Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Navigating an Interrupted Journalism Career

As bad as things are in book publishing now, I think we can all agree that our cousins in the newspaper business are ahead of us on the curve of career misery. But these are people with skills similar to ours, so it pays to look at some of the advice that's being given to them now.

The Neiman Journalism Lab blog features an interview with author Marci Alboher by Joshua Benton on navigating a disrupted journalism career. You can watch the 10-minute video or read the transcript. Marci's a career expert as well as a journalist who's no stranger to the end of a steady gig: The New York Times discontinued her "Shifting Careers" blog/column back in December. Here she gives some great advice on retooling and using your writing skills in other ways.

The best line is one she picked up at Neiman's recent conference: "Severance package is the new book advance." In other words, if you're lucky enough to get a chunk of cash on your way out the door, use it to help create the career or enterprise (maybe even a book) that you've always wanted to try.

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