My decision to change careers was made quite literally at a crosswalk.
I had been hanging on to journalism like a child to a favorite, worn blanket.
But four years ago, I couldn’t shelve the feeling I needed to seek out something else.
I felt a little desperate. I had no idea what else I could do.
After surviving two newsroom reorganizations and layoffs, I was assigned a beat to cover higher education in Massachusetts’ busy “five college” area plus two city school districts – a job done by three people just one year previously.
The profession I loved was turning into a job I loathed.
There was no time for real reporting. My stories became words thrown on a page to meet deadlines without room for analysis or substantive coverage for readers.
As I watched the pedestrians walk in front of my car, it was clear my 14-year career was over.
It was clear a comparable journalism job was out. Most of the bigger dally papers on the east coast were laying off reporters. A reporting job at a smaller daily would mean a $20k pay cut.
Answering the question what else can I do with my life was daunting.
All I knew for sure was that I could write.
I nervously took an internal communications job at a Fortune 500 company.
Some of my reporter friends were aghast.
” You are going to be so bored,” they warned.
Nevertheless, I went to work the only way I knew how.
I asked a lot of questions. I discouraged overused-words like enhancement, innovative and utilized in employee communications.
My knack for quick copy turnover and meeting deadlines was appreciated.
Turns out my choice to walk from the newspaper, was the best move I could have made for my career because suddenly, I seemed to have one.
Corporate America gave me my creativity back.
It all seemed a little surreal.
The best part of the experience was realizing there was room to grow. I could chart the course of my career.
My next move came a little over two years later when my internal communications debut caught the eye of another senior executive in media relations.
He thought I’d make a good fit for his team.
So did I.
Four years later and there is still no boredom, only the possibility of what’s next.
by Patty Norris Lubold
Patty Norris Lubold is an award-winning writer who works in media relations and writes a parenting blog about raising her two sons called Finndyl Follies