Happiness at work

    Business Spotlight Audio 7/2019
    pappbox mit verschiedenen Objekten
    © Georg Lechner
    Von Margaret Davis

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    “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” (Mark Twain)

    It’s debatable whether Mark Twain actually said this, but there’s no question that it’s frequently to quote sth.etw. zitierenquoted by career coaches giving advice. And, like most such advice, it’s not entirely true. No job, no matter how enjoyable, is fun all the time. Still, your chances of enjoying your work are greater if you choose a career that suits your abilities.

    I’ve been a journalist for most of my working life, starting with a summer job as a juniorhier: Nachwuchs-junior reporter and general dogsbody at a local newspaper. Back then, an elderlyältere(r,s)elderly publisher told me, “Being a reporter is the most fun job in the world.” It frightens me a bit to think that I am now probably the same age as he was when he made that remark!

    Why do people become journalists? In my case, a love of writing was the main reason. And let’s be honest, writing is my only marketable skill. Another motivation for choosing the career is the desire to meet interesting people, possibly even celebritybekannte Persönlichkeitcelebrities. Over the years at Spotlight Verlag, I’ve met and interviewed a number of important figures, from influential feminist Betty Friedan to Oscar Wilde’s grandson, Merlin Holland. The the formerErstere(r,s)former was, despite her stroppy (UK, ifml.)übellaunigstroppy reputation, absolutely charming. the latterLetztere(r,s)The latter nearly broke off the interview in the first ten minutes.

    To be happy at work, choose a career that suits your abilities

    Of course, not all the people I’ve interviewed have been famous, although some of them probably deserved to be. Over more than a decade of writing for and to edit sth.etw. redaktionell bearbeitenediting community newspaperLokalzeitungcommunity newspapers in Canada, I met many fascinating characters, including a widow whose ghost story about her Victorian mansionHerrenhausmansion still to send shivers up sb.’s spinejmdm. Schauder über den Rücken jagensends shivers up my spine. Or the militant squatterHausbesetzer(in)squatter, living in a shackHütte, Schuppenshack in the middle of a national park long after his neighbours had accepted new homes elsewhere. That was the first (and I hope the last) time I ever had to face a heavily armed man who looked like a Latin American freedom fighter.

    Journalism has changed greatly since I entered the profession. These days, as publisherVerleger(in), Herausgeber(in)publishers struggle with falling advertising revenuesEinnahmenrevenues and the loss of subscriptionAbonnementsubscriptions, staffing has been reduced. Journalists are expected to be Jack (or Jill) of all tradesAlleskönner(in)Jacks (and Jills) of all trades — or, to use a wonderful German expression, become eierlegende Wollmilchsäue. The jobs they do are still important, however. As I prepare for retirement after nearly 30 years at Spotlight Verlag, I hope that some of the articles I’ve written have provided you with useful information or perhaps made you smile.

    I will miss my colleagues at Spotlight and Business Spotlight, as well as at our sister publications. There surely aren’t many workplaces where coffee breakKaffeepausecoffee break conversations are held in five different languages, sometimes in all five simultaneously! And that’s another key to a long and enjoyable career: work with people you like and respect. My deepest thanks to all of them — and to all of you — for your interest and support.

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