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Getting out

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by duckncover, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. duckncover

    duckncover Member

    For a few years now I've been coming to the realization that I will not be able to retire in this industry, let alone ever increase my standard of living. With all the wage freezes, layoffs, buyouts, the news is never good. I consider myself pretty successful at what I do (multiple awards, SNDs, blah, blah), but all I've done in my career is work at newspapers. Most of that time as a page designer (with extensive Photoshop illo work, but no graphic design).

    I've been busily learning Flash action scripting, HTML and Illustrator, but, at 35+, I worry I've missed my shot at getting out because I have spent my time working mostly with newspaper-specific software. I have a kid and can't really just start over.

    My question is this: Have any of you heard of a long-time newspaper designer (14 years and counting) transitioning to a design job in another industry? I just need hope.
     
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    If you know InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash well, you pretty much can get a job with any ad agency. Especially Flash; there's a high demand for that program right now. Good luck.
     
  3. Lucas Wiseman

    Lucas Wiseman Active Member

    More people may see this on the main journalism board, so I'm moving it there.
     
  4. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    I know Photoshop, kinda, vaguely.

    That's it.

    Oh, yeah, Quark, too, but not InDesign.
     
  5. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    You can do it. With design skills, you can work for any ad firm.
    In addition, any company with in-house publications. I've seen a designer or two in my time go to work for cruise lines to design brochures and such. They're out there. And, they pay better.
     
  6. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    I wasn't in the business as long as you were (about 6 years), but I managed to get out. I know how you feel because I had the same concerns when I was looking to get out of the biz. One suggestion I would give is to look beyond just advertising or design agencies, since they often look for someone with prior agency experience because it does have its own workflow and setting (and having worked at an agency, I can't say it's a workflow I particularly care for). Look at places whose primary focus isn't design-oriented but are looking for a designer, since they are less likely to say "We want someone with prior experience in this or that field." My first job out of newspapers was designing course modules for a nonprofit involved in K-12 science education, and it was a fantastic experience and helped me do some things that I would not have had the chance to do in newspapers, and I feel like that helped me a lot when I looked to get into an ad agency. And definitely become at least proficient in the industry-standard array of software: Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator (you don't need to be a fantastic artist, but you need to know how to use the software), Quark, and increasingly, Flash and HTML. Also, tailor your resume, portfolio, and application letter to emphasize how the design skills you have can translate over to whatever job you're applying for. Good luck.
     
  7. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    I'm in somewhat of a similar vein, I guess.

    I'm being driven out of my current gig for reasons I won't discuss on this board. I'm no longer in position to leave town but there's not another paper in the immediate area.

    I have nearly 20 years of experience in the business world, but 10 are in mainframe computers and the rest are in sports writing and page design, of which I've won awards in every possible category (some in news).

    The chances of me finding anything other than a $7 an hour job in this town are nil.
     
  8. boots

    boots New Member

    Been there partner. Face it, you may have to bite the bullet and move. You might move to a town you don't like but as long as you've got transportation or access to it, you are not trapped.
     
  9. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    Moving is not an option. My wife just landed her first career job out of college.
     
  10. boots

    boots New Member

    Then you have pretty much backed yourself in a corner. I've been there. When one door closes, another one opens. It might not open when you want it to, but it will open.
     
  11. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Is there anything within an hour drive that's not owned by your chain?
     
  12. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Along a similar vein, is there somewhere you could move to, that would give you both 30-45 minute commutes in opposite directions?
    Maybe hour commutes?
     
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