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"I'm leaving the business": How do people react?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WaylonJennings, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. It seems any time I tell somebody, typically friends and family outside of the business, that I'm thinking about leaving it, or at least leaving sports eventually, they would be less shocked if I had explained that I was growing a second head out of my ass.

    Always some variation of "But ... but ... but ... free games!"

    "Well, I have to work a lot of nights and weekends."

    "But free games!"

    "And the pay sucks."

    "Free games!"

    "Not enough variety for me. Lot of asshole coaches and players to deal with."

    "Free ... GAMES!!!"

    For those who have done it, how do you guys explain it to people? Do you get that kind of reaction? I was half-kidding about the "free games" stuff. A lot of times, it seems that more than that it shakes people's idea of my identity. Almost as if I'd said I was gay (I'm not, but you know what I mean).

    I guess the correct answer is, who cares what people think? But I want my family and friends to understand where I'm coming from when it comes to life decisions, particularly the ones I'm close to.
  2. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    They wouldn't go to all those games for free. I know someone who passed up free ALCS tix for tonite!
  3. Flash

    Flash Guest

    My friends have been incredibly understanding. It was quite painful when I left the business (it wasn't of my own choosing ... layoffs and all) and, a year and some later, I still miss it.

    There's a part of me that will always be a sports writer. I just no longer play one in real life.

    On the other hand, fuckabuncha people who can't understand why you need to make the move. If it's what is best for you, then do it.

    Just cherish the good memories.
  4. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

  5. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    I have a hunch I would get the same reaction if I made the decision to leave the business. I can't really imagine doing anything else for a living, and I guess the people who know me best can't imagine it, either.
  6. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Nobody would care, really. Not in the office, certainly not out of the office. I just finished up a sports job to take a copy editor job at another paper, and the few people in the office said they'd miss me, but it wasn't like they were shocked that I was leaving sportswriting.
  7. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    Hell, sometimes I get the opposite reaction. My parents are always asking me to go back to school and get another degree and make more money.

    But as for those that are shocked, you should do something like this.....
    Lay out a dollar and say that the person has to work for one hour to make that dollar, let them get it after an hour is over.
    Now lay out another dollar and tell them they have to wait at least three hours to pick it up. Then every 10 minutes start yelling at them about kids scores, volleyball coverage and everything else that pisses you off about the job. Tell them that they can't enjoy the game because they can't drink, they can't cheer and on top of that they have a boss breathing down their neck because the deadline is coming and the game is only 3/4 done. Then once they reach down to take the dollar, snatch it back and give them 50 cents because the industry is hurting and there need to be some roll backs until the advertising can make quotas.
    That's if you want to leave the business.
  8. markvid

    markvid Guest

    None of my family or friends outside work care that I'm in the business.
    That's how it should be. My wife comes from parents who were both teachers and has at least 4 of them in it now. To me, that's more impressive.
    None of them would care if I left.
  9. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    I've been out a couple of years, and the reaction I get from my friends who are still in range from "you lucky bastard" to "you brilliant lucky bastard."
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I assume that the reaction among co-workers to people leaving the newspaper business would be jealousy with a tinge of regret that there may not be any decent jobs for them to bail to soon.
  11. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    I left the biz a couple years ago. Reaction from coworkers were generally "good for you" and "can you get me a job where you're going (half jokingly)". Reaction from non-newspaper friends and family was basically "about time".
  12. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    I think anybody who makes a big career change faces that hurdle at some point. What I did when I applied for non-newspaper jobs, and perhaps you can try this with your applications, is to identify in my application letter the qualities that served me well in newspapers and how they would translate over to my new job (attention to detail, ability to communicate, can handle working under pressure/deadline, etc.). And once you get your foot in the door, you won't be seen as a sportswriter any more; you'll get pigeon-holed into whatever new field you go into.
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