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When to cut bait

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JME, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. JME

    JME Member

    I'm sure this has been done in may different incarnations, but how do you determine when it's time to call it a day and move on to another business in which you can actually find a half-decent job?

    I'm creeping on 30 and still am FAR from where I'd hoped to be at this point. The only thing that's kept me going this long is the bleief that I can do the job at a high level, and the fear of looking back years from now and regretting giving up on my dream. Most people I know either think I'm an idiot for sticking to spors writing this long, when they've seen my struggle and heard the constant blubs about cutbacks and layoffs, or just don't understand how the business works at all. If there was another firled that interested me nearly as much, I'd jump, but this is what I do. I love to write, and I love sports.

    A few years ago I thought the job market was bad, but it's 10x worse right now. I'm doing PT at a major paper and working a few other freelance jobs, making OK money but nothing great, and feeling like it's become an impossible feat to work my way up to something I'll feel fulfilled by. It seems as though if you didn't get in somewhere good a while ago, you have virtually no chance of getting in now. There are psome smaller-paper jobs out there, but I'm not interested in being a lifer or trying to start over again.

    I'm curious what others in the same situation have done/will do/planned to do.
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I have a lot of respect for those who are willing to look in the mirror and ask this question... One of my best friends, who I interned with and I always thought was better than me, never got the breaks I did for whatever reason... At 29, he was making $35K a year at a bad paper and felt like he either wouldn't make it, or it would take too long for it to be worth it...

    He got out of the business and has never been happier...
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    JME, I could have written this very paragraph, especially the last part.

    I keep plugging away at this profession, even though I've had other non-sports offers, because I'm not quite ready to give up yet. I feel like I've invested too much to get out now.

    But I know the day will come when I have to give it up. Because I will want to settle down, I will want to buy a house, I will want to be able to afford to have children. Can't do those things with my paycheck, especially if I stay single.

    I don't know when that day will come, but I know it will. Hopefully I'll recognize it sooner rather than later.
  4. JME

    JME Member

    Another very good point that I left out.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If you feel like you do as a nearly 30 single guy, I'd say if you find something else you can see yourself doing, you should go.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    That 30th birthday hits you like a ton of bricks if you haven't made it... There's something about that birthday that makes a lot of people re-evaluate everything in their lives, relationships, job status, etc...
  7. scribeinwiscy

    scribeinwiscy Member

    I got out a little over a year ago. Making more money and have a weekend life. Some days, I don't do anything. I like having that freedom. I would be lying if I said i didn't miss it. I still check out all of the Web sites I used to read, and make a daily Web trip back to the last paper I left.

    I miss Game Day, and all that jazz, but the life on the outside is pretty sweet. I find I am able to be a fan again, which has its ups and downs. Like you, I'm not sure I was headed anywhere big, either. After I fought unemployment for a couple months, I got a hit, and now buying a house is in my near future. My friend, it's called "Communications." Look into it. It can't hurt.
  8. frozen tundra

    frozen tundra Member

    I got out a couple of years ago after working at smaller to mid-sized papers, covering primarily local sports. Watched some of my older coworkers get pushed out the door in favor of younger, cheaper labor. I wasn't going anywhere professionally, didn't want to be one of the people who stayed until they got pushed out, so when I had an opportunity I took it.

    Now I have regular hours (for the most part), make a little more money, still enjoy what I do and have a career path with more options in front of me. Other than marrying my wife, it's one of the best moves I've ever made.
  9. What kind of communications jobs are you talking about? PR? Where do you even look?
  10. frozen tundra

    frozen tundra Member

    I did get into PR. Had a job fall into my lap that didn't make my skin crawl. Had a few former coworkers leave the field for teaching and other jobs completely unrelated to journalism.
  11. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    We call this in business school irrational escalation of commitment, assuming you are miserable or unhappy in your current job.

    Not a judgment, just an observation.
  12. frozen tundra

    frozen tundra Member

    In my case at least, I'd been doing the job for a decade, all in sports. And while there were numerous times I wanted to leave I felt like I wasn't qualified to do anything else. Again, I was fortunate something fell in my lap and I was motivated enough to leave, but there were long periods where I worried I was becoming professionally obsolete. It's tough to just walk away from something that's been your identity for a long time.
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