Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Is "Plan B" needed? If so, what is it?

At age 6 Ed wanted to be a doctor, lawyer,
race car driver, fire fighter and a pimp.

It's fair to say I've been in a funk lately. But when your work world is collapsing I think it's OK to be a little off.
This morning, I considered whether to take a personal day. I don't believe in skipping work willy-nilly, but on occasion it's best for you and your employer. Such action is justified for a specific reason. The problem is there is a good chance I could wake up tomorrow and feel the same way.
It's a new feeling for me.
I've loved my career. Since I first started writing for my college paper The Southern Digest, I've never really dreamed of doing anything else.
The life plan was to pay my dues as a reporter, one day become a columnist and eventually go into management. I've never felt a greater sense of purpose, felt more challenged or had more sustained fun than my years running the college paper.
Going into management was a dream I mainly kept to myself.
Now as the newspaper industry hemorrhages jobs and another round of layoffs loom at my newspaper a new dream may be required.
This is new to me.
No need to get too far ahead of myself. Who knows if there will actually be layoffs and/or buyouts. But with several other newspapers within the chain having announced layoffs in the last few days a foreboding malaise hangs over the entire newsroom.
Unknown questions:

  1. Will there be layoffs/buyouts?

  2. Would my neck by on the chopping block?

  3. Is the chopping block really freedom?

At this point, only a fool would not consider their options.

When I was in elementary school I refused to select one job when the "What do you want to do when you grow up." I'd have six jobs. One day I'd be a doctor, another I'd be a lawyer. I think firefighter, police officer and race car driver was in the mix too.
As I spend more and more time contemplating my "Plan B," I still have trouble settling in on one plan. Here is my list of ideas:

  • event promotion/planning

  • screenwriter

  • professor

  • radio personality

  • non-profit director

  • legislative staffer

  • public/media relations consultant

  • advertising creative

  • columnist/free lance journalist

  • television producer

  • lawyer

Undoubtedly, somebody is reading this and thinking "Man I've changed jobs six times and I'm fine." Well, I haven't.
This whole thing would be a lot easier if I could easily sell my house and relocate without the worry of a house worth less than I paid for it.
The upshot is that in preparing for the future, I've enjoyed developing my multimedia skills, am bubbling with television and movie ideas and am examining my talents like never before.
Now, if this funk would just go away.


  1. Here's hoping that the recent layoffs in McClatchy are following The Bee's last round, not leading to new ones. That said, obviously you're smart to be considering alternatives. Making the list is easy; taking all the steps to carry out a goal isn't, especially while working beyond full time already. Best of luck, Ed.

  2. Make an Ed action figure and sell it on QVC. Worked for Jenna (sorta)!

  3. I know the feeling. 4 of those professions are on my Plan B list too!

  4. If freelancing doesn't pay enough, you can always do it in addition to something else. I guess the question is - how can you find something that you love? I know you'll be a great asset to any organization you choose to work for. And six year old Ed would be proud:)