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Pay cut for new job?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 1GreytWriter, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. 1GreytWriter

    1GreytWriter Member

    So after four years, I've decided I want out of journalism. I'm tired of working every major holiday and at least one weekend day, as well as having constant schedule changes. I'm not a reporter, but I'm still burned out. I will be 30 next year and would like to be on to a straight 9-5 by then. So this summer, I saw a tweet for a social media internship, and being that I had no professional social media experience and the internship was only part-time with no set hours, I accepted and have enjoyed the work. My supervisors there agreed to let me stay part-time, so I have two jobs right now.

    Yesterday, I was excited when my internship boss said she would like to talk to me about a possible full-time opportunity. The job sounded like something I might be interested in and has the more normal work schedule I'm seeking. The problem? Because this company is still considered a "startup" (though they are growing), they can only pay me a couple hundred dollars a week if I go full-time. Since they can't really pay much, I drew my own conclusion that they probably aren't giving benefits, which would make this job a no-go. I'm single, but I have a (non-life threatening) medical condition that requires medication and doctor's visits about every three months. Right now, it's an idiopathic condition, meaning that although my doctor ordered blood work, the tests found no cause. But seeing as how much checkups and prescriptions were costing me before I got insurance, I don't think I can handle going through that again. My supervisor couldn't help much, as she doesn't even make $40K and said the low pay is just the way it is while the company is still small. Since the job is still only a possibility, I didn't accept an offer and my boss said I could have time to consider it and see if it was for me.

    I know that when my time in journalism is up, I'd like to switch to a social media or marketing role. Am I being unreasonable by cringing at the pay cut for this other job? I make high $30K right now and figured I could be OK with low $30K given my needs and if I cut back enough. And because of my condition, I do appreciate the price breaks insurance offers. I woke up today not even knowing if I want to keep this part-time job if full-time pays so terribly right now. I feel like I might be displaying some entitlement, but I'm also trying to look out for what I need to have a good quality of life.

    What would you guys do? Right now I'm going to keep working there part-time and searching, but I've applied for about 40-45 jobs on a casual search and haven't found a thing yet.
  2. Paynendearse

    Paynendearse Member

    Go back to school, get a degree that works. Not trying to be unkind but media jobs are insulting to the work put in to prepare for it.
  3. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    A lot of papers have (or used to have) deals where they pay for (or help with) schooling. I know one person who used it to get her teaching certificate so she could leave journalism. Sometimes you have to be creative about it. I've heard about people having to be a little sneaky to pull it off and other places where it was easy as can be to do.

    I think most of the big chains still have this. The friends I know who have done this recently were with Tribune Co., and Gannett and one just finished this a few months ago.
  4. bevo

    bevo Member

    I'm not positive, but I think Gannett discontinued its program.
  5. JPsT

    JPsT Member

    We can only help you so much, as only you know how you currently live, how you save, the details of the medical condition and how much you prefer the other job to your current one.

    I would remind you to consider alternate sources of revenue. If you take $5,000 less but know you can make $1,000 for a month or two of freelance work, then it might work out. If you're not sure you can bring in any extra income or don't think you can make the lifestyle changes to live on a tighter budget, then you might have your answer.
  6. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    It sounds like the medical benefits are actually the key thing for you here.

    Given that, I think I'd keep things as they are now, with you keeping your full-time job because you need the benefits and retaining the social-media work on a part-time basis _ at least until such time as the second company becomes something more substantial than "a start-up."
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Recently tuned down an offer in which the startup, a week after we talked money about a management position, came in $40K less than I requested. I've taken pay cuts when the COL indicated I could, but I'm not a volunteer.
  8. Screwball

    Screwball Active Member

    Don't assume what the company can offer. Tell your boss you would be interested in a full-time opportunity, even at a lower salary, but you would need benefits. (You don't need to say why; that's not an unreasonable request.) See what they say.
  9. 1GreytWriter

    1GreytWriter Member

    Thank you all for your suggestions.

    My internship period officially ends next Friday, so I'd like to talk to my supervisor before that time about the pay for a possible full-time role. I've never really had to negotiate for salary or benefits before, so this is uncharted territory for me.

    As far as the newspaper suggestion, I appreciate it, but I don't work for a newspaper. I am employed by another big-name company in the media business. If I said it, you would all have heard of it, but I'm trying to be as anonymous as I can. I currently work as an editor. The work itself is fine, but I am just burned out on journalism, like many of you have experienced.

    In the meantime, I don't want to limit myself to one possible opportunity, so I applied for a job in the marketing and communications office of a college not far from my house. It's still writing, just not in sports, as it would be more writing PR and marketing materials, as well as web copy. I applied at this college in a different department 5-6 months ago but didn't get the job. (And I later figured out it wouldn't have been the right job for me anyway.) This one would be right up my alley, so I'm crossing my fingers for even just getting an interview.
  10. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    My experience is you're asking for trouble working for any start-up.

    I currently work in social media. There's no way you can do that job correctly and have it be a 9-to-5 gig. Just saying.
  11. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    My eyes must be playing tricks on me, because I could swear I read in the OP the pay with the social media gig would be about $200 a week, which means about $10K a year, or roughly 1/4 what you make now. And it may not include benefits, which you have now. Please tell me I really misunderstood something. I would love to get out of journalism and find a more 9-to-5 job, even if that involves a slight pay cut. But a nearly $30K pay cut? No way.
  12. 1GreytWriter

    1GreytWriter Member

    Oh no you didn't misunderstand. The pay would be between $200 and $300 a week, with no words spoken about benefits. I wish I were making this up.

    I get that startups are startups and can't always pay that great, but yeesh.
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