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"Money's nice, but you'll end up hating what you do"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SilvioDante, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. SilvioDante

    SilvioDante Member

    An editor told me this the other day when I floated the idea of getting out of the profession while I'm still young if things didn't pick up in the next year or so.

    Have those of you who have left found this to be true? I guess it depends on the person, and there's no right answer.

    But this isn't the first time I've heard this from higher-ups at my paper - not to sound arrogant, but I just don't feel like I'm getting out of my career what I'm worth.

    Isn't it possible to make a decent salary, have some upward mobility, AND not hate what you do?

    Or is that a pipedream?

    Maybe this really is as good as it gets :(
  2. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Love what you do. I am sure you have other interests.

    I will say this, though. Do you know why a school district pays a nurse $22,000 a year? Because they can.

    The point is if there is a long line of applicants, the pay will reflect line. It's supply and demand in the work force. Sportswriters go to games (in most cases), so there will always be a long line.

    I have done many different jobs in my life, and since the age of 18, I have never dreaded going to work. I think work ethic is intrinsically inside of you.

    Look into teaching or starting your own business, or get into a management program for one of the big box stores (Best Buy, Home Depot, Staples). If it's the service industry, be prepared to have the same crappy hours as sports writers.

    Also, think about getting your masters degree.
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member


    The answer actually is that simple.
  4. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    I wholehearted agree. What the editor told you was most likely just b.s. to scare you into staying. I've had three jobs since I left newspapers: loved one, like the one I have now, and loathed the boss at the other (but not the work). Sometimes discussions here make it sound like if you leave newspapers, you'll be stuck behind a desk answering phone calls from irate customers, crunching numbers, or stacking boxes at Wal-Mart. That's simply not the case. If you possess good journalism skills (writing, editing, attention to detail, good with deadlines), there are plenty of fulfilling and good-paying jobs out there. And it's a lot easier to get into those fields while you're still relatively young and can work your way up rather than waiting till you are midway through your career, because then you might have to take a step or two down in the career ladder to move into another field, and you'll have financial obligations that won't allow you to do that easily.
  5. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    If you get a master's degree, make sure it's in a viable field. Not journalism, not philosophy, etc. Whole lotta money spent for nothin'.
  6. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Very true.

    Some companies (I think Nabisco is one) will hire only people with liberal arts degrees (like journalism) and then train the person to suit their company.

    Oh, be willing to move. That is a big help.
  7. franticscribe

    franticscribe Well-Known Member

    I sure as hell hope it's not a pipe dream Silvio

    I left reporting 10 months ago to go back to school. There are a lot of things I miss about being in the newsroom. There are an equal number that I don't miss.

    I'm not working at the moment, but I have every expectation that my new career (law) will be rewarding once I finish up school. I'm enjoying what I'm learning in class and in the out-of-class practical experience stuff I'm doing.

    At the same time I left, four other mid- to late 20-something reporters from my paper got out of the business too. They all went into university PR departments. Of those four, three are absolutely happy with the switch. The fourth enjoys the better hours and pay, but still has some misgivings about leaving journalism.
  8. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    The very fact that you're asking yourself the question tosses half the boss' "money's nice, but you'll end up hating what you do" argument right out the window. You may not "hate" your current journalism gig, but you're obviously having some doubts about it.

    It's not a long trip from "doubt" to "dislike" to "hate." Been there, done that, got the fuck out before the job killed me. I started to realize it was time to consider a change when I would find myself sitting in my car in the parking lot near the office, trying to come up with a reason to not walk in, type up my resignation note and leave.

    I somehow held on for several years after that, but it was mostly an unhappy ride.

    I left, ended up in a job making far less money but having a lot of fun and feeling as though I was/am wanted. And, in a pleasant change of pace, I'm surrounded by people who know what they're doing. I hope to be managing some of them down the road, but can also envision being satisfied working for them.

    You have to make enough money to survive on (as well as sock a few bucks away for emergencies and retirement), but other than that don't make money your overwhelming reason to do anything.
  9. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    I took up my first non-journalism career last year after taking some time off for an MBA. It's in banking. I had my doubts about selling out, but I love it, not only because of the improvement in my life (time and money) but because I actually feel like I'm helping people. I can share in others' successes because I played a small role in them.
  10. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    It's my experience that that isn't unique to Nabisco. Plenty of my friends who majored in things like philosophy and psych all got jobs in finance. Granted their probably at a lower starting point than those with some sort of business major, but they got the job and were trained on how the company did things -- prior experience wasn't really a requirement. Granted they all don't like their soul-sucking jobs but at least the pay is a lot better than what I have and they know they won't be working any weekends.

    And pressmurphy, you left this field and got a job that paid less? What did you join the Peace Corps?
  11. Walter Burns

    Walter Burns Member

    I had a co-worker who used to say that the first thing they do in journalism school is teach you that it's a calling, that you're doing the Lord's work. Once you buy into that, they can do whatever the hell they want to you. Nights and weekends? Sure. Lousy money? No problem. Fear of the entire industry collapsing? I can deal with that.
    If you legitimately think that you can't retire from journalism (and I'm starting to come around to that belief) then look elsewhere. I've found a lot of people who said they were glad to get out of newspapers, but I haven't found anyone who's said they wished they hadn't got out of newspapers.
    That tells me all I need to know.
  12. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    The skills that make someone a good newspaper person, and the brains, are sought after by other businesses. Trust me on that. People have ventured into many things from my old paper. They're all making more money, too.

    If you love journalism, stick with it. It remains an admirable calling.

    But if you don't love it, get out. The hours, the work *** you can't do it well without loving it.
    And if you fear for the future as a few of us, ahem, do, then GET OUT.
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