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"Getting out of the business" resource thread

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by playthrough, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    The Globe moved its newsroom into downtown Boston last year. Almost everyone lost their offices, apparently. They can no longer hide from the commoners.
  2. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    It is unAmerican and sad that companies are so cheap they will not even consider raises. Pathetic that they do not care one iota about their employees, not ONE iota. The mantra is, "At least you have a job." If they ever take away insurance the common workers will finally bail on their own. Enjoy your summer homes and boats and mansions and cars, CEOs. Suits all should be ashamed.
  3. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Well-Known Member

    Dusting off this account as I'm at a crossroads and have nowhere else to vent. I kinda-sorta left journalism in 2015 to finish my undergrad degree (I did some freelancing on the side while studying), but since graduating this past December I've found nothing but mediocre part-time work and looming student loan payments. That was until the past couple weeks, when my cup suddenly runneth over -- two offers for full rides to grad school, and one surprisingly good offer from a paper overseas.

    It feels like it should be a no-brainer. I enjoy the academic environment and learning new things, and the programs to which I've been admitted cover my main research interests (a Masters-only international affairs track and an MA-PhD program in political science). One of the two schools is even in the top 50 of the latest Times Higher Education world rankings. But damn, this job -- it'd be the best money I've ever made in journalism, plus health insurance, a retirement plan with employer-matched contributions, relocation costs covered, and more. I'd make enough to live on my own (not an option in grad school), pay down my loans, and send some money home to my parents. It's still in newspapers, though, and I don't know how long that's going to be viable, even for a leaf on the wind like me.

    Even if I take the gig and treat it as 'one last job' (like so many movie tropes), I'll have to get out and find a new line of work at some point. I turned 37 this month, so working a year or two to get my finances in order and possibly getting my Masters online would leave me staring at a career change in my 40s. Grad school offers the possibility of opening new avenues but no guarantee of such, and the market for PhDs in the US is almost as much of a barren hellscape as that for newspaper journalists. At the risk of overstating how much finality there is in this decision, it does feel like this an inflection point and that walking away from this job means walking away for good from the only thing I've wanted to do since junior high. I know I am out of the ordinary and ridiculously fortunate compared to many in similar situations, but that doesn't make taking this leap any easier.
    Slacker likes this.
  4. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    You are fortunate, and congratulations.

    I'll only say this -- the sooner you get into your second career, the more money you'll be making at the back end of that career.
  5. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Well-Known Member

    Thanks, shottie. All I have to do now is figure out what that next career is and how to get there.
  6. justgladtobehere

    justgladtobehere Well-Known Member

    Can the journalism job lead to opportunities in government or the academy?
  7. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Well-Known Member

    Probably not as it's just a copy-editing position; local government is right out as the job is in Hong Kong. The Masters seems more likely to open those kind of paths, especially if I ever follow through on my threat to take up teaching. I am worried about future employers seeing me as overqualified and/or expensive for entry-level jobs in whatever new field I pursue, but I admit part of that likely stems from it being an almighty wrestle just finding steady work after getting my BA.
  8. Slacker

    Slacker Well-Known Member

    Your master's or doctorate degree in those fields gives you great leverage and flexibility for all kinds of jobs, and in all kinds of places, right? I'd go that route. You would then always have career and lifestyle options in a variety of directions.
  9. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    The key is in your feelings at present.

    If you want to go to Hong Kong -- I would certainly understand and relate to a desire to spend time oversees, or to see more of the world (and a part of it you might never go to otherwise) for some length of time -- then I'd take the copy-editing job, and just worry about the other stuff when the time comes. Lots of people, including me, have such desires but never have the good, and, in this case, even comfortable, job opportunities lined up that would more easily allow such a move to be made.

    If you've been feeling lately like you're kind of done with journalism, and actually want to get out, and it's not just that you're worried about how long the business is going to last, then I'd go the post-grad degree route and see where that might take you.
  10. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Well-Known Member

    In general you're probably right, though I'm not sure how broadly applicable an MIA would be beyond the world of academia, government jobs, NPOs, and think tanks. Then again, given how laughably unqualified many Asia 'experts' I see quoted in media are, I might be overthinking this.
  11. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Well-Known Member

    I've been living and working in Asia since 2008, so it's more of a desire to stay in the region because I enjoy living abroad and, if Asia is the focus of my research interest, it makes more sense to work or study there as opposed to, say, Texas. The decision wouldn't even be a difficult one if not for the paper offering the kind of package it is and my having exactly $0 saved toward retirement as I approach my 40s. It's not so much that I want to get out as I know I will have to get out at some point -- the question is whether to pull the ripcord now, when I have more productive years ahead of me, or stay on this trajectory and assume the risks that come with attempting a career change in one's 40s or 50s.
  12. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    My advice is don't take the newspaper job overseas. Get the paid-for degree and it sounds to me like you'd be a lock to be qualified to be a professor at bare minimum. You should be able to get a good job with those degrees, right? Going overseas sounds dumb because you are right. At 37 that's a tough age. We have to face facts. Newspapers are on such a decline there will be no print product in 10 years maximum. If you believe there will always be print, well, there are no signs of slowing down the layoff era. At 37 you need to get your next career going and with education paid for, continue on that path and make sure you can be qualified to be a professor if you can't identify other jobs with your major. Think about it. You can't move overseas to continue on in newspapers. Newspapers are on their last rights.
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