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What other fields do our skills translate to?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JN7281994, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. JN7281994

    JN7281994 New Member

    Hello all,

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    I've been out of college for nearly two years, and I work as a regular high school sports stringer at a large daily in a big city.

    That being said, I've found my opportunities for growth at this paper are non-existent, and I've had difficulty in my job search otherwise. I've been on a couple interviews, but no dice. I'm writing less and less at my 'job' and I need to pay off my student loans. (I get paid by the story). I'll need health insurance soon, too.

    I'm not 100 percent set on throwing in the towel, yet, but: For those of you who have left the field, where have you found work? I've heard in the past that the skillset of a journalist translates well to many other fields. What are they? I know P.R. is the stock answer, but what specific P.R. jobs have people found employment in?

    In addition, do those of you who have left find enjoyment and fulfillment in your work? Obviously, I got into journalism because I love it, and in my head, leaving the field would mark a departure from working for passion. But is it possible to find purpose in other fields? (I know this sounds silly).
  2. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    The better question is, after filling out an employment application and clicking "none" a half-dozen times when asked how many years' experience you have in this line of work, how does one CONVINCE THE PERSON DOING THE HIRING that "Hey, my skills can be helpful in this line of work!" ?

    Seems you need to get the interview to do that, and all those "nones" tend to prevent the interview from ever taking place.
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Skills? So many more than you think.

    For one, social media, and not only in PR. I assume if you're that young, you're up on all the tools. But you have to change your resume to reflect what they're looking for, i.e., not "cover high school blah blah blah" but "create original content and aggregate information using XXXXX content management system ... engage X,XXX followers on regular basis ... consult analytics to determine peak times and allocate resources appropriately."

    You are also fast. So much faster than anyone who isn't a daily journalist. That's huge.

    Universities are always fertile ground for writers. But tech companies and others often have a ground floor to bring people in. You need to be young to fit in there, though.
    Slacker and wicked like this.
  4. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    I'm an administrative assistant now after 35 years in the business. The pay isn't what it was, but I enjoy the job as much if not more. The skills needed for clerical -- sorting, thinking things out, organization -- are skills you probably bring along from journalism. And I especially like the variety of work. Putting out a sports section, the news may have been different each day, but you were basically doing the same thing with it. I might do 10 highly divergent tasks in the course of a day now.

    And, as LTL said, you bring speed into any other job. People were always amazed at how quickly I turned things around when I started here. But ... I also learned that there are times you go as slow as you need to go to get things perfect. That's the difference. You never really hit that mode in a newsroom.
    I Should Coco and wicked like this.
  5. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Well, there was the one time I gave myself the impossible job of doing a photoshop cutout of a tennis player with long, flying hair, and I cut out all the spaces between the racket strings, too.

    S-L-O-W work, that was.
    Hermes and jr/shotglass like this.
  6. BYH 2: Electric Boogaloo

    BYH 2: Electric Boogaloo Well-Known Member

    SEO/Internet marketing work. It's a lot like writing a story, except instead of judiciously spreading around the quotes, you are judiciously spreading around the SEO terms. You also put to good use your research skills, unless you already knew 500 words worth of stuff about luring people to buy garden tools in a specific geographical region. Best of all, last I knew, they haven't figured out how to computerize the writing process, so there's lots of work to be had. (Last I knew)
  7. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Something I've always wondered:

    A hundred newspapers all use exactly the perfect SEO terms for the same story (because they've all had the same training on how important it is). Who gets on Google's first page, and was there anything the losers could have done differently?
  8. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    To whoever posts first often go the spoils, which can be problematic.

    The deadline thing is not to be discounted. Play that up.
  9. fleishman

    fleishman Active Member

    I've had several people tell me in my numerous years of writing/editing that if you can write, meet deadlines and possess some other attributes you can do other things like communications or copywriting, so I'm open-minded towards doing those things
  10. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

  11. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    After doing that once, the only tennis cutouts I attempted had the racket sideways. :)
  12. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    Project management -- putting out a newspaper or a web site is a daily exercise in project management. These skills, with a little bit of basic technical knowledge, translate directly to software project management.

    Sales -- The skills of a reporter very much parallel the skills of salesperson -- tenacity, asking questions, and trying to persuade people to give up something they might not want to give up.

    Technical writing -- taking complex information and translating it into something understandable (aided by the journalist's tendency to use short sentences and proper grammar.)

    Just a few off the top of my head.
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