Want a job? Get out of the city

Toronto is the centre of the universe. Or something like that. Big cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal undoubtedly have well more than their fair share of media outlets, but they also have an astronomical number of young journalists fighting for those jobs. If you’re struggling to find work in this dreadful economy, it’s definitely worth just thinking about relocating to somewhere less high-profile.

Tony Rogers blogged recently about a pair of twin sisters, both recent graduates of Rutgers’ journalism school, who, despite being dogged and determined, have been unable to find work in the news business. This isn’t an uncommon story, but the kicker that makes me feel less-than-totally-sympathetic for these girls? Both are set on staying in New York City, which Rogers calls the “most competitive media market in the country if not the world. Two recent grads landing journalism jobs in New York? They’re more likely to sprout wings and fly to the moon.”

The post is written from an American perspective, but just substitute “Edmonton” or “Calgary” or “Toronto” for “New York” and Rogers’ point couldn’t ring truer. Instead of sticking around the big city hoping someone from the Globe or The National scoops you up, why not pack a bag and head for small-town Nova Scotia, or even Yellowknife? Jobs may seem scarce, but media job boards are full of listings for positions in places like Fort Frances, Ontario and Neepawa, Manitoba. If small-town life isn’t for you, then at least consider some of the nation’s smaller big cities. There are many potential opportunities in Hamilton, Ontario, and the Winnipeg Free Press has really been holding its own lately. These types of places are a far cry from the sticks, but the competition there will be a lot less fierce than somewhere like Montreal. 

Sure, it’s a gamble to pack up and head to a part of the country you might never have seen before but you’ll never have as much freedom to pick up and go as you will when you’re fresh out of j-school. Why not take the gamble?

All that said, I have to admit that I still really hope I can stay in Toronto post-graduation. However, I’m completely in love with the idea of packing up and moving to the Yukon.