When I left the newspaper business full-time 5 years ago, the business had gotten very tough. You were either unemployed or extremely employed — and I had gotten extremely employed. I was burned out, and so were many journalists I knew. Newspaper profits were declining if they existed at all, and the resources just weren’t there to get the job done anymore — yet the expectations of workers just became more onerous.
The whole do-more-with-less concept gets wearisome when it actually becomes do more, more, more with less, less, less. Newspaper executives who spent too much time in meetings even came up with ideas to improve the paper that actually made the jobs of myself and others — particularly copy editors and page designers — even more difficult and time-consuming. If they got any more “efficient,” we might never have gotten a paper out.
Like a lot of folks who had been in the newspaper business a long time, though, I felt stuck. I didn’t want to go into PR and sell stuff or spin stories for some corporation. My skills were pretty limited to telling stories or conveying information in one form or another — not a lot of use for that on the railroad or assembly line.
Thank goodness I had a motivating factor to keep me looking. I was way over on the left side of Georgia in Columbus but had fallen for a pretty lady back in Middle Georgia. So, I kept looking for employment opportunities closer to my old stomping grounds. After months of searching and months of increasing head-butting with newspaper bosses, I stumbled across The Fuller Center for Housing, which was looking for a director of communications. Continue reading