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Is a career in journalism rewarding?

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I am a high school junior and I am still trying to decide on a career choice. I have been researching 📓 ism but I have to say the pay is not very encouraging. One source has beginning salary at $30,000. #journalism #writing #writing-and-editing

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Stefania’s Answer

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Hi Allison,

You have a very loaded question! First, your definition of "reward" and "success" will shift over time as your career evolves, but you need to figure out what that means for you. Are you defining reward/success in terms of compensation and money? Career development and growth? Work/life balance? If you are focused on financial compensation, do some research online (BLS.gov and MyNextMove.org can give you an idea of what the salary curve looks like by level and geography over time. Remember that companies who may not offer a high starting salary may be able to negotiate other benefits with you -- such as paid time off or bonus plans, retirement, etc.


Also look at larger companies versus smaller ones. Smaller businesses have limited budgets compared to larger firms. Journalism is a very competitive field, but if you are passionate about your work and are good at it, you already have two of three important components that make up a "rewarding" job for many people.



Stefania recommends the following next steps:

  • Reflect on what you define as "rewarding" work
  • Research, research, research! Research salaries by level and geography; research large/small companies.
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Michelle’s Answer

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Hello Allison! My name is Michelle and I am a poet and journalist. I can assure you that absolutely, a career in writing is a very fulfilling one. However, your concern about pay is understandable and is something I considered before committing to my major. I can not stress enough that internships and unpaid work are something you MUST look into if you have serious intentions. I work for my school paper, have been editor of a book and have submitted work to online magazines. Absolutely none of this is paid, but they are wonderful opportunities to build connections and to further your passion.

Follow your dream, and you can make it work. Don't be discouraged because of the pay.
You can do it!
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