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Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Pringle, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    It is a key discussion point on both the "Devaluing Your Skills" thread and the "Nation of Serfs" thread, and comes up all the time on various leaving-the-business threads and so forth, so I thought it deserved its own thread where people could give their thoughts on money.

    I grew up in a family where anyone who was slightly well-off was one step above the devil. Some of the nastiest family friction occurred when one in-law was getting overtime while another was getting laid off, for example, or when one's child was getting a college degree while another was stocking shelves at the local grocery store. I assume this is the case in most families. Money is a topic fraught with peril.

    How much do you want?
    How much do you need?
    Do you look down on people who leave journalism for more money? Are they sellouts? Would you ever sell out?

    I've seen people on here post that they are perfectly happy making $25K a year, and you just have to live within your means. Frequently, those people offer concrete ways to do so: If kids want to go to college, they need to work to pay for it themselves. Drive a used car. Be a one-car family. Ditch the cell phone and cable. Etc., etc.

    Personally, I want to have a standard of living where I can save for retirement while also not having to give up things like a cell phone, iPad, NFL Sunday Ticket, golf, etc., etc. You know: Luxuries. At the same time, I've had to make some career choices in which I gave up a job I may have enjoyed more for one that paid better. I read once upon a time that you should always take the job that pays more, and I've generally followed that advice.

    Just curious about people's thoughts on moolah, in general. Root of all evil? Or the American Dream? Hell, even share your salary or past salaries if you feel so inclined.
  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Money can't buy everything, it's true. But what it can't buy, I can't use; I want money.
  3. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    How much do I need? Enough to not sweat about the small stuff like paying all my bills and still having enough to take my girlfriend out to a nice dinner, go on a nice vacation each year and be able to afford a gym membership at a place that isn't a dump. Want to make enough where I can pay a little extra on my soon-to-be mortgage and put away for a new car before the old one dies. Stuff like that.
  4. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Another question I think a lot of us deal with, especially in this profession: Do you feel guilty for desiring a better paycheck? Because, in journalism especially, it seems, and maybe teaching, too, wanting to be compensated is considered somewhat taboo. It's a big psychological burden.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I don't ever look down on people who "sell out" for more money. I think I would have before I had a family of my own and before journalism was in the state that it is now. As someone who was downsized out of journalism, I say get what you can while you can.

    My best year in journalism, between radio, tv, freelance and my salary, I cleared about $70K.

    My first year out of journalism, I made slightly more than that. That job was short-lived though.

    I have a decent chunk of change in retirement and I've contributed a sizable chunk into the college funds for both of my kids.

    As far as what's important to me, it's making sure my kids have everything they want and need and they do. I also haven't taken a vacation in five years, but I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. As long as we're comfortable, I'm happy.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    You shouldn't feel guilty for wanting to be paid more money, but at the same time, I think given today's economic times you also have to be realistic about it.
  7. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Fuck that. I ran and took the money. And I'd do it again without blinking. Call me a sell-out. I'm OK with that. I'm also living a much better life because of the extra money.

    Newspapers can eat my ass.
  8. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member


    - Enough to pay my bills, not have to take out a loan if the car breaks down, and follow my favorite bands around on tour (at least a little).
    - Enough to pay my bills and not have to take out a loan if the car breaks down.
    (I was barely able to achieve this in journalism)
    - In the case of those who leave newspapers, hell no. I laud them for their foresight. They are not "sellouts." And who the hell is anyone to define what a "sellout!!!" is?
    - What does that even mean? Would I gladly desert some nebulous ideal of "journalism", with all of its trappings of long hours, mediocre pay, etc. for a chance to gain some security and feed my family? You bet I would. Any other answer is unconscionable.

    Of course, the idea that leaving journalism somehow means "sellout!!!!!" is complete bunk. As much as the idea that "If you leave journalism, you'll never love what you do!"

    Those who had the opportunity to "sell out" from newspapers a couple of years ago are now fielding calls from their old buddies, who themselves are seeking a similar route, years after scoffing at those who left while the getting was good.

    I will quote my favorite short-lived Sock Puppet: "When the worm turns, those who gave up, yet still come to a Web site for sports journalists, will wish they were us yet again."

    No, Mr. The Monarch. We won't.

  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I used to look down at people who left journalism for jobs at MLB.com or jobs writing for college or pro teams. Not anymore. Those guys have better job security than anyone at a newspaper does.
  10. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    When I left my newspaper gig a little more than a year ago the HR lady look down on me. In fact, I think she was a bit dumbfounded. She couldn't believe I was passing up such a tremendous opportunity at $13 per hour + two furloughs a year and zero job security.

    I was taken back a bit by that. Couldn't believe the lady who did the firings didn't understand.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think she was just surprised and disappointed that someone left before she could fire them.

    When I got the axe, the HR lady who I had met once before tried to hug me as I left the office. It was so insincere I wanted to punch her in the face.
  12. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    When I read the thread title, my immediate thought was, " ... it's a hit. Don't give me that do goody good bullshit." That and a bunch of cha-chings.

    As for the question at hand, enough to provide security and a decent living for my family. Anything past that is gravy.
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