Sunday, August 31, 2008

Advice from an ex: Staffer No. 2

Today's installment comes from a copy editor who left during the 2006 buyouts and found work at another major newspaper. Out of deference to the person's current employer, we have agreed to the person's request to keep their name private.
I took the money and ran in 2006, and don't regret it for a second, even though
I'm in another precarious situation. I barely survived a round of layoffs at my
new paper this spring, and will likely be gone by the end of the year.

But it's been a revelation to work at a paper with smarts and a gung-ho attitude from top to bottom, even if the bottom line doesn't look any better than anyone else's. Even better, my wife and I love where we're living, and we'll do whatever we have to in order to stay here. If that means getting out of journalism, so be it. Life's too short to agonize over a job.

Whether you took the offer or manage to survive the layoffs, recognize this clearly: If you stay in journalism, you'd better be in non-stop job-hunting mode. Keep networking and testing the waters, even if you find something that looks reasonably secure. Otherwise, I'm afraid you're living in a dream world.

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