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How far would you go to help a co-worker(s)?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by exmediahack, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    First, a big 'thank you' to all of you for your thoughts and advice as I was fully expecting to get canned in January but - through attitude, not griping (publicly) and learning new skills, they are keeping me around for another 18 months.

    My newsroom (I've been out of sports but I work in broadcast, print and online) is going to tons of platforms now. I have trained myself to be competent - but not quite masterful - of all of the new platforms. The output I'm cranking out is at a high level and management has even acknowledged this on formal reviews.

    However, we have some "old dogs" who are refusing/struggling to learn new tricks (blogging, online, etc). The company has fired/is firing people who, while strong and competent in the print end of it, put up too much resistance in the online/blogging part.

    I want to tell some of these co-workers to spend just a half hour each week learning some new skills. How far would YOU go to try and help them? Or would I be better off just trying care of my own business -- as I have been?

    I am a bit torn on this. My natural disposition is to help others, especially for people who have, from time to time, helped me. Yet if they get canned - and I keep my job - while that would benefit me, I also know that the extra workload would get dumped on me.

    Thoughts? Thank you all.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I would offer to help them co-workers learn new skills if they show an interest.

    I am sure most of them are hoping they can use their ignorance as an excuse not to have to bother. Screw them.
  3. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    I'd say if the genuinely want help and want to learn, then I'd help them. If they're looking for you to do the work for them so they don't have to learn, absolutely not.
  4. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    As long as it doesn't encroach on your own work, offer to help out. If they don't want it, just move on.
  5. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    You should definitely help your colleagues to whatever extent you can.

    Not to sound cliche-ish or overly idealistic, but newspaper operations, at their best, really are studies in teamwork. And for now, you all are still supposed to be on the same side. The loss of this atmosphere in the newsroom environment -- what with everyone now looking out for themselves -- is part of the problem these days. Trust and helpfulness are missing.

    I'd contend that a helping hand with this type of new-tech stuff is what most of the people who don't do it are waiting for, and certainly, it is what they need. Ditto for most of the people who, right now, may seem like they don't want to do it, too.

    As for what it may or may not do for you or your future, you really can't tell what's going to happen then, anyway. I wouldn't bother trying to predict it, and the more you work on this stuff, either by yourself or with others, the more you will be preparing for it -- regardless of what happens.

    One other thing: The more people in the business who are suited, or who become suited, for new media and all the new ways of doing things these days, the less likely it just might be that this industry will keep on going down the drain. You know?
  6. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Your older co-workers have the opportunity to learn.

    If they do not, forget 'em and do your job.

    I've been on both sides of this road. I knew whatever effort I put into some things wouldn't matter, and it didn't. I also saw co-workers busting their asses and still did mediocre work with little to no help or response from management except "Do more."

    Just do your job.
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