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Help...Career Advice???

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ChmDogg, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. ChmDogg

    ChmDogg Member

    Okay, I'll try and be brief with this.  I'm trying to decide whether to make a jump to a new paper and could use the advice of some of the more experienced people on this board.

    I'm currently at 5-day/week PM paper with a circ of 33K.  I've been here about 10 months now.  I've gotten the sparse chances to cover some NFL, MLB, and D-1 football and basketball, mixed in with a lot of preps and local stuff. My position is truly general assignment -- I don't really have anything resembling a beat. Also, there is no opportunity to "move up" here, as the only beat here is preps (and he's been here for nearly 30 years and isn't going anywhere now).  But, we are the only full-time writers here.  That said, it's a very comfortable and relaxed work environment.

    I have an informal offer (which is nearing a formal offer) at a 7-day/week AM paper with a circ of about 29K. It would involve moving down the coast, I guess. My beat would be preps (this area is a HUGE football area), but I would have plenty of chances to cover D-1 football and some NFL.  There is also the opportunity to move into a D-1 football (and Arena ball in the spring) beat if the current guy leaves -- which is likely to happen in the next year.  The staff at this paper is much younger and the editor has told me that his goal is to move his writers on within 2-3 years.

    Anyway, my question is, do you see this as a legit "jump" even though I'm not going up in circ?  Is it a move in the right direction because I'd be at a 7-day AM instead of a 5-day PM (just based on coverage opportunities?) Is it better because I'll have a set beat I'll be working?

    FYI, my goal is to get into college beat writing in the near future, if that helps. 

    Thanks in advance.
  2. It's a legit move. Take the job if it's offered to you.
  3. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    The only advice I will ever give anybody in this position is decide what is best FOR YOU...that is something no one can determine but YOU.
  4. ChmDogg

    ChmDogg Member

    Oh, I forgot to add, it looks like I'd have to take a bit of a paycut, but the cost of living at the potential new job is significantly lower than where I'm at now.
  5. That's a big piece of info to leave out. If the money was comparable (including the cost of living increase) than as I said earlier, go for it. But if you'd be getting jerked around monetarily, as spirited said only you can decide what's best because it depends on your financial situation.
  6. ChmDogg

    ChmDogg Member

    Well, it seems like it would come pretty close to balancing out, but I'll find out for sure if/when I get the offer. I know it's ultimately my decision, but I just want to get the general consensus on here.
  7. JME

    JME Member

    It sounds to me like a move up.
  8. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    never take a pay cut, ever.

    if someone is attempting to sell you on cost of living, they're attempting to chump you.

    if they really want you, they will pay you what you're getting now and at least a few grand more a year. if you do take a pay cut, please remember what you did five months from now when the publisher at your new paper comes into the newsroom and tells you about vacationing in italy and the wonderful time he had there for two weeks ... then ask yourself if the $3,000 a year pay cut you took was worth it.

    sometimes you have to say whatthefuck and make people pay for what they want.
  9. Terd Ferguson

    Terd Ferguson Member

    Taking a pay cut is generally not a step up, no matter what the other "perks." It could take you years and several moves to make up the lost money.

    Don't buy into the "we'll make it up to you down the road." There might not be a down the road. This applies to job descriptions as well. Unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is what you want, don't take it. There will be other opportunities if this doesn't work out.

    Don't discount this quote you gave about your current job, either:
    If your position is a comfortable one, why be in a rush to get out? Only the perfect job/salary/opportunity should be enough to shake you out of a place you genuinely enjoy working. There aren't enough of those places out there, especially to consider leaving for less money.
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If the pay issue can be worked out (I would stand your ground and say you can't go for less than you are making now, regardless of cost of living) I would take it.
  11. ChmDogg

    ChmDogg Member

    Well, my current job IS comfortable.

    But, I have nowhere to go there. I miss out on so many opportunities.

    I'll always be GA.

    I'll always miss everything on Fridays and Saturdays.

    I'll never (or rarely) have a chance to break news (being a PM with a competing AM in the market).

    AND my current paper isn't completely stable as we are a PM competing with an AM in a pretty small market.

    So, yeah, I make a bit more money since it's a union paper, but money doesn't necessarily buy happiness -- as I know I would be miserable if I was to stay here another year.

    I sort of feel like this would be taking a small step back (money-wise) to take two steps forward career-wise (especially when considering launching-pad potential).
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Hey, if you want the job, take it. Doesn't hurt to see if you can drag your feet and wring a little out of the new place, though.
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