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What would you do? (Need some advice)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JD, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. JD

    JD Member

    For those that may remember, I was laid off from a small daily this past January due to budget cuts within the company. I am young (20 years old), so bouncing back isn't a problem. Aside from sportswriting, I have experience in the grocery business, working nearly two years for a local large grocery company.

    I landed a job at an even better grocery chain a few days ago, which provides free full benefits, great pay for the job, and it is just a flat-out good place to work. Ranked #13 in the Fortune 500 best places to work for in 2007('08?).

    However, I was told by my former SE and Chief that as soon as a position opens within the paper, it is mine. The pay is slightly better than the grocery store I am starting at next week, but the drive takes a bit of gas, making the overall take home about the same.

    So my dilemma is that I will be working for a really good company(the grocery store), but I will eventually have to make a choice to either keep away or return to the downward spiral that is sports journalism. What should I do?
  2. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    You just have to ask yourself: paper or plastic?
  3. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    i'd do neither. start a blog and find the real fame and fortune.
  4. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    What do you want to do long-term? Do you want to become a manager within that grocery chain, which can certainly offer decent pay, perhaps the opportunity to relocate and those afore-mentioned good benefits, bearing in mind that grocery chains do get bought and sold and shut down? Or do you want to be a sportswriter, even given all the bad things you've doubtless heard if you've visited this site for more than, oh, 2 1/2 minutes?

    You seem to actually enjoy the grocery business, and I'm guessing you might be trying to convince yourself to like the sports job because, "really, who wouldn't turn down the opportunity to write about sports, for gosh sakes?" But that's an interpretation on my part, and I could easily be wrong.
  5. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member


    You said it: You're still young. However, what you do now can have an effect on your future job history.

    I wouldn't put too much hope into your former SE and EIC holding a job for you, especially since you've seen what's gone on in other shops. They may not have a position to offer you in the very near future. And even if they did, I don't know the legalities of just giving the job to someone whom they just laid off, even if it was purely for economic reasons.

    Thus, I'd pour your dedication and your professionalism into the job you already have. If you want to keep your head in this business, look into freelancing for a local paper.

    This dilemma you mentioned isn't a dilemma yet, though. If the SE and EIC do have a job opening and they hold it open for you, that's when it's really a dilemma. But I'd go with staying at one job for a couple of years. Granted, bouncing around doesn't have quite as much of a negative reputation as it once did, but I wouldn't want to see what working one job for two months and then leaving would look like on your resume.

    Having said THAT, I had a reporter leave after two and a half months. However, he did great work for me while he was at my shop, and was a consummate pro. In fact, he did so well that I wrote him a letter of recommendation without his asking me to. Of course, there were extenuating circumstances: He willingly filled in for me when I had surgery during his last week on the job. From what I understand, he had that letter ready to show prospective employers when he was in the job market again.
  6. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    You take the grocery job. You freelance and string and (dare I say it) BLOG! in the meantime, on your spare time.

    Then, when or if the SE comes calling, you head back.

    If he doesn't, you still have a job with benefits.

    And, if you really want back into newspapers, you apply anywhere and everywhere and be willing to move.
  7. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    That's a tough one. The newspaper business is dying as everyone knows. I guess you have to ask yourself this: Would I be happier working a job I enjoy even if the future is really iffy at best or would I be more content with something I don't enjoy as much but I can live with since it has some security and regular hours? I'd hate to be 20 years old and starting in this business unless I was a hell of a (EDITOR'S NOTE: "Helluva" will get you bitch-slapped on SportsJournalists.com so don't even try it) blogger. Sad, eh? Good luck with either choice.
  8. JD

    JD Member

    No, I do not love the grocery business by any means. I love writing (anything), sports, and sports writing. But, what I am saying is that I am thinking that trying to follow a dream at this point may be a bit childish, and that I want to start focusing on my future, both professionally and personally. I think in the long term, I am better off with a job in the grocery business. But what I think versus what I would like to do are two completely different things.
  9. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    what's wrong with taking the grocery job and going to college, dog?
  10. NightOwl

    NightOwl Guest

    I'll tell you this, JD: The grocery business is a good biz, with very good positive upside. You can be a manager in a coupla years, maybe even less, and making good bucks there.

    These days, you have to look at personal growth potential. Sad to say, but I'd invest my time in that grocery job and indulge your writing aspirations on the side. You can always find the freelance work.
  11. dragonfly

    dragonfly Member

    Agreed. Take the grocery job and freelance on the side. it buys time, keeps your writing, and let's you see what the grocery biz will really be like. if you like the grocery gig, you can always keep on freelancing just to keep your toe in the pool.

    We have a ton of stringers who have other day jobs and just like to cover a game every once in a while.
  12. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Go to college. Get that degree. That opens a lot more doors than an SE saying you're a shoo-in for the next job if that ever opens up.

    Repeat, go to college. If you're 20, that's going to keep you away from a lot of gigs right now anyway so what's 3-4 years in school.
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