Working for Small-town Newspaper Is Not What He Had in Mind


Fred writes:
I am a 23-year-old newly-minted college graduate with a degree in journalism.
I have a job working for a small-town newspaper. I have worked for my current
employer for about two months. Before graduation I felt my hard work in
college would not go unnoticed but my futile attempts to get hired at a bigger
place make me feel as though it has.
Working for a small paper was never my idea of a permanent career. I felt it
would be a stepping-stone to a larger paper and what I would consider more
challenging and fulfilling work. I don’t feel comfortable where I currently work.
Nobody in their 20s intends to graduate from a college filled with other hip
20-somethings and go right to work in dullsville at least not permanently.
My question to you is: how soon is too soon after starting a job to begin
looking for a new one? I itch to dust off my resume and send it to larger papers
but I worry potential employers might not want to take a chance on me because
I have worked for my current employer for such a short amount of time.
Am I right to be concerned?


The Career Doctor responds:
Let me preface with my answer with a note that I am biased. I interned at
a small-town newspaper for two months one summer and while it was not a
hotbed for investigative journalism it was a solid and safe place to develop my
budding journalism skills (even if eventually I was won over by marketing). And
now I live in a small town…
When you are in your 20s you want everything… some say your generation
especially feels this way labeling you folks the entitlement generation.
No job is permanent and you could leave at any time. But I totally believe that
this job could be the stepping-stone you suggest. However you need to work there
long enough to build the clips and reputation before moving on to a bigger media
outlet. Take initiative ask for more responsibilities bigger stories.
That said I also believe in having a current resume — just in case. And it is never too
early to start building bridges to larger newspapers by developing your network joining
a professional group etc.


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