Posted by Brian McCullough
If you have career or job search question you would like answered on this blog, click here to Ask Brian.
Reader Dee Writes:
“I am in/trying to work in the print journalism industry. I graduated last spring from college and worked for the school paper. When I began college, the newspaper industry was vastly different than it is now. The Internet hadn’t crippled the industry like it has now, where vast amounts of people are being laid off every week. I have been applying for jobs since I graduated and am not having much luck. Even some of my mentors in the industry are facing layoffs and other issues. Should I give up now? Part of me wants to keep trying because it’s what I went to school for, but the outlook is bleak. When do I know I should just walk away?.”
I got a flood of Ask Brian requests today, but I wanted to get this one posted quickly because I’m hoping you the readers will help me with this one:
There’s no hard and fast “right” answer to this, that’s why I’m hoping readers in similar situations will chime in.
Do you want to be a writer or just a writer at a newspaper?
In general, I hate to see someone give up on a career path because their industry is in a rough patch. If you’re skilled and committed to a job, then you can always find your place… if only through sheer force of will. Newspapers might not be hiring a lot of journalists now, but if you’re the best journalist in the world, you will get hired by someone.
Also, if you believe in your career, then don’t give up on it so soon. I don’t think you should keep trying to be a journalist just because that’s what you went to school for… but if you really believe deep down that you want to be a journalist, then a few more months of trying will be worth it in the long term.
I know, sometimes it can seem like the tides of history are against certain careers. I wouldn’t want to be a telephone booth repair man right now anymore than I’d want to be a horse and buggy mechanic. Still, newspapers aren’t going to go away completely. Magazines aren’t going to go away completely. They just aren’t. There might be less of them and they might hire fewer journalists than in the past, but some of them will always exist and a good journalist will always be in demand at those venues that survive.
If the internet is the future, why not write on the internet?
I’m wondering if you’re not seeing the forest for the trees here. Do you ONLY want to work at a newspaper, or do you, bottom line, want to be a journalist? Perhaps you really want to write for a living? If so, then why limit yourself to this image of a newspaper reporter? You can be a writer and make a living as a professional writer in any number of ways.
Here’s food for thought: if the internet is killing the newspaper business, why not look into being a writer in some capacity on the internet? If something else is the wave of the future, why not try to jump on that wave? The words might be on a screen instead of printed on the paper, but someone had to type them. Dare I suggest you even consider something like blogging?
Bottom line answer to your question: you know you should walk away if (1) you absolutely need to for monetary reasons or (2) you feel like this career path is not for you anymore. But you can only decide that in your heart, and I’d hate to see you let outside forces make the decision for you. If it really is your dream job, you should fit for it a bit longer.
Readers, this is your queue. Jump in with some comments and lets see if we can help Dee out.
- Ask Brian – How Much Notice To Give When Quitting An Overseas Job?
- Ask Brian – Job Search During the Holidays?
- Job Search Hack- Organize Your Search Using The Rule Of Thirds
- Ask Brian – How To Find A Job Overseas?
- Ask Brian- How To Schedule An Interview When You Already Have A Job
- Ask Brian – Does an Employer Have the Right to Ask About Activities/Groups/Clubs?