Out of The Frying Pan, Into The Fire?

After two weeks at the entertainment website, yesterday was my last day.

It was getting to be way too much. Now, I’ve held jobs and internships before where I have worked until close to midnight and came in early the next day. But, this start-up website was just too unprofessional. The editor would call me at all times of the day and night and ask me to write stories for her. She’s called me at 2AM on a Saturday (both weekends), during my friend’s wedding to ask me a question about a photo image size (!) and at other random times. My goal was not to be at this job forever, it was more like an in-between job and I wanted to freelance and job-hunt in my free time, but I never got free time! I virtually worked 24/7 for the last two weeks.

So, I told the editor last week that this week would be my last. I asked her if I could stay on with her as a freelancer and write articles for the site from home. They considered it and told me today that that couldn’t be worked out. I worked from home yesterday because I came down with a fever and this morning, when I went into the office, they gave me the ax early! I’m assuming they didn’t let me finish up the week for payroll purposes.

My sister also started as an intern there and they gave her the ax too! The editor claimed they will be restructuring and that they won’t be needing interns at the moment, but it’s all too obvious she got the ax because she’s my sister.

This company and the editor are such liars, it’s unbelievable. Fortunately, I did not get duped on my pay and got my salary right on time, but every other thing they promised me is an outright lie! The editor claims to have worked at places such as Vogue and CNN (in two difference cities), but I’ve seen her resume and not so surprisingly, those experiences are nowhere to be seen.

I just needed to get out of there. It’s been rough for me since May. This is the second job that I’ve left. Although, the first one was an internship/freelance assignment and was ending anyway. Like most people, I am wary of start-ups, but I thought I’d give this a try!

The good news is that I went on an interview last week for a community editor position for a national magazine’s website and I got called back for a second interview next week! I also have a copywriting job interview this Friday.

I’m going to take this time to pitch a few stories I’ve researched but haven’t had the chance to finish up. I also pitched a blog idea to the bridal mag that rejected me. I figured I’d give it a chance and she really liked the idea! She’s asked me to draw up a more formal pitch and have also asked for rates. I am thinking of asking for $75-$100 per post.

I might be jobless but I’m not hopeless!

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Cosmogirl Goes, Who's Next?

I should change the name of this blog to ‘Angry Blogging Writer’ or something. It seems like I don’t really have anything good to say about journalism or the industry right now.

Cosmogirl is dead, as various media outlets have already told us, and that is definitely making me (and every other magazine editor out there) very nervous. The good news is that the website is still going to be around and since I’m primarily a web editor, I probably have less to worry about than most people.

I love working on the web and I never realized how much until I went back into print for a little bit for my freelancing/interning gig. There’s so much more creative control on every level and online journalism changes everyday. Web editors also have much more skills, yet why do print editors still look down on us?

I just finished my first week as an editor at my new job at the entertainment website. It’s been hectic and crazy and the managing editor LOVES to micromanage, but it’s a good gig. The salary sucks, but in this economy it could be worse.

I’ve been meaning to write a little about my personal life on here and I think today’s the day. I mentioned a fiance, but I’m actually MARRIED. On July 13, 2007, I eloped with my boyfriend of 10 months. Why did I do it? That’s a whole complicated mess that needs to be addressed at another time. I live in NY while my husband lives in Atlanta and since eventually we want to settle down in Atlanta, we decided to keep our relationship under wraps from everyone in our lives for 1-2 years until I’m ready to move to the South. While there are possibilities of having a great career in journalism down there (CNN, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Jezebel, etc.), I thought it would be wiser to build up my resume in New York first.

My parents found out the truth this May and I have been battling it out with them ever since. I am from Bangladesh and the first generation child of immigrant parents and they are as strict as Muslim parents are potrayed to be. My husband comes from the same background as I do, but he came here in his early 20’s and never went to college here. He runs a successful small business in Atlanta, but to my well-educated family, we’re very mismatched.

To this day, as I still live at home with my mom and sis, my family is trying to convince me to get divorced. Every other day, there is a serious shouting match in my house (I am just recovering from one, as I type) and on top of my stressful career situation, it’s all a little hard for me to handle.

This all somehow ties back to CG! shutting down because it makes me worry that I might have to wait a long time, to get a coveted job at one of my dream publications or websites.

I think it’s time for me to put my Atlanta media industry research to use and make the move down there.

Cosmogirl Goes, Who’s Next?

I should change the name of this blog to ‘Angry Blogging Writer’ or something. It seems like I don’t really have anything good to say about journalism or the industry right now.

Cosmogirl is dead, as various media outlets have already told us, and that is definitely making me (and every other magazine editor out there) very nervous. The good news is that the website is still going to be around and since I’m primarily a web editor, I probably have less to worry about than most people.

I love working on the web and I never realized how much until I went back into print for a little bit for my freelancing/interning gig. There’s so much more creative control on every level and online journalism changes everyday. Web editors also have much more skills, yet why do print editors still look down on us?

I just finished my first week as an editor at my new job at the entertainment website. It’s been hectic and crazy and the managing editor LOVES to micromanage, but it’s a good gig. The salary sucks, but in this economy it could be worse.

I’ve been meaning to write a little about my personal life on here and I think today’s the day. I mentioned a fiance, but I’m actually MARRIED. On July 13, 2007, I eloped with my boyfriend of 10 months. Why did I do it? That’s a whole complicated mess that needs to be addressed at another time. I live in NY while my husband lives in Atlanta and since eventually we want to settle down in Atlanta, we decided to keep our relationship under wraps from everyone in our lives for 1-2 years until I’m ready to move to the South. While there are possibilities of having a great career in journalism down there (CNN, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Jezebel, etc.), I thought it would be wiser to build up my resume in New York first.

My parents found out the truth this May and I have been battling it out with them ever since. I am from Bangladesh and the first generation child of immigrant parents and they are as strict as Muslim parents are potrayed to be. My husband comes from the same background as I do, but he came here in his early 20’s and never went to college here. He runs a successful small business in Atlanta, but to my well-educated family, we’re very mismatched.

To this day, as I still live at home with my mom and sis, my family is trying to convince me to get divorced. Every other day, there is a serious shouting match in my house (I am just recovering from one, as I type) and on top of my stressful career situation, it’s all a little hard for me to handle.

This all somehow ties back to CG! shutting down because it makes me worry that I might have to wait a long time, to get a coveted job at one of my dream publications or websites.

I think it’s time for me to put my Atlanta media industry research to use and make the move down there.

Is negotiating your salary a no-no these days?

The bridal mag finally called and offered me the job. I should be excited, right? Read on…

After the editor made the offer, I asked for a $3k increase in salary. I’ve always been told that it’s standard to negotiate (especially since this isn’t an entry-level position, more like assistant/associate), but it was very apparent that I would take the offer even if they wouldn’t negotiate. She said she would call me back after she spoke to her higher-ups.

She did call back, about four hours later and this is how the conversation went:

Editor: I spoke to my boss and unfortunately we can’t match your price.

Me: That’s fine. I would love to accept, regardless.

Editor: Well, the thing is, we also offered the position to another candidate at a lower rate than yours and she accepted, so the position is no longer available.

WTHF??!?? Is that even legal? How could she make someone else an offer without even asking me if I would accept, first? Even worse, she said she assumed since I had another job offer already, that I would be okay with not taking this job. Who is she to decide what’s best for me and what’s not? I also gathered from what she said that she most likely immediately called the other candidate after she spoke to me. She wasn’t willing to negotiate the package and she should have just said so during her conversation with me. Isn’t it standard to ask for a couple of days to think it over before accepting a job offer, anyway?

I am pissed beyond belief and all I want to do is just call and curse her out but I know that could possibly mean death for me in the industry. What ticks me off the most is that she took 7 weeks to make a decision and wanted an answer within 30 seconds.

On one hand, it’s probably best that I’m not working there, because they are definitely unprofessional. Who knows, maybe in a couple of months they would even terminate my position without warning. I’ve learned that the work environment is just as important, if not, more so, than the title or company name.

On the other hand, the position seemed perfect for me. I can’t help but think if I had just decided to accept on the spot and not negotiate, I would have the job.

I know it’s definitely not my personality. As angry as I seem in this blog, that’s how even-tempered I am at work. But, this experience made me want to pick and up and leave the industry all together. It is just too tough to cut it and living from paycheck to paycheck (or no paycheck!) for two years is more than I can handle.

But, at the end of the day, I know I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I should at least be glad I do have a job. I should probably be more appreciative even if it is a small start-up and my boss is neurotic. She made me go home and work on a ‘breaking news’ article until 11:30 at night and she called me every two minutes to check how I was doing! Other than those things, I get to write about what I want and I am actually in charge of my specific parts of the website and am free to editorialize, as I please. But I still can’t stop my yearning for a position at a big title.

So, what’s the lesson here? That the economy is a shithole and that you have no right to negotiate?

Somehow, I refuse to believe that.

Busy Little Bee

Belated Eid Mubarak to all my fellow Muslims!

My long-distance fiance (more on him some other time) was here for five days last week and while I had an great time, I had no time to get anything done! I was off all last week, since I quit my internship. I started my new job as a Junior Editor at the international entertainment website this Monday. ! It feels so amazing to be back in an editorial position, to have actual duties eand to to WRITING AND EDITING! I’ve written a couple of news briefs already.

I’m still a little iffy about staying too long at a start-up, but it definitely is great experience, not to mention the tops I write about are really fun.

The bridal magazine has left no stone unturned in ticking me off.  The editor didn’t respond to any of my my e-mails (I’ve only sent two) over the last couple of weeks. She finally wrote back today saying that they are down to their final candidates (again) and that they will be making a final decision tomorrow. I’ve been hearing that for the last three weeks! I interviewed for the position on August 25th! DOes it really take that long?

I really doubt I’m going to get it. My fiance says they probably even have someone working there already, but are not telling us in case the person doesn’t work out. In this industry, it’s entirely possible. But, would I take it if I did by some miracle get it? I think so. It would a minimum of a $10K pay increase at a well known title and the job description is great, too. But, I would feel a little guilty leaving the website, especially because the editorial director is so swamped!

I actually have a few other things in the works and some phone interviews coming up. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being in the industry for two years, it’s to never stop looking.