From the moment I moved to Monroe, I have really enjoyed working with many of my coworkers at KNOE 8 News. Even after the original crop of people moved on to their next jobs, the new group of reporters who replaced them are just as cool. Having people with good attitudes and senses of humor to work with makes a huge difference, especially when being a journalist means working in a high stress environment with constant daily deadlines. A recent experience reminded me of this, it was after a long day of door knocking in the heat while dragging heavy camera gear around in a far off parish two hours away from the station, I got back to the station later than usual. I was overheated, stressed out, and not in a good mood. But after rushing back to my edit bay and hunkering down to work, I heard my fellow reporters cracking jokes and being jolly as usual. The good energy in the room lifted my mood instantly.
Not only do the reporters get along at work, but we hang out and mesh well outside of work too. Even our equivalents at the other station and the print journalists at the newspaper are really great to hang out with, we all understand each other because we all chose the same unique field. It’s nice to be able to be around like-minded people, we’re all news junkie, curious by nature and we care about people in our community that we report on. Just the other day I was on the way to dinner with a fellow journalist and he cracked a newsy joke and I laughed so hard and it just reminded me of how beautiful it is to have friendships with the people I work with. But according to fellow journalists at other jobs in different states, being friends with everyone I work with in a good work environment is the exception not the rule.
Recently, on my way back to Louisiana from Washington D.C, I ran into an old friend at the Baltimore Washington International Airport. He was a photographer at WAVY when I interned there in college. Now he has moved on to a job in Memphis, TN. I asked him if moving from job to job in our industry ever gets easier, making friends and leaving them and falling in love with communities and the people in them…then leaving it all behind for a better market. His answer? “No.” It was honest and straight forward. He told me the first couple of jobs are easier because most of the co-workers are young and more willing to be friends and hangout outside of work, but the older you get and bigger jumps you make in the markets, it gets harder. You are less likely to be BFF’s with everyone you work with because co-workers get more competitive and people are older with spouses and families, he explained. But, he added, there is an upside: the relationships you made at your first few jobs stick around much longer than your jobs there did. Weddings and other types of reunions bring everyone back together and because it’s such a small world, you may end up working with some of those friends again down the road.
The lessons I’m taking from that is to cherish what I have here. I’m lucky to have great co-workers and instead of borrowing trouble and thinking of how I’ll feel moving on to my next job, I’m savoring the experience that’s in front of me now.