I’ve been absent here for a while. Too long really. I’ll visit more often.
In late July I was in Chicago for a Business Blitz and saw first hand how knowledgeable the presenters were. I learned a lot about going into business for myself, if I ever want to.
I also learned a lot of staff photographers don’t have a Plan B. They have been going to work day after day, week after week, year after year. Just like me. I’ve been going to work at the same place for 36 years now. I don’t have a Plan B.
It’s easy to go years without a Plan B if nothing smacks you upside the head and makes you see that your safe comfortable staff job is a lot more fragile than it appears. You work hard, you get good annual reviews, you might even win awards and contests. You buy a house, the kids go to good schools and the years go by.
Then you hear about layoffs at another place. And you are assured that won’t happen where you work. But you update your resume, because you want to be ready just in case, and then go back to work.
You didn’t need to update your resume as much as you needed to change how you think about your career. I’m in no position to give advice here beyond the obvious.
There are companies who will cut staff in order to meet goals set by people far removed from any newsroom and if you are staff you are vulnerable.
Just like the 28 canned in Chicago.
Some of the 28 had a Plan B, others hit the ground running and others seem stuck, frozen. The Business Blitz was good for all of those who attended. There was a lot of reason to hope and it was easy to see spirits rise as the day went on. There was also, as the day drew to a close, a frank discussion on what work was available. There is some, of course. But not enough to pay for everyone’s house and car and groceries. Not even close.
I have a staff job. I hope I get to keep it but it clearly isn’t entirely up to me.
I should stop writing and work on my Plan B.