This holds true whether the departure was their choice or forced on them. The most I've gotten was that the short-term income was lower while they were in transition.

    Especially at the lower rungs of the business, the job is depressing as hell and not good for your physical well-being.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I'm unhappy about some of the choices I made during my journalism career, and would have liked to have seen what I could have done pursuing different paths.

    But I'm definitely not unhappy about leaving from where I was actually situated in the journalism world, at the time I exited.

    As odd as it is, I'm pretty sure that getting out actually helped my journalism career, should I ever choose to resume it, because I'll have more varied experiences and a resume that stands out a little bit more. Just something else to think about, for those pondering the choice.
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I survived four rounds of layoffs over two years before my time was up... That two years just sucked any desire to stay in journalism out of me. I woke up every morning wondering if that was going to be the day where I got the call, and I knew that there was nothing I could do about it and this was a couple years before people started leaving for team websites and radio stations and stuff like that.

    If you're willing to move around to prolong your career, great...

    I liked the travel less and less as my kids were being born, but I would have put up with it. I could deal with the hours and the travel and working holidays and weekends, but when job security became such a huge issue, that pushed it over the top for me.
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    This is really true.

    I make more money now than I did when I was in journalism. I work between 45-50 hours a week, and only travel a couple times a year, usually for conferences or training, or to visit a big client. I think I took three trips last year and was gone a total of 12 days. When I was covering the NFL, I was usually gone 80-90 days and when I was covering colleges that number was frequently over 100.

    Basically, the only bad thing about being gone is that people who have nothing to do with journalism all assume you want to go back. You can tell them over and over and over again how that's not true, and they'll never believe you... I don't know if it's like that for deskers, but I've been out almost five years now and I'm still asked constantly if I'm trying to go back to it.
  9. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    For the right opportunity, I would consider going back. But there are so many conditions that comprise said "right opportunity" that the likelihood of it happening is minuscule.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I get that a lot too. Then I tell people what newspaper employees make and they wonder why in the blue fuck any self-respecting adult would do that job.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I remember my brother - he was giving me a hard time about getting out because I was so lucky to have this job, people would kill for it, yada, yada, yada - was floored when I told him that I made $38K when I left. He was dumbfounded. People find it hard to believe that educated, experienced individuals work for that, particularly since I had a job that probably drew 300 resumes when I left it. And that's probably a relatively high-percentile salary in the business.
  12. writingump

    writingump Member

    Low pay, management who doesn't give a damn about you and believes writers are fungible, readers who use you as a punching bag, earlier deadlines ... glad I'm not in the newspaper gig any more.
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