Having fun with work

Through our first five meetings with Ketchum PRThe New York TimesAmsterdam NewsWNET and The Smoking Gun, I think it is safe to say we have all been impressed for the most part with our meetings and grateful for the opportunity to take part in this Media Impact trip.  As the prior posts express, we are quickly gaining experience with the New York way of life and getting exposure to a city that gives us a vastly different experience than an on-campus Jan term course.

At this point, I think my classmates have touched on many of the experiences with New York that I could reiterate. I’ll try to express something a little different in this post. In reviewing my notes and reminiscing about the speakers we have heard, I’ve found one common denominator popping up over and over again. Passion. It seems slightly silly, but honestly this trip has already reminded me of one of the first lessons we learn growing up.

Be passionate. Do activities you enjoy. To me, the speakers we have heard communicate a passion for the jobs they do that we wouldn’t notice reading a brochure or googling jobs descriptions.  That’s why I’m so grateful to be on this trip and have face-to-face interactions and tours.

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Particularly at Ketchum PR, NYT and The Smoking Gun  I could tell how much the speakers love what they do. They aren’t just working at their respective organizations because the organizations pay well or are well-respected in their fields. NYT Graphics Editor Kevin Quealy mentioned he knew a staff member that took a significant pay cut to come be a part of what happens at NYT.  At The Smoking Gun we learned that just three guys operate their website, and they are content to operate in a tiny conference room in the Time Warner Building. They started the website as something fun and were content to just do that until the website evolved and became increasingly popular. I think there’s really something to sacrificing nice offices and pay to do something you love and have fun with your work.

Most of us on the trip are graduating in the next year or two, and the thought of the post-college life can be both exciting and scary at the same time. It was reassuring to hear how much fun and passion the speakers have with their jobs. The thought of a “9-5” job and “the real world” can seem pretty depressing after time at college where most classes are 55 minutes and generally have some amount of free time when students aren’t doing homework to have fun with friends.

The media experiences we have had thus far on this trip reminded me there can still be fun when the pinecone curtain is gone and we are out trying to make it after college. And how important (and almost necessary) it is to make sure you do what you love so you can enjoy working.

I love sports. I know that’s a passion for me. Although I have no idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing after college, it gave me a little comfort to see the dedication and passion these speakers have for their jobs.

I ask myself, in 25 years, if I’m working in a media organization of some sort, and a tour group comes to ask me about my job and organization, will I have the same passion in my communication that the employees we have heard from communicate? I hope so.

I really don’t like incredibly long blog posts for the most part and this one is headed that direction. Also it’s possible some of you are reading through this quickly so you can make a comment and get credit for the grade book. Or someone on a future trip is scrolling quickly through our posts to get an idea about the trip. So I’ll stop now.

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