Thursday, December 14, 2017

Either Becoming A Journalist Or A Communications Person, It All Starts From The Heart

A newspaper stand in Macau

In a time where print media switching to online and some even go as far as stopping publication at all, where do print media journalists find their Noah's Ark?

That first paragraph was an attempt at writing a dramatic lede, which I kind of missed (Ha! Former journo through and through).

To answer that question, anyone, journos or not, can always make the career switch. To quote the adage: You can do anything!

Tangent: I stumbled upon Justine Le Conte's You Tube video on her career story, which elaborates why and how she made the choice to change her career. She was not a famous person, so her experience was real and something we can relate to. I like that her channel gives off positive vibes.

But I digress, where was I? Oh yeah, many of my journo friends have made the transition to analysts, entrepreneurs and also, the inevitable role as public relation people. A few weeks ago, I saw one journo friend wrote in her FB status that she did not want ever to be a public relation person.

As a former journalist with around 10 years of work experience, I was once guilty of this sin too: looking down on the profession (and practitioners) of public relation. I used to think that the public relation people sell their souls to the corporations they work at and create a false utopia through the press release. Ok, this is overly dramatic, but I was young and idealistic once.

Fortunately, several years later I had an opportunity to write advertorials. Then it all came to my senses: both journalist and public relation were paid to do their work. There were times, when I was a journo, that I felt uneasy to write the news, because the news angle could not always cover both sides.

Sometimes an editor asked me to write from an angle that I did not like, other times another editor edited my news to suit his/her point of view. I was furious when I read the newspaper and saw that the lede had been severely mutilated (again, drama queen).

I love writing, always have been and will be, but I don't want my writing to benefit just one or two people. I want my writing to give impact to many people. Therefore, I decided to walk away from the profit sector and searched for jobs in the not-for-profit sector that matched my interest. I would prefer to call my current profession as communications person, instead of public relation.

Working for not-for-profit sector has its own drawbacks, though. Most jobs in this sector are usually under one-year contract, with possible extension. I consider myself fortunate, because I'm a woman, still single and my parents give full support on my decision to work in the sector. What about people who are married and have children? What would they do when the contract/the project ends?

Believe it or not, there are men, who are married and have children, in the not-for-profit sector. They work from one project to another, and they survive. These men are my reminder of Allah's abundant blessings. The ultimate factor that makes my heart at ease is the thought that Allah provides for each living being, even if we sometime (or most of the time, astaghfirullah) don't remember Him.

Blessings are not always in the form of monetary gains. Faith in God, health (physically and mentally), fresh air, a smile from a handsome fellow commuter, the rain, the sun that comes after the rain, family (parents/siblings/spouse/children), and good friends, those are all blessings. To sum it up, your life is already a blessing.

Also, I believe everything starts from the intention of the heart. I try to remind myself on a daily basis that I work not just to get money, but to have contentment in the thought that I have helped people. A good intention brings lots of good things into your life. It will also be great if my work gets appreciation through the high remuneration.

I'm not saying that everyone should just quit their permanent jobs and work as contract employees. I just want to say that each profession has its pluses and minuses (so don't look down on other people's profession), never put your faith on humans (and corporations), give the best of yourself on every thing you do while finding opportunity to grow your skills and always be grateful for everything that you have.

Oh geez, have I bored you enough with my ramblings? Wishing you a terrific Thursday, lovelies.

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