Emily Nussbaum Pretty Much Like Yeah, My Career Path No Longer Exists, Sorry

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.

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2 Comments / Post A Comment

pissy elliott (#844)

I haven’t had an interview in the “arts” where this fact wasn’t quietly acknowledged, and I’m just glad she’s coming out and saying it. Fucking finally!

HelloTheFuture (#5,275)

I loved this piece and wrote about it on my Tumblr a week or two ago.

The quote that hit home: “I feel like young people who get online writing jobs are forced to write a million things with no editing for a small amount of money—that’s not an ideal situation. Sometimes people can become very good writers that way, but it’s not a situation where you are nurtured and brought to the best level of your writing.”

So very much this. I would love for someone to help me grow and nurture my career and do all of those things that used to be part of the process. But now writers are just disposable.

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