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How to leave sportswriting and never regret a second

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Inky_Wretch, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. MarcoEsquandolas

    MarcoEsquandolas New Member

    I’m contemplating a career switch and have written for the Boston Globe, Washington Post and ESPN.com, in addition to holding various staff writing jobs for daily papers/websites.

    Out of work right now and struggling to even land interviews. Starting to think it’s a sign and wondering what I should do next.
  2. mash4077

    mash4077 New Member

    I'm looking at an exit plan myself. I'm a reporter at a small paper, writing 10-12 stories, a column and typing up police and church notices every week, as well as shooting my own pics and video, and editing videos for a staff that doesn't know how. I used to cover sports, but trying to stay in one region of the country and finding such jobs are few and far between. When I got my current job, no sports jobs were available and I was unemployed for three months before that trying to find a writing/reporting job, so I took it, even though the pay is not close to what any reporter is worth (even as my acceptance letter said I was being paid more than the other reporter on staff). I commute about 25 miles each way to get to my paper, which is about a 45 minute drive on a good day.

    I'm seriously looking at retail, because there are places much closer to where I live that are hiring, and their pay and benefits are equal to or better than what I make now, and I wouldn't have to shell out anything in gas. As much as I love to get out and write and report (and in an ideal world, cover sports), at this point in my life I'm fairly locked into a particular region of the country and my wife is successful in her career, and there's my 3-year old daughter to consider also. Daycare is not cheap, folks.

    I made a spreadsheet of my family's income/expenses after I started this new job, and we're losing money every month I work as a reporter. Obviously it wasn't good when I was unemployed, but we had a little help from family to get us through. Even after making adjustments in our budget, it's not enough. There has to be a better way, and right now it looks like retail is it. I'd have at least the same pay without the traveling, and on top of that I'd get to spend more time with my wife and daughter. I think retail wins.

    Good luck to others as you find your way through.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
    cake in the rain likes this.
  3. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    I've noticed on some of the job Websites some of the truly horrible sounding jobs out there, including various forms of writing and it seems like I'm not even close to being qualified for any of them.
  4. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Retail? What are you going to sell? Like work at a Kohl's? Truly curious. Executive retail? Manager of the store or ?
  5. Central-KY-Kid

    Central-KY-Kid Well-Known Member

    I work in retail, although on the logistics side.

    Hated it at the start, but had to get through an initial period in which they onboard hundreds of people at a time.

    October will mark my four-year anniversary with the big-box warehouse and things are going great.

    Making $5+ more per hour than I did as a small town daily scribe.
    80 percent of schedule is 7-3, M-F with paid breaks
    Great insurance package (I'm diabetic and have glasses)
    Matching 401K
    Plenty of vacation hours (144) and no flack for calling in. I'm supposed to be at work at 7 am tomorrow and I could call in at 845 and it would be no big deal
    Bereavement policy for my wife's grandmother was five work days not counting holidays and weekends (because of that, I missed work from July 2-9 and didn't miss anything on my paycheck)
    Yearly raises up to 3 percent

    FWIW, we are a DINC (dual income, no children) household in statistically one of the cheapest places to live in the country (Kentucky). Sales tax is 6 percent. Current gas price is $2.29.

    And I also made more than $4K last year freelancing (which paid for our three weeklong vacations)

    Obviously I am one who has been swayed about retail. Lotta things to like.
    Liut likes this.
  6. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Thank you for that post! I know there are a lot of journalism suits and mega-suits on here. I'd like you to read he missed a week of work for his WIFE's GRANDMOTHER'S FUNERAL. His wife's grandmother. Can you imagine a newsroom suit in this situation? Ha. They'd probably try to not pay you anything at all and be SOOOOO upset you needed a whole week off for your wife's grandmother. Retail ... did you see all those perks? All that vacation time? Newspapers? LOL. Retail is a way better deal for the employee? That's despicable, suits. Try to do better.
  7. swingline

    swingline Well-Known Member

    I own a suit. One.

    Frank Ridgeway would be so disappointed.
    wicked likes this.
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I own three and two tuxes, They don't fit anymore. When I hit my goal weight, I'm buying a new suit and a new tux
    Tweener likes this.
  9. Writer

    Writer Member

    I am starting to think public relations is the route to go. A lot more money to be made working that type of job. Plus, you can still freelance or write for a website.
  10. swingline

    swingline Well-Known Member

    Although a journalism/reporting background is good experience, PR requires being able to shovel a lot of bullshit to toe the company line. The jobs are more like third cousins than siblings.
  11. Liut

    Liut Well-Known Member

    This! I worked for about six months in a university sports information office. Had a hard time having to be dishonest.
  12. daytonadan1983

    daytonadan1983 Well-Known Member

    I guess I've been blessed to find a writing/SID hybrid...
    Liut likes this.
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