Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lucky Me

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Next week I'll probably put up a more substantive post, especially after seeing the Coen brothers' latest film, the farce/tragedy Burn After Reading, which I enjoyed immensely and which once again has me reflecting on just what kind of "contempt" is seemingly acceptable among many film critics these days. (Once again, I'm seeing adjectives like "snarky" and "condescending" popping up in critics' reviews, and it's enough to make me tear out some of the hairs from my head in frustration.)

In the meantime...well, I might as well link all of you readers to a link to a personal essay I recently wrote for what I guess one could unofficially call the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund '08 blog, created not only for the current crop of copy-editing interns that went through Professor Edward Trayes's rigorous (to put it mildly) two-week residency at Temple University, but also for past Trayes alumni like myself. Basically, it sums up what has happened to me at Dow Jones in the past few months, amidst all the talk of relocations, layoffs, consolidations and such.

It also had a concluding section of personal advice that was apparently cut out of the post as it finally appeared I'm going to reprint that truncated final two paragraphs or so below---just because I feel like it.

Thus, I come to the part of my entry where I guess I’m supposed to offer some advice to all you Trayes vets out there reading this blog. Well, I’m not the one for advice; I don’t think I’ve really lived enough to have much interesting advice to impart. Still, I have gotten something out of my recent experiences that I would love to share with you all, if you haven’t figured this out already for yourselves.

Basically, it’s this: don’t be afraid to just go wherever the wind takes you. You never know where you will end up, and that way of thinking just makes life much more colorful and interesting. This isn’t to say that you should take a passive approach to your own life and career; certainly, it’s good to have a long-range goal in the back of your mind to guide you in your decision-making. But be eager to take on a broad range of tasks, expanding your skill set, even stepping out of your own comfort zone once in a while. Such an attitude of openness can only help as your career rolls along. And if you ever become worried that all this experimentation may lead you astray from your long-range goals…then I can only suggest that, with a combination of smarts and luck, yes, it’s quite possible to be confident that eventually things will work out in the end, whatever issues you will come across. It has certainly worked out for me up to this point, in more ways than I ever dreamed.

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