January 8, 2009

It hurts to laugh; it helps to prepare


You can laugh or you can prepare for a buyout. Your choice. Free From Editors posts a couple of comics on the day that Erica Smith  tweets the Post-Dispatch is laying off more staff. (More details posted here)

Meanwhile, Steve Daley helps out those pressed with coming up with one more speech for the departing ... or as he says:
"As you may have heard (in the newsroom; at Caribou Coffee; on somebody’s blog), John P. Zenger will be leaving his role as (chief investigative reporter; TV critic; ombudsman) at this newspaper."

Of course, you know most Americans don't believe they'll be laid off. That would only happen to those other people, you know.

At least that's what I read on Silicon Valley Insider:
"79% of adult employees aren't concerned about layoffs in the next six months. And if their company's already gone through layoffs, most respondents figure the next round might take out a coworker or two, but not them.

In fact, most employees actually expect a bonus or a raise in the next 12 months."

So based on that survey from company-reviews site Glassdoor.com, I'm probably wasting Internet resources by sharing this advice from journalists. But some folks who met at Poynter suggest:

If you want it, take it now.

That means copy the names of your sources and their contact information, take home your personal belongings, weed through your files and pack up your desk.

If there are copies of your work that you want, get it now. (A lesson I learned the hard way - can't tell you how many times I wish I had the files I was promised I'd get or the ongoing online access I was promised.)

Clean up

That means make sure anything "remotely personal and/or sensitive" is out of your desk.and off the company computer. That should include copies of performance reviews.
"Yes, your hard drive will haunt you to your grave, but there's no point in leaving behind a file slugged WHYMYBOSSISAJERK."

The suggestions include remembering award citations, complimentary letters and e-mails from readers and bosses, and other recognitions.

Sharon Stangenes, formerly of the Chicago Tribune, treasures a thank-you letter from then-unknown attorney-author Scott Turow for her profile of him on the eve of publication of his first blockbuster, "Presumed Innocent."

Be prepared to stay in touch

The Poynter group suggests pulling together a list of the personal e-mails and cell phone numbers of colleagues and bosses.

"You never know where they're going to end up, so personal contact information is more valuable than office numbers or e-mails, says Mary Massingale, former newspaper reporter and editor/writer for an education association in Central Illinois

Start working on a new resume - and don't make it just old media.

Begin to think about what you might do other than daily journalism and learn to create resumes that show how your skills translate.

Make sure you have a personal, professional website as part of that. For details on how, where, examples, etc., head to the post pulled together by Judy Start, who took an early retirement in August. Also contributing to that post wereSid Hastings, Denise Lockwood, John Markon, Mary Massingale, Jane Norman, Pete Skiba and Sharon Stangenes.


Post a Comment