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The "Other Stuff" at the First Job

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by fortheglory, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. fortheglory

    fortheglory New Member

    I graduated from college in May and just landed my first job covering high schools and some college sports (not football/basketball) at a 20k (approximately) daily. I've read the "Dos and Don'ts" thread regarding first jobs, but I wanted to ask for advice and/or hear others' experiences dealing with the "other stuff," like the apartment-finding process or tricks to learn the area quickly, for example. Or how long it took to truly feel comfortable with the other writers and editor.

    On a more job-related note, what else - besides checking out practices and introducing himself to coaches, etc. - should a newbie be most focused on in those first couple weeks at a paper? And, finally, since I'll be spending my fall covering high school football, which is something I've never done before, how available are the coaches/players after games?

  2. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    Don't get caught banging the publisher's wife.
  3. Glory,
    It took me about a year to feel fully comfortable with the other guys in the sports department. It wasn't because they were bad, it just took that long. And once that happened, it was a blast and I won't ever find a group like that again.

    Our biggest thing was that the newbie had to earn their stripes, meaning don't come in mouthing off on the first day, or even the first couple of months. Those guys are feeling you out and you're feeling them out. It's a process, but worth it in the end.

    As far as learning the area, just drive around and learn the major landmarks that you are going to need to survive: supermarket, laundry place, barber shop, gym if you work out, good restuarants and bars. Stick to the main roads at first, then take a day a go down some side streets. You could discover something to your liking.
  4. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    When you read the paper at home, keep a local map by your side and try to locate where the story is set.

    Take surface streets home instead of the freeway. Try a different route every night.

    Before I learned to cook, I tried eating in a different part of the city every day, even if it was just a coffee shop or diner.

    You could try drinking in a different part of the city every night, but this could be dangerous for many reasons. Ditto churches.

    If you're in a major city or tourist area, buy a travel guide and read.

    Even in small towns, many libraries have a local history room, or the town may have a historical society or museum where the bored curator will be only too happy to tell you more than you want to know about your new home.

    Try for a month or two to swear off chain stores and restaurants that will be the same anywhere. Even if it costs you a bit more, frequent the little hardware store instead of Home Depot, the bodega instead of 7-Eleven, Joe's Diner or Pedro's Taqueria instead of McDonald's.

    If you have an older car, ask a neighbor where he gets his clunker repaired and make sure you buy your gas there so they get used to seeing you.

    You could take a class at the local college to meet people aside from colleagues. If you don't want homework, take it non-credit.
  5. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    You could meet up with Lt. Kendrick at the O-club later and discuss the training of young William.
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