Rachel, I’m losing sleep worrying about my job
The writer has worked in media seven years. She can't sleep at night.
March 17, 2017
I’ve worked in media for seven years, and in this last year or so I’ve become concerned about all the turmoil in the industry. Everything seems so up in the air. I wonder, in two years will I even have a job? I go to sleep thinking about these issues, and I have to tell you I don’t sleep well much anymore. Sign me No Longer Certain About My Career
Dear No Longer,
I tend to be an optimist, especially on Fridays, so let me give you my largely rosy analysis and outlook.
The Great Media Disruptor, as we all know, is digital, and all these years after the commercialization of the internet the forces of digital continue to shake up, alter and redirect the media industry.
They will also continue to surprise us by the changes they bring about. That surprise factor is what is unique about digital.
Who could have imagined Facebook in the era of three-network television?
Who could have imagined Twitter and the role it played in putting an outsider in the White House?
The truth is, we simply don’t know what is coming in media, and most of us don’t even pretend to know anymore. Even the pundits are pulling back on long-range pronouncements. Getting tomorrow right is tough enough.
That unknowing is behind so much of the angst people are feeling.
And of course in this ongoing disruption, we ‘re seeing lots of hurt—people losing their jobs by the thousands, as we’ve seen in the newspaper business. And those jobs will never come back. That’s the real tragedy.
But here’s my rosy take on things. All this change is leading to smarter, more efficient media industry serving more and more advertisers and delivering better and more news and entertainment to consumers at far less cost.
It’s a smarter, brighter business.
The fix we all find ourselves in, whether we’ll admit it or not, is dreading the next big sweep of change that might be coming.
But in doing so we risk closing our minds to the opportunities all these changes have brought about.
My advice to you is this: Instead of worrying about whether you’ll have a job in two years, ask yourself what sort of work you’d like to be doing in two years.
Do you really want to be doing in two years what you are doing now?
I have to believe that if you thought about it even for a minute, you’d come to realize there are a least a handful of things you’d rather be doing.
Some may be in media. Some may be outside of media, in totally different industries.
The important thing is that it always must be your choice. It can’t be someone else’s. We can’t afford to leave it to fate—or the next big wave of change that sweeps in.
Next start thinking about how you’re going to get there.
That’s something you can think about the next time you put your head on the pillow. You’ll sleep a lot better, trust me.
After nearly 18 years, it’s time to say good-bye
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