How do I jump ship?
March 25, 2014 6:47 AM Subscribe
I’m a failed journalist working for a dying European newspaper. I’m female, 39, with two small children and currently on maternity leave. Help me find something else.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Why I am a bad journalist:
I can string sentences together to an entertaining story, and I enjoy learning new things about interesting people. I'm told I can be charming and can build up a good rapport with people. But I lack the curiosity to find out „more“. In fact, I often don’t want to know the dirty secret behind something. I also hate keeping up with the news. And I’m conflict averse.
I make an effort to do all these things, naturally, but I’ll never be the killer journalist that readers actually deserve.
Nevertheless, I’ve managed to work at the same newspaper for 15 years, during which the paper has slowly been dying. It’s basically being merged with another newspaper and people are being fired left and right. It’s a zombie. People are being treated as badly as you can imagine and morale is what you might expect. I’ve been saying for years that I don’t know how long it’s going to make it, but I think this time it’s the real deal.
I am on maternity leave until October. After that I plan on doing privileged part time (they can’t fire me) for another year.
That means that I have until October next year to plan my next move. (Then, it’s anybody’s bet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I am let go.) But I have no idea what to do next.
My self esteem is killing me. It’s like I never learnt to do anything except write. I haven’t networked. I don’t have connections. (I know a couple of other journalists and plenty of interviewees in the topics of real estate, HR and Marketing, but I suspect most don’t think I’m a star journalist, either. I wouldn’t even know where to start. I don’t have a blog or twitter presence: I started one but without a definite goal in mind it kind of petered out. I think if I knew what I was working towards I could tailor my online presence towards it.
There’s one thing I know I would hate and that’s PR. As for journalism, I think most newspapers and traditional media outlets in my country are in a dire state with overworked employees, shrinking coverage and flailing management. Most other things seem unattainable to me. I don’t have the money for going back to university or something. I’ve been playing with the idea of hiring out to an employment agency, but with my age and history what can I expect there?