2015 has been an interesting year and, fortunately, most of it has been OK. Not easy, but OK.
The hundreds of redundancies forced upon my colleagues at the ABC have been a shock to a lot of people and very difficult for some. Losing your job is incredibly stressful. Upsetting. Demoralising.
I was chatting with one of my fellow former ABC colleagues recently and she was confiding her hurt, her grief, her feeling of humiliation. She had recently applied for a job that she was well-qualified for only to be told, ‘It might not be exciting enough for you …’
I’m fairly certain the organisation in question would have loved to have had her join their team and I know she’d have made an incredibly valuable contribution, but someone else made the decision about how she might feel. They should have just asked her.
I know that many of my former colleagues are still not employed, and I know that there are to be still more job losses.
Yet I remain optimistic.
I took advantage of my redundancy and took my children travelling. It was the first time they’d been on a plane, let alone to find themselves sitting at the top of the Eiffel Tower with their mum, lunching on jambon-beurre and thé glacé!
I’ve continued to work as a content creator and copywriter for several local, national and even international organisations and I enjoy the puzzle that words can be. I’ve had a lovely year working anywhere between Newcastle, Sydney, Paris … and my sofa!
All forms of media continue to go through great upheaval and I have no idea where the cards that have been thrown into the air will fall, but I suspect that for people like me who simply enjoy the processes of storytelling, of communication and discussion, discovery and collaboration – there will continue to be wonderful opportunities. I enjoy helping others translate their own stories and to make connections.
I have been working as a journalist at the University of Newcastle but continuing to accept freelance writing jobs as they become available – there are a lot of people and organisations who need words! ‘Content’ is a funny word, but content really is king.
The world is digital, digital spaces need words, images, sounds, thoughts and ideas – and for my ABC colleagues who are feeling bruised and bewildered at what so many of us have been through this year, I think we all have reason to feel that the future will still be bright.
But I don’t think I’m where I need to be just yet.
So I’m just going to keep saying YES as I explore new opportunities with people who are supportive, enthusiastic and offering goodwill. There’s been quite a few of you.
Meanwhile, I’m enjoying my gentle forays into this new world of self-employment and I’m enormously grateful to those individuals and organisations who have been helping me on my way.