Thursday, February 18, 2010

Insider Quote: from intellectual independence to making do with less

Biggest change so far: It's been a total career change and I've had to adjust my perspective significantly.  The State Department encourages intellectual independence -- the Foreign Service truly places a high value on constructive dissent -- but in the end, my job entails defending and supporting the policies of the United States 24/7.

Am I sleeping better? Well, I no longer worry about getting laid off. Gaining or losing weight? I'm on a government per-diem now and the restaurants around here are pretty decent. I'll just leave it at that. I've also had to learn to be diplomatic in and out of work. F-bombs and extreme cynicism aren't as common in my new work place.  

I left because: I wanted to travel more, I wanted more job stability, I wanted to get paid to learn relatively obscure languages, and, frankly, I was increasingly disheartened with the state of newspaper journalism. I was getting tired of being told to make do with less. After surviving roughly 10 rounds of layoffs at papers in Montana and Washington State, I was laid off in October, 2007.

James Hagenbgruber 
(New FSO – Sarajevo–bound in July)
From Poynter Online | Ask the Recruiter by Joe Grimm

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