Bolstering spirits after a job loss

November 6, 2009 at 12:02 pm Leave a comment

The most basic advice a job hunter is typically given is to stay positive and keep hope alive! Can’t argue with that. But as the jobless numbers creep upward — to a surprise 10.2 percent in October, with another 190,000 jobs lost that month, more than 6 million jobs lost nationwide this year– and news of more journalism layoffs hits, how does one keep up the hope that they’ll land well among all the carnage?

For some specific tips, I spoke with Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, a well-known Pittsburgh psychiatrist (and a one-time pulpit rabbi), who has authored books on self-esteem, healing and recovery. His most recent book is aptly titled  “Without a Job, Who Am I? Rebuilding Your Self When You’ve Lost Your Job, Home or Life Savings.” In a kinda “Chicken Soup For the Job Hunter” sense, Dr. Twerski offers some solid tips for journalists for not only getting through the rocky period after a layoff or buyout but for trying to come out the other side with better opportunities.

Here are a few of his thoughts:

*Especially for Washington journalists, identity is a big issue and losing  one’s job identity — being able to say at cocktail parties that I cover such-and-such for so-and-so — can be worse than the actual job loss, Dr. Twerski says. “We’ve become so identified with our jobs that we may have forgotten to become identified by anything else,” he says. “Though it’s devastating to be laid-off, that job is not our identity. We need to think about who we really are.” He suggests working on other parts of your identity — the personal part such as being a parent or a sibling, and the career part such as being a writer or editor — after losing a job and then reshaping and “rebranding” your identity into new areas you may have wanted to explore before but did not.

*Try not to be blinded by the loss. “One of the problems is that when you fall, more than the fall itself is the despair that results,” he says. “When despair is there, you can’t see anything, you can’t see where to go next.” He suggests giving yourself a reasonable amount of time to think about and cope with the loss, and then — just like the fog clearing — focus clearly on the actual situation at hand.

*Use this as a period to simplify your life. Though Twerski says he does not want to minimize the real financial pain of unemployment, he says it also offers an opportunity to think about spending and consumption patterns, and to find some satisfaction in living with less. “Maybe we have been leading a false lifestyle,” he suggests. “Ask yourself: do I really need all of the things I want?” Try cutting back or keeping what you have longer and see how it makes you feel.

*Find tasks — even small, everyday ones — over which you have control and some competency, and try to do those as you job hunt. If you’re good at gardening or cycling, find some time for this activity a bit each day, partly as a way to build your self-esteem and remind yourself that just because you lost your job, you didn’t lose your skills. And using your career skills through freelancing or contract work is another good way to keep your self esteem high.

*And finally, Dr. Twerski, as a psychiatrist, reminds us that depression is a serious disease and that for some people, a job loss may bring into the open an underlying depression that needs to be treated. “This kind of stress can kick up some problems,” he says. “And if this kicks up real depression, don’t be afraid to get some treatment and get some help. Depression is a disease; don’t ignore it.”

*Some good transition news to pass along today…(and please send along these tidbits — I like to spread good news as it gives hope!):

*Emily Norton, a CQ researcher whose job was eliminated and thus is a member of the “Gang of 45,” has landed a full-time job! Emily will start soon as a research analyst at The Cadmus Group in D.C., an environmental consulting firm. She’ll be in the environmental health solutions group, which focuses primarily on indoor air quality issues. If you want to congratulate her, she’s on Facebook and her personal email is emila247@yahoo.com.

*Christy Lyons, a long-time CQ editor who has most recently been working on Politics in America and as managing editor of the Members group, will be moving into the wide world of freelancing (and spending more time with her adorable kids). Her last day at CQ is Nov. 20. If you want to congratulate her on moving on, she’s on Facebook and her personal email is christylyons1@mac.com.

*A few job leads to close out this work week:

*This one will take a bit of research, but that’s what journalists do, right? The word on the Hill is that the House Periodical Gallery is looking for an assistant to help run things there. Apparently, the salary starts at about $60,000 annually. They are looking for someone with a journalism background and familiarity w/Congress. If you’re interested, ask around, it sounds like it could be a good position.

*The next few listings are via journalismjobs.com. Here is a good paid internship opportunity:

..
.
Company: National Education Association
Position:
Paid Editorial Internship
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Not Specified
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
December 8, 2009
Job ID: 1118976
Website: http://www.nea.org

Description:
The NEA Journalism Internship Program

If you want to work as a journalist we need you!

The National Education Association, the nation’s largest educator organization with more than 2.7 million members, is offering fall, spring and summer internships for students interested in careers in journalism.

The NEA is an advocacy organization working on behalf of public schools and students, and the men and women who have dedicated their careers to them. Any student interested in applying journalism skills to the strengthening of public education would find this internship a rewarding opportunity.

Interns in NEA’s Interactive Media department work on a variety of NEA periodicals, including the monthly magazine, NEA Today, and online publications. They have the opportunity to contribute to almost every aspect of the editorial development process – from research to writing. Intern contributions are credited in print.

Students interested in applying should send a cover letter, résumé, writing samples, and two letters of recommendation to:

Mary Ellen Flannery NEA Interactive Media 1201 16th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036 mflannery@nea.org

For more information e-mail mflannery@nea.org. For more information about NEA, please visit our website at http://www.nea.org.

*Inside Washington Publishers is looking for print and online reporters for several of their publications in D.C.

Company: Inside Washington Publishers
Position:
Print and online reporters
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Negotiable
Ad Expires:
December 10, 2009
Job ID: 644677

Description:
Leading Washington news-gathering organization seeks reporters for newsletter and online positions. Our award-winning products — 20 newsletters, nine online news services, and an array of new-media products — cover the federal policy process for professionals who need to know.

Our newsletters — Inside EPA, Inside U.S. Trade, Inside the Pentagon, among them — are world renowned for their investigative reporting, taking our readers inside the places (Congress, the White House, the agencies) where the policies are shaped. Our online services (such as InsideDefense.com, World Trade Online and InsideHealthPolicy.com) provide the fastest link to that news and add other dimensions — keeping readers up-to-date with breaking news, allowing access to important documents, providing a gateway to invaluable archives.

We entertain responses from two types of professionals – those who want to join our team of investigative reporters and those whose current interest is centered in new-media activities.

— Our editorial team of enterprise reporters has a worldwide reputation for accurate, in-depth, behind-the-scenes reporting, singularly focused on breaking the big story for policy professionals who depend on us for the “inside” word.

— Our robust new-media operation extends the value and scope of our content through blogs and e-mail products, suited for energetic less-experienced reporters interested in finding the real news hidden in the massive amount of information that moves around official Washington. We welcome experience but do not require it. If you are looking for your next reporting challenge or your first reporting opportunity, contact us.

You can share in the excitement of covering federal policymaking in this tumultuous period — nearly a year into the Obama Administration, with impact-filled issues (health-care reform, carbon control, and defense spending, just to name a few) confronting a friendly Congressional majority and an increasingly vocal opposition.

Start the process with an e-mail to jobs09@iwpnews.com. Describe your interest, background and career goals.

Alan Sosenko, Publisher

Inside Washington Publishers is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.

*And finally, the good folks at NPR have an interesting executive producer opening in D.C.:

Company: National Public Radio
Position:
Executive Producer, Newscast
(0810108016RFEA)
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
December 10, 2009
Job ID: 1120224

Description:

The Executive Producer, Newscast, is the editorial leader of NPR’s 24-hour newscast service supervising the content, integrity and quality of the output. The EP is also a key leader in informing and executing the overall strategy of Newscast in conjunction with the News Desk and Digital News. He/she works closely with senior NPR management on important issues, including newsroom convergence, member station relations, sponsorship and product strategy. The EP also administers the Newscast unit in strict adherence to union contracts and NPR standards.

Required Skills:

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience. Required: At least 10 years’ broadcast journalism editorial experience. A minimum of five years experience in a senior editorial and supervisory position in national and/or international news. Strong leadership skills: the ability to set a new course for Newscast and to guide the staff through it. Demonstrated strong management and supervisory skills, including the ability to coach, empower and listen. Proven ability to work collaboratively with other news leaders, as well as other divisions in the development of new products and new ways to reach the NPR community. A creative mind and a keen understanding of the NPR sensibility and mission of public radio. Willingness to learn new skills and lead the staff in constant learning and innovation. Experience maintaining high journalistic standards under deadline pressure, including standards of objectivity, balance and fairness. Significant skills in planning and scheduling in a union environment. Ability to handle multiple and complex projects simultaneously under stringent timeframes and changing priorities and conditions. Ability and willingness to work varied shifts. Preferred: Familiarity with blogging and Web 2.0 functionalities. Ability and willingness to relocate. Education: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience. Required: At least 10 years’ broadcast journalism editorial experience. A minimum of five years experience in a senior editorial and supervisory position in national and/or international news. Strong leadership skills: the ability to set a new course for Newscast and to guide the staff through it. Demonstrated strong management and supervisory skills, including the ability to coach, empower and listen. Proven ability to work collaboratively with other news leaders, as well as other divisions in the development of new products and new ways to reach the NPR community. A creative mind and a keen understanding of the NPR sensibility and mission of public radio. Willingness to learn new skills and lead the staff in constant learning and innovation. Experience maintaining high journalistic standards under deadline pressure, including standards of objectivity, balance and fairness. Significant experience and skills in planning and scheduling in a union environment. Ability to handle multiple and complex projects simultaneously under stringent timeframes and changing priorities and conditions. Ability and willingness to work varied shifts. Preferred: Familiarity with blogging and Web 2.0 functionalities. Ability and willingness to relocate.


Please apply directly at:
http://hostedjobs.openhire.com/epostings/submit.cfm?fuseaction=app.dspjob&jobid=216384&company_id=15859&jobboardid=105


Happy hunting and have a relaxing weekend!

Jodi

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Living the office-less life When you’re “more seasoned…”

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