Friday, June 15, 2012

The one time a lateral move makes sense

The term "abusive relationship" often refers to domestic situations; husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends. In many cases those being abused, either mentally or physically, are addicted or dependent in some way in regard to the abuser. Most of us know someone in a relationship like this, very often smart people who simply cannot see what everyone else can.

I'm not a psychologist, but I've seen abusive relationships in newsrooms. These are the mental kind, in which a manager plays such mind games with an employee that the employee becomes a victim. Let's be honest; some News Directors, for whatever sick, twisted reason, take pleasure in picking out a few select people in the newsroom and making their lives a living hell.

Very often the victims are talented and smart; usually more talented and smarter than the manager. But, like many creative types, they're sensitive, especially about their work. The abusive manager knows this, can smell it like a shark smelling blood. And what happens is the victim gets beaten down, confidence shattered to a point that every day in the newsroom is like walking on eggshells.

And while most of us have uttered the statement, "Get me the hell out of here," this is the one case where "anywhere but here" would make sense.

Bottom line, this is just a job. Yes, it's a special career and if you end up in a great place to work it can be magical. But it's not worth driving yourself crazy.

Most people think of lateral moves as moving to a station of a similar market size. They'll stay in the ninth circle of hell rather than make a lateral move to a station with a great ND and a supportive staff. But when you step back, that isn't a lateral move at all. Because your quality of life will go up, your work will improve, your future will be brighter.

Sometimes making a move isn't about money or market size, it's about comfort and peace of mind.


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