Occupation: security guard, amateur podcaster at “So Indecisive”
Money goals: Break into sports journalism
Jermaine Eady works as a security guard to pay the bills, but his dream career is to be a journalist.
“I want to be a person like Oprah who can sit down with an athlete and ask the real questions,” said Eady, 29, of Smyrna, Georgia. “People don’t ask the right questions, and they just want to ask the ‘Wow’ questions to shock. I want to have a conversation and tell their stories.”
Eady majored in sports marketing and media in college, but a career in journalism, as many journalists know, isn’t the easiest.
“I kept running into the same hurdle everywhere,” Eady said of finding work in media. “They hit you with the ‘Well, do you have experience?’ He didn’t.
Determined to find a path to a career in media, Eady created a podcast with a group of friends. Eady and his team run the “So Indecisive” podcast, a hip-hop-inspired program that features searing takes on the trending topics of the day, and they also share personal stories. In fact, Eady recently discussed reuniting with a long-lost older brother. Eady, laid off from a job at a hotel reception during the pandemic, eventually wants to monetize the podcast.
“One thing the pandemic has taught me is that no job is secure,” he said.
Not only does he want to earn an income to help fund his freelance media pursuits, but he also loves photography and needs more sophisticated equipment to turn professional.
His current job in security is contract; therefore, he has no health care. However, he recently applied for a flight attendant position to earn more money and benefits.
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Eady earns a salary of $40,000 as a security guard. His two-bedroom apartment where he lives with his sister costs $1,100 a month.
His student loan payments are just under $90 a month and are income-tested. His car bill is $430 a month, his insurance is $200 a month, and his cell phone is $108 a month.
Eady wears her hair in highlights but goes to the hairdresser to get a line-up, which costs $30-40 a month.
Horror movies and goodies for her teenage nephew eat up her discretionary income.
“I have to pay these bills,” says Eady, who spends up to $200 a month on food.
Phoebe Gavin, career and leadership coach and executive director of talent and development at Vox.com, says Eady can have a career in journalism. The key is to develop their skills around their preferred medium, such as broadcast, audio, text or video, etc.
“The challenge of entering the industry when you’ve been away for a while, or coming from a separate or different career, is to demonstrate that you have the skills and the instinct to do the job well,” Gavin said. .
Gavin says it’s good that Eady’s podcast can help him develop his skills and his portfolio. To fill in the gaps that he might be missing about the type of sportscaster he wants to be, he “has to find a way to produce that on his own,” Gavin said.
Gavin suggests building skills through online learning platforms like Skillshare or LinkedIn Learning, going “deep into YouTube” and getting involved with professional organizations like the National Association of Black Journalists. Increasing your visibility on Twitter, as well as applying for journalism grants, can also build your career.
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Personal finance expert Rahkim Sabree says Eady’s goal should be to maximize his income and minimize his expenses “so that he can save and invest not only in his future, but also in his vision.”
Sabree says it’s good that Eady wants to turn his passion for journalism into a side hustle. “With very low overhead, he can create a blog that covers the topics he covers on his podcast,” said Sabree, who is the author of the book “Financially Irresponsible.” “Tools like Descript can make it easy to download a transcript of one’s podcast episodes for reuse in long or short blog posts.”
Natalie P. McNeal is the author of The Frugalista Files: How a woman got out of debt without giving up the fabulous life.