I should consider myself lucky. I’ve spent 15 years in professional journalism (realizing this fact frightens me) and only now was I a casualty of a layoff.
A little over two weeks ago 300 people were laid off across my company, and I was one of the people told I wouldn’t have a job come September. The fact I have until September is a blessing since I have some time, but it doesn’t make it sting any less. Plus our layoffs happened during a rough week in journalism with Digital First Media also shutting down Thunderdome.
Since then I keep getting asked what I’ll be doing next. That’s still a hard question to answer since I still don’t know. I’ve done so many different things in journalism that I love that I don’t know what I want to go next. And it adds to the stress of the situation.
But the point of me writing this is to echo what Steve Buttry wrote on his blog about journalists helping each other in hard times. The emails, the tweets, the text messages, the phone calls — They keep coming from people wanting to express their support to me. Most often they come at times when I’m feeling really down with my uncertain future. There are words of encouragement, there are job leads and there are just moments of saying hi.
One of my friends calls the people who are helping me “job angels,” but they’re more than that. As someone who suffers from depression (and who doesn’t hide it), I can’t say how important all of this has been to me. It’s made a rough, stressful time so much better. I cannot say thank you enough.
People ask me why I stick with journalism after all these hard years for the industry. The outpouring of support has been one of the many reasons why I stick around. And, honestly, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.