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THREAD: You’re a talented journalist who just got laid off. Should you chuck your principles and look for a content job at a brand? Here are my thoughts as a woman who did it (and the stuff no one told me):
1/ When you work in media, everyone is a good writer. When you leave, you find out that no one can write. Seriously. It was very strange and confusing to be appreciated for being able to string a sentence together. So that’s nice, sort of
2/ But content is not journalism. Even though there may be reporting involved it’s still about promoting the brand, whatever it may be. It’s a marketing job. And journalists are skeptical, cynical bastards ♥️ So this can set off our bullshit alarms. This is hard to reconcile
3/ There is a grieving period. When I left the NY Daily News in 2014 to take a PR job, I cried every day. I felt like the biggest loser sellout. I felt like a huge failure. 12 years, breaking news, clawing my way to the middle, for what? It took years to kick that feeling
4/ You will he sought after. That’s good! You deserve to be paid, your work wasn’t all for nothing! This is very important. You didn’t fail, the industry failed you. And you can always go back, the rules are more fluid now. If it wasn’t, there would be no media at all
5/ You’ll need to talk to friends who’ve made the transition because there’s a lot of weird jargon and metrics that will make you want to throw up. But it’s sort of good to learn it. You’ll get insight into the bullshit ways people were measuring success at your old job
6/ You’ll start to get ideas. You’ll realize that you’re a really smart person who may have been conditioned to think that all you can do is write or edit. And you’re a great writer and editor. But maybe you’re more and didn’t know it? “If these assholes can do it, can I?” Maybe!
7/ You are not your next gig. Or the gig after that. You’ve accomplished things that most people would die to do. We take our careers for granted. Journalists are mean to themselves. Like, really really mean. It makes taking that next gig even harder
8/ Talk to each other, share your experiences, be allies. I felt so alone when I left the newsroom. Talk to everyone. This is not the end
9/ You may... like it? There’s nothing wrong with being satisfied at a job. It doesn’t have to murder your spirit every day. This is also hard to adjust to. Journalism is HARD. Marketing or PR is less hard but it will feel infinitely harder. It’s a change. A big one.
10/ I once had a boss at my old journalism who told me trained monkey could do what I do. Oh yeah?! I’d like to see that monkey! What was I saying? The world needs your multitasking, multimedia, deadline orientated, “this meeting does not need to be an hour” energy. ♥️
11/ In short: You are needed. You don’t know what the future holds. Uncertain times, and so on. You kept your news and culture outlets going. YOU did! YOUR work. Don’t lose hope. There’s a path, it’s windy and there are snakes and dog poop but also laughs. You will laugh again
12/ You will write again! You are a writer. The world needs you. You’re the only one that can tell the stories that need to be told. You’re the stars of tomorrow, today! FIN
ONE LAST THING! Anything you don’t know how to do, you can learn. I swear 👍🏼
NOTE: The people at the PR firm I worked for were so nice to me and taught me so much. I cried a lot but @beckshoneyman @lesliecampisi were endlessly patient 💞
Wow, this has resonated with a lot of you. I guess I'd just say to update your LinkedIns, don't put down your achievements, and be kind to yourselves.
This may have come off as rude to PR pros and content marketers. Please believe me when I say that it was not intentional. I was speaking of my own experience when I was having a career heart attack. I've worked with great people at every stage of my career. I owe so much to them
If you're interested, I interviewed some incredible professional dominatrixes for a book that came out in January but like so many writers, all the tour events were canceled (sad trombone). It was the most fun reporting I've ever done.
I've also got a work and money podcast I'm proud of. Okay, hugs to you all. I'm gonna try and answer all the DMs tonight and tomorrow. You're all amazing and Aunt Lindsay believes in you <3
Follow me on IG for lots of photos of Uli, our sneering rescue cat. He eats trash and screams a lot. #AdoptDontShop
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