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Trials of a redundant journalist: I’m re-employed

June 10th, 2009Posted by in Freelance, Journalism

Before we get to the good news – you’ll have to scroll right down to find it – a catch-up from the last few days…

DAY 12: Responding to PR criticism
Someone has made an angry comment on this series.

‘Emma’, who I assume is a press officer, said that she was annoyed at sacked journalists who go for PR jobs.

‘Stop coming over here and taking our jobs!’ she says.

I admit that I have no experience in PR beyond the media relations aspect of it. And to be fair, I’ve mainly been applying for entry-level PR jobs, because I admit I don’t know everything it takes to be a PR person.

But to imply that journalists are stealing PR jobs – well.

There may be the pitching, administrative, client reporting and account management aspects of the job that I know little about, but one of the skills that good journalists have, other than writing, is the ability to learn and adapt to whatever publication they work for, and I don’t see how this wouldn’t help in a PR job.

Also, if journalists are being recruited into PR, it’s because the employer thinks they are capable of doing the job, surely?

What’s next – British jobs for British people?!

DAY 13: Two interviews and I’m trying not to tempt fate
But I have a couple of reasons to be optimistic for the coming week.

I have an interview for a non-journalism job next week. I’ve learnt my lesson and I think I’ve managed to convince myself that I really want that job as a new career. I do, really. I’ve always wanted to do it and journalism was just an experiment and now I’m ready to use the skills I’ve learnt to their full in this new life career.

Convinced? No, me neither. But I promise I’ll try harder at the interview itself.

I also put a message on a trade website to alert people to my redundancy, and almost immediately a person I interviewed exactly one time for a feature got in touch saying that he thought I sounded like a nice person and wanted to help me out. I’ve never even met him, and it continues to amaze me how people have helped and lifted my spirits.It’s still in its early stages, but that bit of contact could well develop into a nice bit of freelance work.

But the thing I’m most hopeful about is an interview for a journalism job coming up next week. It’s a complete surprise how it’s come up and I don’t want to say too much for fear of jinxing it, but wish me luck everybody!

DAY 15: The end?
Exciting news from the redundant journo, who it turns out has the best possible excuse for failing to file her column the last couple of days.

DAY 16 – I have been aching to write this post.
I have a job – and I’m staying in journalism. I want to maintain my anonymity, so I can’t reveal where it is. All I can really say is that how I got the job seems to be pure luck.

I’m particularly indebted to two very good friends in particular. But what it boiled down to was not what I know, but who I know.

I know that’s a frustrating result, that after all the many applications and CVs I’ve done, this cliche is the one that applies. But if it’s any consolation, I still had to work hard to prove myself during the interview.

Probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned in these past few weeks of redundancy is the importance of networking. I’m not great at it, I don’t particularly enjoy it, but it has been crucial in, if not getting me a job immediately, at least giving me hope – in a way that simply sending a CV did not.

Thank you for everyone who’s commented and left messages of support over the last few days. And to all those trying to get a job, it’s really hard, the job market is desperate and some days you just want to cry with misery (I was there last week) – but you too will eventually get your break.

A blog series which probably not run again as The FleetStreetBlues Redundant Journalist has found a job. The Trials of a Redundant Journalist series in its entirety, here. She will continue to contribute to FleetStreetBlues.

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  • Dan

    I’m sure we’d all just want to say: Congratulations. It’s great you’ve managed to stay in journalism and I wish you all the best for the future.

  • Steve Carter

    An anonymous journalist gets an anonymous job at at anonymous firm – very insightful stuff ?

  • http://russellcavanagh.com/2/ On the Money

    It’s amazing that so much store is set in getting a salaried job. Where is the fever to write and freelance until the wage-slave opportunity comes along? And it certainly was a dull ending to a promising mini-series – thanks to the various anonymities – so whatever you do (and whoever you are), make sure you don’t give up your day job to write a book.

    Otherwise, good luck and all the best with your new job!

  • Tapper

    Congratulations on the new job. It’s great you’re still in journalism, which is obviously where your heart is. But as a journalist who made the transition into PR 15 years ago (and has been able to switch back at least once when I needed to) I can’t help but say “get real” to Emma – why feel threatened if she has such unmatched skills? It’s tough for everyone in the jobs market – fact of life in a recession!

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