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Choosing a career

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#1 Tunip

Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:32 PM

Deleted for privacy.

Edited by mummasaurus, 27 February 2013 - 12:07 PM.

#2 Mitis angelam

Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:37 PM

Just a suggestion, rather than a "this is what I would do," but with the study you've done, if employment in journalism itself is looking grim, could you look to work in media relations for a different organisation?

#3 Bel Rowley

Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:49 PM

I'm in a similar position. I am finishing my last unit (next week!) in a Bachelor of Communication majoring in Journalism. I am also finishing up my 3rd internship, and I am a volunteer subeditor. Other than that I haven't been working for the last 4 years. I have been applying for jobs in journalism, communications, and even admin with some publishing/editing type stuff thrown in. So far, nothing. All the feedback I am getting from people I work with is that extra study will not really advance my career prospects, it is far more about networking, meeting the right people, getting my name out there and getting as much practical experience as possible. Of course it's hard to get more experience if nobody will give you a job... and being an unpaid intern is taking a big financial toll, I can't afford to keep working for nothing and putting my kids in child care. At this point I just want to work, in pretty much anything related to my chosen field, so I can make some money and perhaps get my foot in the door somewhere.

Obviously the difference for you is you are willing to do more study and you are a little younger than me. Honestly I'd be happy to do another 2 or 3 years of postgrad if I thought it would help me get me work in the media, but I don't know that it would.

#4 RealityBites

Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:54 PM

Just a word of warning: don't go into academia looking for employability or job security. There are way too many unemployed PhDs around, in all fields.

Your degree is fairly generalist, I would start looking for a PR/media type job in business.

#5 GenWhy

Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:59 PM

If be doing a postgrad in business management personally. It may be a more secure job option?

#6 little bird

Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:30 PM

I've done a Bachelor of Communication (PR) and have the study bug again. I've been thinking of a Bachelor of Behavioural Studies (Marketing) as another option rather than the standard, and possibly useless, path of Postgrad Communications. Would something like that interest you?

#7 k-lo

Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:08 PM

I would recommend not doing any more study until you have some work experience.
Firstly, you're at risk of becoming unemployable if you have too many qualifications and little experience - employers wont be able to give you upper level roles and they'll be too scared to give you entry level ones because you'll seem 'over qualified'.
Secondly, its impossible to know what jobs and industries are really like until you work in them. IME what you study at uni is very different to how people actually operate day to day.
Also, from what I have seen of friends, journalism is not very family friendly...

#8 Academic

Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:27 AM

I agree with all of the above. Academia is no guarantee of job security - far from it. And an Honours degree won't help you get a job - it will only help you go into further postgraduate study.

Journalism is indeed not a strong field to be heading into at the moment, but PR and comms is still going pretty strong. I've been applying for comms and marketing jobs (with a background in publishing, event management and writing) but not having much luck because I lack the specific qualification. If I were you, I would jump into finding a graduate position straight away. You can always go back to post-grad later if you want, and with some real-world experience under your belt as well.

ETA: Along the lines of what little bird mentioned, you might want to consider a post-grad diploma instead of Honours, in something that enhances your Bachelor's. Business and marketing skills would likely be seen as a great benefit to many employers.

Edited by Academic, 22 February 2013 - 12:31 AM.

#9 Tunip

Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:15 PM

Thanks for the replies.

Ange: I think if I was to look for a job straight after I graduate it would be the sort of role you described, but I'm not sure if there is much of this sort of work available for someone who doesn't have an actual PR qualification.

Bel Rowley: I have seen your posts regarding study and internships before. original.gif Best of luck with your graduation! I agree that making contacts is crucial. I'm in a difficult position because I can't work (in a paid or unpaid role) until my son starts school, which obviously limits my ability to network. I appreciate your input, though, and I agree with much of what you have said. I also hope the job search proves fruitful for you soon!

little bird: that is a good suggestion, and one I will look into. Marketing is not something that interests me at all, but having had a quick search of Behavioural Studies degrees it seems there is a variety of specialisations available to undertake.

Thanks to those who commented about working in academia. I agree that it is not a reliable or secure career path -- otherwise it would be the one I'd be following -- but it's helpful to hear from those who have more practical experience than I do (ie. absolutely none lol).

I had considered a graduate entry law degree. Does anyone have any comment about this option? And whether or not it would be a good match for my journalism degree?

Thanks, again, to all those who have replied. I'm feeling a bit lost as to what the next few years will hold for me, and it's good to get some new/different perspectives.

Edited by mummasaurus, 27 February 2013 - 12:08 PM.

#10 Hypnic Jerk

Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:37 PM

A question for you OP, as I have a related issue, when your son is in school what working hours will you have available?  Will you need PT work or would you be able to handle 9-5?

#11 GenWhy

Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:55 PM

OP I did a year of Journalism (communications) before realizing how impossible it would be to get an actual job at the end of it. I took a year off studying to apply for government jobs purely for the work experience to see what I liked doing and what qualifications I'd need to progress. I ended up working with the Justice Dept and quite enjoyed it mostly. Have you thought about a postgrad in Criminology and Justice studies? With your communications degree, you'd be able to have a fair bit of choice in regards to work areas. Sometimes you need to think outside the box a little. I suggested Business management earlier as that also seems to be a study area that gives a lot of options.

I guess you need to consider what hours you'd be prepared to work and what sort of work you'd enjoy doing before you decide which route to go down. Best of luck to you.

#12 GenWhy

Posted 23 February 2013 - 02:00 PM

Sorry I should add I didn't suggest Graduate Law purely because my sister has just done a year of it and is finding it extremely difficult to juggle with children and has been told its almost impossible to get child friendly hours after graduation. This may not be the case but I have heard similar stories in the past.

#13 roses99

Posted 23 February 2013 - 02:12 PM

QUOTE (Bel Rowley @ 21/02/2013, 04:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All the feedback I am getting from people I work with is that extra study will not really advance my career prospects, it is far more about networking, meeting the right people, getting my name out there and getting as much practical experience as possible.

I'm a journalist and agree with this.

To be honest, though, I think there are jobs out there but many of them are not advertised. And a lot of it is casual. So it's a case of weighing up whether (with childcare etc) you can manage casual work.

Journalism is all about being able to do the job. Once you're working, no one really cares whether you've got honours or a masters, it's about whether you can hit the ground running. With that in mind, I would definitely recommend trying to get some work at the end of the year. Perhaps apply for Honours but defer?

I was at the ABC for ten years and, I promise you, there were people who literally walked in the door, asked to be put on the casual roster and found themselves employed. Many of them were/are current university students. It happened a lot. A lot of other people sent in resumes etc and would have heard nothing. Actual advertised jobs get hundreds of applicants.

If there's an ABC where you live, consider asking to be put on the casual list as a producer. News Online is also a great place to start (my brother walked straight out of a journalism degree and straight into ABC News Online and has been there for five years). Casual news shifts are also an option.

Many, many of my colleagues have moved seamlessly into PR and politics (media advisor roles) without having done any extra study. I've done plenty of contract communications, marketing research and PR without having actually studied any PR or marketing.

Feel free to PM me with where you are (same with you Bel R) and - if I have any contacts where you are, I'll be happy to pass them on  original.gif

ETA: OP, just re-read and realise that you might not be able to work next year anyway? In that case, maybe you could try to get work from home. There is freelance work around - you could try rural press for a start. Lots and lots of rural publications about. I freelance for one of them for $60 an hour, which isn't too bad for work I can do at home while my toddler naps  original.gif

I guess my main point is that there is work out there for people who know where to look for it and who are creative about finding it. From my observation, it will be the people who only apply for advertised work that miss out and end up in another career. If you really want to work in journalism, don't be put off by the current state of the industry.

Finally, if you DID end up at the ABC you would find the conditions pretty good with commonwealth public service conditions, great super, flexible working conditions (sometimes  wink.gif ) It's a great place to work.

Edited by roses99, 23 February 2013 - 02:47 PM.

#14 Tunip

Posted 23 February 2013 - 02:28 PM

QUOTE (Duffy29 @ 23/02/2013, 02:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A question for you OP, as I have a related issue, when your son is in school what working hours will you have available?  Will you need PT work or would you be able to handle 9-5?

I'd be able to work full-time hours but only because my husband would plan to reduce his working hours (he currently works around 60 hours a week, primarily weekends and nights). At the moment he is the breadwinner and I am the childcarer, but we would be aiming for a more even balance once I return to work.

#15 Tunip

Posted 23 February 2013 - 02:43 PM

GenWhy, the non-family friendly nature of law is certainly a consideration for me. I also meant to include in my previous post that I have never, ever considered doing a business degree! But I agree that I should be prepared to 'think outside the box', and your idea of applying for government jobs and seeing where that takes me is a good one. Thanks. original.gif

#16 Tunip

Posted 23 February 2013 - 03:41 PM

roses99, thanks so much for your reply. You have some fantastic advice!

You are correct in that I will not be able to start work until 2015. My thinking is that I would do Honours next year because I won't be working, it surely can't hurt my job prospects for the future, and it would give me the opportunity to study a higher degree later on down the track.

We do indeed have an ABC, not 10 minutes drive from where I live. The idea of just presenting myself there frankly petrifies me, but I realise that's my own issue to overcome. I would really like to work at the ABC, for all the reasons you have mentioned. I do love journalism, and was fortunate enough to be nominated by my uni faculty for a couple of student journalism awards last year (I won a high commendation for one, which was judged by an ABC Online producer), so it would be great to think I could translate my passion and skills into a successful career. You have given me some very useful advice about how to go about doing that, and for that I thank you. I will certainly keep your offer of a PM in mind in the future. original.gif

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