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Job opportunity advice wanted

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by rdh0924, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. rdh0924

    rdh0924 Guest

    OK, folks, I'm pretty new to this site and hope you may be of service to me. Here's my dilemma:

    I had a interview yesterday for a sports reporter opening at a smaller daily. I have a second interview soon and I believe I have a fair chance of receiving a job offer, which is great.

    The issue is that even though most recent college grads would be thrilled with this opportunity (I graduated from undergrad last month), I am not sure if I should take it or not.

    I am also a semifinalist for a bit larger daily to cover a BCS conference school, but the SE is waiting on paperwork to go forth and fill that position, so it's kind of a waiting game. I currently write and edit part-time for a large metro daily. I usually write a story a week, edit and rim/slot a night or two and produce the baseball page a few nights a week, too. I've been there for a couple years; started out taking calls, then did the Scoreboard page, and now have wrote and edited there for over a year. Last summer, I had a paid internship at an even larger metro daily (40 hours/week editing, and I wrote a story or two a week, too) so I'm used to large papers and am hoping I will acquire a full-time, salaried position with my current employer in the next year or two.

    So, what should I do if I am offered the job at the 19,000 daily? I am not sure what the pay is like, but it would probably be better than the $18k-$20k I will make on my current hourly wage. And I'd be writing a lot instead of a combination of everything. Anyone have thoughts, concerns, advice?
  2. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Honestly, there are pros and cons to each situation you mentioned.

    If your goal is to someday work full-time at the metro paper, at least you have your foot in the door and the bosses know you and your work. So that might put you to the front of the line if/when they have an opening there. If you are willing to bide your time doing what you do now.

    I also understand that you may not want to wait forever at $9 per hour and since you already have your foot in the door at the metro, you might want to take a shot at the other job for a couple of years instead of staying put. You could also go back if/when the opportunity arises. That makes sense if you will (1) earn more and (2) get better opportunities to grow professionally at the 19k place than where you are now.

    Now, the other issue is harder, deciding between the 19k place and the 40k place. The old saying "a bird in hand is worth two in the bush". I did that once right out of college: got an offer, told the guy to give me a day, called back prepared to accept only to hear he had offered it to someone else. Oh, well, his loss as it turned out (I got a much better gig a month later). Whatever you do, don't play two companies against one another. Makes you look like a greedy SOB. Decide what you would prefer. If the 19k place offers something and it feels good, grab it. If you want to hold out for a shot at the 40k place, fine, but understand you might strike out and land back at square one.

    Try to see it as a win-win situation.
  3. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    This part scares me. The waiting game could be anything from legitimately waiting for the paperwork to go through, to "we're holding off on filling this job for as long as possible because our financials are shitty." And if it's the latter, any one of a dozen things could happen to that job between now and the start of football season.
  4. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    I think your best move is to stay where you are, hang in there, hang on to whatever position you can have at the 180,000 like grim death and bide your time until they have a fulltime opening for you.

    The job covering the BCS school would be nice if it's actually going to happen, but you don't know if it is. Until you know something firm, that would remain my second choice if I were you.

    The job at the 19,000 daily isn't worth your time. Yeah, sure, you learn a ton having to be a jack of all trades at a small outlet like that. Maybe if you were running the sports section there, it would be worth it. But even then, I'd be more concerned about your career taking a job like that. Right now you're on track for a large outlet, not a 19,000 circ. If you take the job at that small place, it's entirely possible that you'll never be able to work your way back up to a job at a large outlet. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it's a hell of a lot harder now than it's ever been before.

    You don't mention where the 19,000 circ is, but honestly, you may not make much more than what you make now, and you'll work seven days a week, slaving away on preps and probably not getting anything close to the opportunities that a large paper provides.

    Have a talk with the supervisors at your current place. Get their feedback so you can make any adjustments you need to make in order to set yourself up to be on the short list when there's a fulltime opening. Make sure they know you're interested and eager for that opportunity. And hang in there until it materializes. If you're used to big papers, trust me, you won't like what you find doing preps seven days a a week at a 19,000 circ.
  5. rdh0924

    rdh0924 Guest

    Thanks for all of the advice, everyone. It's been really helpful.
  6. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Plus, all of the things he'd learn at the 19K is stuff he seems to be getting experience in now. Other than having to make big decisions and writing some more, which certainly has its plusses, it doesn't sound like he'd be learning anything he doesn't already know. Depending on what kind of computer equipment and staff (or lack thereof) the smaller paper has, it might even be a step back.
    I hate to say a $9 an hour job is the right move, rhd, but in the grand scheme of things it might be.
  7. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    First off congrats on being in the mix. With that being said, it appears that you want to be at the larger paper. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush in this volatile climate. If offered the job at the smaller job, you do not have to give them a decision immediately. Talk with the folk at the paper where you are a semifinalist at. Tell them you have an offer on the table but would like to see what can be done to speed up the process or what are their plans. You also do not have to tell them where the other offer is from. It isn't their business and many times it serves no purpose to release such information. Once you find out where they are in the process, you can make a decision. Good luck.
  8. Roscablo

    Roscablo Member

    I would also agree that it seems you want to be at the, or any, larger paper. The part-time gig gives you some flexibility with your options. You can sit back and wait for official word if you are moving forward in the process with the bigger paper knowing you are at least getting some money and experience at your current job. That experience should help give you a foot in the door somewhere else if the job you're applying for falls through.

    That said, stay aggressive on the job search front. I have seen far too many part-timers get stuck in a rut at the paper they are at hoping for the full-time gig that never comes. In fact, the situation you describe there is almost a mirror image of how the last paper I was at used part-timers. Use them as they are using you -- for that experience and move on when that opportunity arises. It may be this position you're up for or it may be another, but don't count on the paper you're at just because you've given them good time. If it happens, great, but do what's best for you in the long run.
  9. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    I agree. I don't know if its a game or what but I've many youngsters used and abused with promises. Hell, even the old coots get it too. I think you should do what's best for you. And forget that talk about allegiance. It's a cutthroat business and you have to survive, especially in these tough times.
  10. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Silly question with this industry, but how the heck is 40 hours considered part time? And would you be eligible for any benefits if you were working 40 hours?
  11. TGO157

    TGO157 Member

    I agree with the majority. Pass on the 19k gig. Jump at the BCS beat job if they offer and you feel solid about it. If not, like people said, you at least have the part-time gig bringing in SOME money.

    You might think - like so many college grads do - that any full-time job offered is the one you should take, thinking the dire state of the business lends to the idea that a second offer may not come. Don't think this way. You have the experience and qualifications to go for a home run. Don't settle for a double. Even if the BCS gig doesn't pan out, you should have many more options of where to go as long as you keep putting your name and qualifications out there.
  12. johngregory

    johngregory New Member

    Wow. After only a day, I think that's pretty low of the employer. Hopefully that's not the norm, as I might find myself in a similar situation.
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