If money didn’t matter, what job or career would you go for?

I’m trying out the Imagination Prompt Generator that Hemlock and Zydecofish have been using.

My job and career have been on my mind a lot lately. For a long time, my field was pretty stable, but now things are uncertain. I don’t think I’m at risk for losing my job – I’m rather low on the totem pole – but to tell the truth, I wish I were.

The severance package is sweet. I’d be set for several months, during which I could do a number of things. Travel a bit, go to school, get a more interesting and probably lower paying job, basically try something new.

If money didn’t matter at all, I’d go to journalism school and get some non-paying internship at a newspaper or magazine, mainly for the chance to write and get clips. I’d still work on novels and short stories, but that couldn’t be the only thing. I’d need some outside stimulation as well.

If it turned out I didn’t like journalism, I’d try something else. Who knows what, but if money didn’t matter, who cares?

I’ve heard that one’s answer to the above question is what one really wants to do. Maybe I could still go to journalism school, even if I don’t get laid off. I could go part-time and hopefully get some sort of scholarship.

But is it worth it? Any j-school vets out there who can speak on that?


  1. I have romantic notions about journalism, but I think being a journalist would be hard work, and I don’t like working hard.

  2. I fancy also that having to be practical with career decisions, I had to forgo writing-as-a-career and any other non-science. But, come to think of it, the world I don’t know appears greener than my side and I know it is far more intricate than I know. You’re wise to the rigours and I think you should work on it part-time though with your day job, it will be make you a very busy woman!

  3. Easy answer to this one.

    I’d either be a potter or a photographer who travelled the world or shot weddings… Hell, I could do both!

  4. One of my good friends is in the midst of applying to j-school right now, I think given your writing skills, it would be an entirely enjoyable experience for you. Finances are always a big hurdle when you are used to working, having a nice apartment, buying nice girly beauty stuff (I go back and forth on if I could go back to student life a lot if you can’t tell. But if it would give you a career you would be thrilled with and enjoy isn’t that better than sticking with a field you don’t love and doesn’t excite you?
    There’s gotta be something in Manhattan that has a night program or a weekend program no?

  5. sitcomgirl: oh yeah, it seems all j-school programs have a part-time option, and part-time i’d have to be. there’s no way i could give up my day job to go to school full-time.

    well, the only way would be if i got that severance package. then i could work part-time and go to school full-time, but i can’t rely on that.

  6. I have a journalism degree hanging on my wall and I spent about three years being a journalist.

    I hated it.

    It wasn’t for me…because the one thing I didn’t realize before I went into journalism is that being a good writer and being a good journalist are two entirely different things.

    Being a good journalist means knowing where to track down the right sources, getting those sources to talk to you, beating a deadline every single day, hunting down stories — and remember: a good story often involves someone else’s tragedy.

    I won’t lie to you — there were some days that I loved all of that. But after awhile, I just couldn’t bring myself to listen to a police scanner in the radio room, jump into the car with a photographer in town to a crime scene, show up at a grieving family’s doorstep and ask for a picture of their dead child.

    Of course, not all journalism is like that. Sometimes, you do a really great story that makes a difference — a story that highlights an issue that more people should be focused on. And sometimes, journalism is nice and fluffy.

    The thing is, you have to be willing to do the grunt work before jumping into a cushy job of a columnist…which is how a lot of people mistakenly see journalism.

    Being a journalist is tough work and it’s not for everybody. If you’re an adrenaline junkie who works well under pressure (remember: daily deadlines that wait for no one) and who has a knack for getting reticient sources to talk, then journalism is for you.

    Sorry if I’m making this sound all doom and gloom, but whenever I think back to journalism school and my brief career as a journalist, I sort of wish someone had told me what it was really like.

    I would have probably wound up becoming a psyhiatrist instead.

  7. anon: that’s just what i was looking for! a realistic view of that world.

    right now, the fast pace and harsh deadlines sound great to me, since my job has lately been so boring. but getting people to talk – i don’t have much experience in that though i suppose i could gain it quickly.

    i’ll have to do some more research.