How High the Moon

When you’re looking for work, how high do you aim?

I’ve heard of this dilemma before, but am seeing it for myself now. Before Black Friday, my work history stretched uninterrupted back to 1988. If you do any kind of work for 21 years, you are not only building experience, you’re building salary as well.

The annual salary I just lost was pretty close to the one I had built up over 7 years at CNN. Needless to say, if that amount of money allowed me to live comfortably in Atlanta, it went a lot farther in Memphis.

Still, while my last couple of jobs were “senior” level, I wasn’t a manager, which leaves me in a spot. It’s going to be a challenge to find anything of a similar level that pays the same around here. And even though I have years of management experience (and a degree in business management), I’m wondering whether companies with manager or director positions are going to take a chance on me. I’m thinking that’s the only way I’d come close to making what I had been.

And that is the problem of having a well-paying job. If you lose it, it can be extremely difficult to replace it.  So now I have to determine my “walk away” point. The career center I’ve been using points out, rightly, that a job seeker has to have that figure in mind when looking for that next job. If there’s an offer, will it pay enough to cover all the expenses staring you in the face?

Of course, there’s an “on the other hand” here. Eventually, I’ll have to take something, regardless of what it pays. Maybe a couple of somethings to cover my expenses. Since I’m not one of those people who just loves to work all the time, I can see my quality of life waving bye-bye.

News & Notes:

“Trivial” pursuits

As some of you know, a woman I know roped me into playing bar trivia last year. I think I was originally there just to keep her company, but it turns out that she may have recognized that I have a lot of arcane information at my command. I’ve since gotten the chance to take a spot on a team that’s played before in the city-wide tournament. We’ve ended up qualifying for this year’s tournament from 3 different bars.

The upside multiple qualifying eliminates some competition by keeping other teams from getting into the tournament. It also serves as training, letting us hear and answer the same types of questions we’ll face in the tournament. And since we don’t cheer ourselves when we win (we’re modest in public), it gives me a chance to tout our success online.

And since there’s several thousand dollars in prize money we’ll have a chance at, let me say thanks for roping me in; it turns out I need the money!

Don’t forget Mama!

I’m sure you’re all working on your plans for Mothers Day. If yours is still with you, do not forget to tell her thanks on Sunday. She didn’t have to have you, so you do owe her. The Johnsons will be gathering in Ohio to fête our mother on Sunday, so I might miss some blogging later this week while I’m traveling.

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About Doug Johnson

I spent 25 years in the news business, working in print, radio and television. After a steady rise to the middle, I made the leap to the private sector, which chewed and then tried spitting me out after 2 years. I zigged (instead of zagging) into a position in television production.
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