Sunday, August 31, 2008

Advice from an ex: Michael Precker

Michael Precker was a longtime writer, most recently in the lifestyles department, who took the buyout in 2006. As many of you know, he went on to handle publicity, writing projects, creative duties and daily management at The Lodge, a best gentlemen's club in Dallas.

I’ve hesitated to chime in here, because my post-buyout fate tends to elicit snickers and wisecracks, and this is serious stuff. But I want to make a couple of points, so here goes:

The fact we all needed a Plan B was a prime lunch topic for years, but I never made one. This was serendipitous and I was lucky. I don’t have any good advice beyond hoping you’re smarter than I in networking, job-hunting and the like. But all the talk about our skills being useful and wanted outside newspapers is true. You’d be surprised how much I use them.

When I left, I really wondered how it would feel to be detached from newspapers, after 30 years in which they were such a part of my identity – and 25 of having DMN attached to my name. My wife says now she was really concerned about that.

You bet I miss it. I miss the work, and the connection with the world, and the vitality of a newsroom, and the people I got to see every day. But it’s nostalgia for how things were, not how they are now. Frankly, how things are now made it easier than I ever expected to move on.

That’s a common trait among the exes. I root like crazy for the paper and everybody there, but I can’t think of a single buyoutee who’s sorry about leaving. With the way things are in newspapers generally, and at our place in particular, I predict you’ll have the same reaction.

Hang in there, and Godspeed. Now fire away with the snickers and wisecracks. I could use a few new ones.

1 comment:

Vamoos said...

I think when you strip it down to the bare essentials, what Mike is trying to tell us is to stop acting like a bunch of boobs. (snicker, snicker).
Seriously, great post Mike!