October 16, 2009

Michigan reflections: Out of the newsrooms

I went looking for something else and stumbled into a couple more look backs at careers. Some leave by choice, others are "downsized out of a career" through the decisions of others. Everyone survives.

From Detroit, Michigan, Bill McGraw said 'Thank you' to all who filled 37 years of Detroit stories

In the Sept. 27 column he said he'd be working at Compuware Corp., but first recounted some of the highlights that included 427 articles covering the Tigers in 1984 and an obituary that inspired a thank you letter .It's a nice collection of a runthrough that began in Detroit in 1972.

A call out of the blue gets Musekgon Chronicle columnist Susan Harrison Wolffis to remember how "it was so much more than a job" when you are "downsized out of a career."

An interesting insight:
"There was a time when researchers thought women were better equipped emotionally when their careers were over, when they retired or their jobs ended. Men were the ones — generally speaking — whose identities and esteem were closely tied to work. Women — generally speaking — had other things that defined their worth: family, outside interests, friends. The thought was, because they had more than work in their lives, women handled life's transitions with less trauma."
No Michigan connection but this one-year reflection caught my eye. Perhaps it is the reference to the fishes and loaves story and the amazingness some of us have that we are provided with what we need if we trust, if we believe. So, like so many of us in newspapers and outside, Hal Talerton never expected to be let go, or to be without work for three months, much less a year.
"I've survived it all — the shock, the loss of confidence, the frustration, the bouts of depression, the anxieties, the doubts about the present and the future, the feelings of hopelessness. I've also experienced the emotional support of friends and family, the recognition of strangers who had seen my mugshot in the paper and were sorry I was gone, the reassurances of loved ones and former colleagues, and the near-miraculous juxtaposition of frugality and good fortune that has allowed my wife and me to get through the past 12 months without dipping far into our savings."
Go ahead, bookmark that post so you can share it with the next person you need to assure will make it because "Being laid off is a terrible experience, I think anyone would tell you, but life is good."

Consider adding the Erstwhile Editor blog to your feeds or stopping by for regular visits.

I especially liked a followup post that contains a plus to no career:
"When we both worked, my wife and I tended to eat instant meals more often — microwave dinners, fast food, hot dogs, etc. Since I have the time to cook, we've prepared more meals from scratch (or nearly scratch), and we've eaten healthier. We've also paid attention to portion size. I've also exercised more, by doing yard work, walking the dog and actually going to the gym (gym membership is one luxury I did not give up as we reduced our living expenses). As a result, I'm leaner and healthier and feel better (in part because job stress is gone)."
See, life is good.


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