On Getting "Fired": Who Cares
Getting fired is old news, and in media, it is nearly as ubiquitous as getting hired
Note: I didn’t take any of my former employers to Canada’s highest court, though I sure feel like it merited going.
I have emerged from my cocoon of vintage journalism to knock on the proverbial door of modern media with a reintroduction. It’s me. Hello.
Barring any inclination to tell the internet that it is in fact the problem and not traditional journalism, I am going to opt to take the high road and eat my feelings like I did that Big Mac following six months of an intense health binge.
For those who don’t know – 2023 has been a self-proclaimed year of mental and physical health. I completed my first half-marathon after five months of devoted training. I adopted a new hypoallergenic diet. I stopped eating fast food altogether. I cut out Netflix, Disney+ (though I still love the classics), and I stopped going to the cinema. I started a classics book club and have gone all in on the written word. I wrote the Law School Admissions Test, which was mostly my effort to rewire my brain after I’d been fired for the umpteenth time for reasons that inserted me into a matrix of nonsense that required meaningful detangling.
Simply put: collaborations don’t always come to fruition and even dream jobs aren’t perfect. Sometimes I was the one who called it off, sometimes it was the employer. I felt confused and ashamed the first time (I failed? Since when is work a popularity contest? And by whose rules are we measuring success?) but then I realized it was business as usual, especially in the media. Data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey suggests roughly 17 per cent of Canadian journalists today are working in a freelance capacity, compared to five per cent prior to 1996. The data does not take into account journalists that have since pivoted into other professions. In my case, the incidents always occurred at smaller presses or start-up organizations. Big media has never been a problem, at least not for me. For those wondering, I left my West African post at the BBC (2019) but I still deeply admire the British Public Broadcaster and have continued on as a contributor, though the Charles and Camilla handover has dampened my enthusiasm.