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When to cut bait

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

  1. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    As soon as possible.
  2. tommyp

    tommyp Member

    This is more sobering...I recently joined this board in an effort to network my way into a sports job, because I am of the belief that it is never too late. I just turned 39. I was hoping that I could meet a few folks here and get in somewhere--anywhere--as a low-level type of editor of some sort, and work my way up. I have the editorial experience, I have the knowledge of sports, and the intelligence that comes with that experience. I just don't have the experience doing it in sports, which is what I so desperately want. My mistake when I was younger was to not get a sports job, but to get one of the first things that came along after I graduated college, which eventually led to a senior editor spot at a national magazine.

    Still harboring my passion for sports, I left that magazine, as I was unhappy with the content--which in hindsight was a mistake--and found a job for less pay, but I was a lot closer to my goal. Then 9/11 happened, layoffs were announced, and I was gone. For the past few years I had been making ends meet by owning a small business, all the while trying to find a low-level sports editing job. I just gave the business up in order to pursue this full time. I had an interview for a job posted on this board, and while they told me my resume was impressive, the fact that I did not have sports experience was a detriment. And here I am, still pursuing the dream, but with only a few months left in the coiffers.

    Now I am a little older, and the only advice I can give is to stay with it if you love it. But if you think you can find something else that you love just as much, leave.
  3. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    I wouldn't generalize. Everyone is different.
    I turned 30 just as I was graduating J-school (my second degree, with everyone in my class a full decade younger than I was). Got a late start, relatively speaking. Got married when I was 36. Things turned out just fine. :)
  4. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    It's different for everyone. They say that when an athlete starts to "ponder retirement," that's the end; they're retired in their mind.

    The point is, if you're thinking about getting out, it's best to pursue different things and see what's out there. Sometimes you can stay within the business and all that was necessary was a new change of scenery.
  5. Satchel Pooch

    Satchel Pooch Member

    The less cynical you become in this ultra-cynical business, the more it will help you escape it.
  6. modryrox

    modryrox New Member

    When I started school way back in 93, the first thing they told us in j-school was you'll never make any money doing that. most of the people i went to j-school with either are in another field or returned to school and got a different degree. money's a good thing, but doing what you love can't be beat.
  7. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Not to dispute the previous poster, but I think a lot of people equate doing what you love with having a career doing what you love. I really enjoyed my time as a sportswriter. I enjoyed the rush of deadline and the opportunity to see cool events and interacting with my colleagues and meeting and interviewing and writing about my subjects. What I didn't love was the rest of my life. The working weekends and the clashing of schedules with the people I wanted to spend time with and the relative lack of freedom I had with a small salary and long hours. So I went back to school. In January I start a challenging and much more lucrative job. It is not sportswriting, but it has certain aspects that I will enjoy and probably certain others that I will not enjoy. However, I will never work past 6 o'clock, and I will never see the the inside of my office on a weekend. In the meantime, I will be spending time with friends, going to games as a fan, volunteering time to causes I believe in and traveling more often and farther away than I would have been able to on my previous paycheck. In other words, I will be doing what I love, just not while I am at work. I only offer my experience as an example. Surely others will say that it is different for them, and I respect that completely. Just putting in my two cents.
  8. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    There is no greater feeling as a professional than waking up every day doing what you love. I feel that way about what I do.

    But there is more to life than your job. Take from that what you will.
  9. Flash

    Flash Guest

    Despite being forced out of the profession by job cutbacks, I echo what the Pirate says. I loved my time as a sports writer. I woke up almost every morning feeling blessed to be able to watch sports, write and get paid for it. And I was lucky to have that for 15 years. I never lost the passion.
    That said, I can now watch a game as a fan. I now go home at 4:30 every night. I now put in extra time because I'm falling in love with my new career. And I now am able to have a personal life, to spend time with the important people in my life, instead of saying 'sorry, I have to work until midnight.'
    It's a different kind of passion. But it's a different kind of life. And I'm quickly getting used to it.
  10. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Another aspect of this: we live in a society that measures people by what they do. What's the first thing you ask a new aquaintence? What's the first thing Mom and Dad want to know about your new squeeze? Hell, what's the one question you always ask college students? It all goes back to what you do for a living.

    It's much more fun to answer that question with "I work in sports" than "I'm a cubicle drone". I may not make a lot of money, but sometimes those conversations make up for it.
  11. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    I agree that people are judged this way, but I think we are trending away from it as a society, or at least we will. The average American graduating from college today will have 3-4 careers in his or her life. Not jobs, but careers. I think we will start defining ourselves and others more by what we do outside of work.
  12. frozen tundra

    frozen tundra Member

    I guess I'd fit that title of cubicle drone now. And there are times I miss telling people I got to talk with some famous athlete, or wrote a cool story that random people would come up and talk to me about. But I get as much satisfaction from my current job, or more. It's different for everybody, obviously. And unfortunately, in the experiences I had, newspaper management sometimes wanted that drone mentality more than they wanted actual journalists. Might as well be a drone Monday through Friday and enjoy a six-pack and barbecue over the weekend.
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