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Internet killed the newspaper star

October 19, 2009

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since my employment status was changed for me. A lot of that thinking is for myself, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t have anything to do with figuring out how to answer the question everyone asks: What’s next?

I don’t really know.

I graduated in December of 2003 with a shiny new Bachelor of Science in Journalism (capital J because that’s what’s on my diploma, folks). I spent a whole two weeks looking for a job and landed one before I was a month past graduation.

I started off with a passion for editing and landed a job editing newspaper stories and designing newspaper pages. Then I moved onto a job editing online stories and some magazine elements. Antsy with editing and itching for more design experience, I moved to a job designing magazine pages and features. I started the job knowing I was far behind my co-workers in terms of graphic-design skills. Let’s just say I never caught up to them, and no one was happy with that – including me.

Looking back, I realize I should have tried to transfer positions in the company again, but I can’t say doing so would have helped my situation. I never did that because the world of journalism has been crumbling away fairly rapidly in the past year, and I didn’t want to put a target sign on my back as an unhappy employee. The company shelved entire publications, made pay cuts and cut back on staff. I watched that happen while other companies announced huge layoffs and killed publications. I was scared, so I kept my mouth shut and hoped to hold on for dear life.

Now I’m one of many unemployed journalists trying to figure out if it’s worth the fight to stay in journalism or if there’s another direction in which I should move.

At different points, I’ve considered turning my career path down the roads of education or library sciences. The time has never felt right before, but I find myself again pondering if this is the time to change gears.

While my brain is constantly chanting “journalist, teacher, librarian” in a style remniscent of the Finkle/Einhorn scene in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” it’s also whispering “mother” in time with those job titles.

A competitive job market seems to be an ugly place for women starting a family. Many employers won’t hire pregnant women to begin with, and many employers find alternate, legal reasons to fire women when it’s actually because of pregnancy.

With all these considerations, I just don’t know if it’s a good time to make a major career change.

At least I have the lottery to fall back on.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Beth Anne permalink
    October 20, 2009 4:41 pm

    I love it when you reference Ace Ventura. This is why we are friends.

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