I’m sure you’ve seen the list, but if you haven’t let me share. Careercast.com has come up with their list of best, worst and most stressful jobs available today.
Not to many people’s surprise, journalism was ranked the fifth worst job to have being beaten only by:
- Dairy Farmer
- Enlisted Military Soldier
- Oil Rig Worker
I can understand why. It’s an uncertain time and the newspaper business isn’t making money. That’s just a fact.
But since people are making lists, I figured I’d make my own. My best and worst points of being in the field of print journalism.
(We’ll start low so we can end high)
Top 5 reasons to get out or stay away from this career:
1.) Overworked. With the coming of social networking and always new technology reporters are being asked to do more in more ways but the work hours and work pay does not increase.
2.) Under paid. I was never anticipating being a wealthy person. Before I started this my college brought in some very honest guest speakers who laid out the truth so I’ll do that now. Anticipate making $25,000 to start. Then anticipate that number to stay pretty low for the next five years.
3.) Does anyone read this anymore? It’s a dying generation who has a true appreciation for holding a newspaper in their hands. Right now, are you looking through the local paper? No, you’re looking at blogs, using your phone to get breaking news and when all that doesn’t work you will simply Google what you need.
4.) Disliked by … well, all. If you are someone who needs to be liked and get a pat on the back then this isn’t the place for you. Most of your readers will criticize everything you do. Most of your calls will be complaints. And most of the talks with your higher ups will be negative. I guess compliments are more time consuming than most people like.
5.) You get chubby. You heard it here folks – stay in this business too long and your weight will inevitably become a problem. You sit a majority of the day. You can only afford the cheapest food, which we all know has zero health benefits. And your with like people – same job, same bad food habits. Sure you can run and hope that your 20-something metabolism will help out, but eventually it gets you.
Now that the sad part is over, I’m going to give you five reasons why you should come into this business.
1.) People. I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t have a true passion for people. I meet them everyday. They’re all shapes, sizes and attitudes and I enjoy every minute of it from answering the phones to walking up to total strangers. People make this job worth it.
2.) Adventure. There are very few jobs that allow you to go on an adventure and get paid (albeit a small amount). I’ve sailed, rock climbed, kayaked, paddle boarded, tasted delicious and disgusting treats. Everyday is an adventure because in the print world you have to take the time to get the details like the taste and smells. The expressions. Other media such as broadcast journalism, tend not to stick around too long but us print journalists are there for the long haul.
3.) Co-workers. Yes, we’re all a little grumpy because we’re poor, tired and overworked. But since starting this I’ve met some of the most kind and giving people. I’ve made good friends and found amazing mentors who have taken the time to teach me how to be a good writer, how to talk with people and get the information. Newspaper people are the good ones.
4.) Experience. There’s nothing like working on deadline to get a story out about a plane crash, murder or the police chief being fired. It’s a rush I can’t explain but when the day comes that I will no longer be in this industry I know that the high of working under the gun will be greatly missed.
5.) Watch Dogs of Society. I know I’ve ranted and whined about not having my Woodward and Bernstein moment. But in this industry you get to be part of something bigger than yourself. You hold the officials accountable. You listen to the people and ask their questions. You represent the thousands every time you go to a meeting, pick up the phone and request a document.
6.) Historian. (I know I said five, but its my blog and I can do what I want) You’re making history on every black and white page that is printed. These stories I write will be around much longer than I will. It’s an unbelievable feeling to step inside a business or a home and see one of your stories framed and hanging on a wall or neatly cut and glued into a scrapbook. Can’t do that with other forms of journalism (at least not as nicely).
No, I’m not saying become a journalist tomorrow but I’m also not saying don’t. This is a field that requires a lot of passion because you won’t be rewarded monetarily and you won’t be given many thank you cards. You do it because you care about your community and your government.