The cons of trying to be a pro journalist

By Chris Ryndak

I would love to be a professional journalist. Really, I would. However, I also want to live in a house and make money.

It’s a dilemma that, combined with the uncertainty surrounding the entire print industry (Gourmet Magazine announcing that it is closing its doors is yet the latest in a string of bad news), has steered me away from seriously pursuing a career in journalism.

Journalism is something that, simply, I have always enjoyed doing. You have to love the work. After all, no sane person would be in it for the money. But as I wrap up my time as an undergrad, I feel like I need to find a profession with a little more stability.

More than anything, talking to Jim Militello of the Associated Press served as a nice reminder that you can’t predict the future. Through networking and some dumb luck, Jim was fortunate enough to find a job he loves and has been able to keep for almost 30 years.

He didn’t plan it. He simply took advantage of every opportunity that presented itself.

Maybe the path I choose after graduation will lead me back to some form of journalism. Maybe it won’t. Either way, I hope that I can find satisfaction in whatever it is I do. You never know what your last job will be.

The current job market certainly does not favor aspiring journalists. I can’t say right now where I’ll be in a year, but I sure hope business cards don’t become my most valued currency.


2 responses to “The cons of trying to be a pro journalist

  1. Pingback: Busy-Bee: Chris Ryndak « UB Fundamentals of Journalism

  2. Content: 4 What a pleasantly wistful and introspective post. No one goes into journalism for the money. On the other hand, almost no one goes to law school out of passion for justice.

    I had the same choice as you. I chose journalism and never regretted it. Through journalism I learned about the world and, more importantly, I learned about me.

    You might still be able to do both. Look at Jeffrey Toobin — a lawyer turned law journalist. Journalism is becoming increasingly specialized, so there could be a market for someone with dual skills. Your talent as a writer will serve you in whatever career you choose.

    Links: 3
    Grammar: 3

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