Signs that it’s time to start a search

January 15, 2010 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

With the new year and a look to the future, some who managed to hold on to their jobs during the journalism world’s tsunami of the past years may be deciding they want to start a search — especially now that the job market appears to be thawing a bit.

But unlike those who were laid off or took buyouts (perhaps the silver lining of a layoff is that you don’t have to worry about whether it’s time to go — your employer has made that abundantly clear!) those still employed though unhappily so must weigh several factors about whether to start a job search. Here are some signs that it’s time to start looking:

*It appears the ax may be falling in your direction in the next round of cuts. It’s nearly always better to get out ahead of a layoff. Unless you expect a very generous severance or separation package (increasingly rare these days), it’s likely that a job search in a still-tight market may outlast your severance pay. First, quietly research your company’s severance policies (most make them available) and figure out based on your seniority and position how much you would receive. Then try to determine — not just through gossip but actual research on your company’s priorities and upcoming projects — how safe your job might be. Talk to your immediate supervisor about potential layoffs and watch for signs that he or she is being vague or just not straight with you — this is often a tell-tale sign that your days could be numbered. If so, it’s then smart to get going on a search, though be careful in how you do so (see Nov. 19 post “Searching for a job while still employed.”)

*Your newsroom or organization has been “realigned” (perhaps during a recent layoff) and you’ve lost responsibilities or been demoted and are being shut out of projects. Though you might keep your job, you’ve got to ask yourself whether it’s worth it and whether you aren’t better off seeking another job where you would grab back some of the former responsibilities you had. Also, when management takes away your responsibilities they may be getting ready to take away pay — or potentially your job. Another reason to get going.

*When what started out as a “nice problem to have” — perhaps added responsibilities after a layoff or a realignment that shifted priorities — has now turned into exceptionally long hours, weekend work and more stress without a promise of better pay or some help for you. If you feel like you’re being taken advantage of in terms of having too much thrust upon you, of course first talk to your supervisor and see if some changes can be made. Always be specific and provide possible solutions. But if after repeated attempts you’re getting nowhere, then it’s likely time to find an organization that would value your skills and experience more than your ability to work long hours.

*Your company is being put on the sales block. We’ve seen it time and time again — the surviving company is the winner and the one being sold is often the loser.  Be wary of any promises. ‘Nuff said.

*You’re developing health problems, having trouble sleeping, are more cross and testy than usual and dread going to work each day. Your physical and mental health should not be the price you pay for a job — even in a lousy job market. If your body is telling you something, listen to it. Though finding a new job is never easy, a search with a good outcome could give you back your well-being — and that’s worth everything.

* posted the results of their “first-ever” media jobs report based on their own job board — there’s some interesting trends that may be worth noting for job hunters: those categories with job growth were PR, marketing and online media. Here’s more information:’s First Ever Media Jobs Report

By Rachel Kaufman on Jan 14, 2010 03:01 PM


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Curious what the trends in media jobs are? (Obviously you are, or you wouldn’t be reading this..) Well, the awesome people at HQ analyzed our own job board and came up with some trends to watch in what we’re calling the first-ever Media Jobs Report.

Quick hits:

  • There are more companies hiring for fewer positions. In 2007, the top 10 posters on’s board accounted for 19 percent of all postings; in 2009, those same companies accounted for just 8 percent of listings.
  • Though there were fewer jobs posted in 2009 than 2008, some categories gained market share. Those are:
    • PR, with a 22% gain in market share
    • Marketing, with an 18% gain
    • And online/new media, with a 15% gain.

    The categories that fared worst were:

    • TV, with a 19% decline in market share
    • Teaching, with a 13 percent drop in 2009
    • And magazine publishing, advertising, and graphic design, tied for a 9 percent drop in share.

For more info, click the jump to read the full release.


*And today’s job leads include:

*AP is looking for an editor to join its business news desk in D.C. (more information is available at

10045249 — Newsperson
The Associated Press seeks an editor for its Business News Desk in Washington, D.C.

This editor helps lead a team of business reporters who cover the economy, regulatory agencies and Congress. This editor’s primary responsibility is to drive outstanding breaking news coverage of economic reports released by the departments of Commerce, Labor and Treasury, and by the Federal Reserve. Rewriting and combining stories is central to the job. The incumbent will also assign and edit Washington-based stories about banking, defense, health care, lobbying, technology and transportation. He or she may be asked to edit a wide range of stories that break outside of Washington, including quarterly earnings, mergers and other company news. This editor routinely coordinates with general news editors in Washington, and business editors in New York.

The job requires an editor who thinks critically, writes clearly and concisely and thrives in a fast-paced newsroom. The ideal candidate is a multi-tasker – someone who is able to plan and coordinate assignments, while polishing a large volume of copy under deadline pressure. Excellent news judgment required. So is the ability to conceive enterprise stories off the news. The candidate must be comfortable sifting through economic data to assess news value. Applicants must have strong communication and people skills. The successful candidate must be a self-starter and a team player. Required are three or more years as an editor or business news reporter. Wire service experience is a plus.
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP.
AP seeks to build an inclusive organization grounded in respect for differences. We support all aspects of diversity and provide equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability or status as a veteran in accordance with applicable nondiscrimination laws.

*Here’s an interesting lead: a well-paying opening for a writer/editor to work in the Army Chief of Staff’s Office in Alexandria:

Writer-Editor (Lead)
Army, Office of the Chief of Staff of Army – Alexandria, VA
HQDA, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, Force Development Directorate, Strategic Communications Division(FDQ); Arlington, VA About the Position: NDAA FY2010 requires… $105,211 – $136,771 a year

*NPR in D.C. has an opening for a supervising editor for its “Tell Me More” program:
Supervising Senior Editor, Tell Me More (0810114012RFEA)
NPR – Washington, DC
and supervisory principles. Preferred: Managerial experience in supervising editors and producers. Significant skills in planning and scheduling in a union…
From iHire

Job Title:Supervising Senior Editor, Tell Me More (0810114012RFEA)
Location:Washington, DC
Contact: Employer prefers applications through website.

Job Description: [Register to view] RFEA Job Description Responsible for editorial content, integrity and quality of Tell Me More; supervises show staff in selection and scheduling of guests; monitors and evaluates staff performance and provides administrative support to the show’s Supervising Senior Producer. Education: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience. Required: At least six years of journalism experience. At least one year in broadcast journalism. Demonstrated writing and editing skills. Proven skill in identifying and scheduling guests for a talk show. Proven ability in pre-interviewing guests and planning a question line for live and taped interviews. Knowledge in a broad range of topics appropriate for a national talk show. Ability to work quickly and efficiently under deadline pressure. Ability to edit breaking news for live programming. Proven ability to supervise, coach and develop less experienced staff. Proven ability to work effectively with minimal supervision. Experience maintaining high journalistic standards under deadline pressure, including standards of objectivity, balance and fairness. Demonstrated skill in oral presentation. Proven ability to consistently work well with others, demonstrating at all times respect for the diverse constituencies at NPR and within the public radio system. Demonstrated understanding of sound organizational development, management and supervisory principles. Preferred: Managerial experience in supervising editors and producers. Significant skills in planning and scheduling in a union environment. At least three years of broadcast journalism experience. Familiarity with blogging and Web 2.0 functionalities. Job Location Washington, DC, US. Position Type Full-Time/Regular

*Last but not least, the National Journal Group’s is looking for a reporter/producer in D.C. (hat tip to

Company: National Journal Group
Reporter/Producer –
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Not Specified
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
February 18, 2010
Job ID: 1143099

Government Executive Media Group, a unit of Atlantic Media, seeks a reporter/producer for, its Web site covering the application of information technology in the federal sector. We’re looking for a highly motivated self-starter who loves being part of the daily newsgathering process and who can help us build innovative online tools and packages.

Daily responsibilities include:

  • Write breaking news stories (approx. 500 words) on federal agencies’ management of technology projects.
  • Write brief summaries of news articles from various other publications.
  • Format and publish news articles in the Nextgov content management system.
  • Format and publish e-newsletters.
  • Help develop and implement ideas for interactive online applications.
  • Work with our design staff to develop and upload graphics to the site.
  • Write occasional features and columns for Government Executive magazine.

The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree, with 1-2 years of professional experience demonstrating strong writing and editing skills with high attention to detail. Government Executive is a monthly business magazine serving 70,000 senior executives and managers in the federal government’s departments and agencies. is the leading platform for federal and industry managers to read breaking news and insightful blog commentary on developing trends and use innovative tools to research federal IT topics.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Send a resume and three examples of your work to Chawndese Hylton at

Atlantic Media Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Happy hunting and have a restful three-day weekend!



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