Emily Nussbaum was the subject of Rookie’s wonderful “Why Can’t I Be You?” interview series last week, where they talk to successful women about how they go to where they are in their careers, and how we can all grow up to be just like them. It is the best, and Nussbaum, TV critic for the New Yorker and inventor of NYMag’s Approval Matrix, is refreshingly frank, per usual:
The thing is, I literally feel like I cannot give advice on how to get [my] job, because the obvious ways that the journalistic economy has collapsed and the role specifically for culture analysts within that make it very, very hard to make a living. The clear paths even for people who are already privileged are no longer there. I don’t want to BS people. I was super lucky—I aged in at a point where, when a really desirable job became available that I was actually suited for, I had enough experience to already have the clips in place. But how often does the television critic for The New Yorker step down?
The situation now is biased against newcomers. That’s factual. And I don’t think people should beat themselves up for not being able to make headway in that kind of situation…
I mean, listen, I love my job. I have a real dream job. And I want to be encouraging about people who are interested in the same things I am. But I just feel like it’s dishonest to ignore the many structural things that are in the way of the thing I do being something people want to do as a career, depending on their circumstances. I hate when young people are found wanting for not making headway in careers where a lot of doors have been blocked. That’s my basic feeling.