"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Monday, November 25, 2019

What Chicago's Teacher Strike Can Teach Writers



There’s no doubt about it. Teaching is one of the oldest and most honorable professions around. And for the most part, unless educators experience burnout and quit, or have serious health challenges, they often enjoy a good deal of job “stability” and tenure, compared to other industries.
Factors that more than likely contribute to why many career seekers opt to pursue this field.

According to the Bureau of labor, “A career in teaching is also projected to have many job opportunities in the coming years. Between 2014 and 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects nearly 1.9 million job openings for teachers of preschool through postsecondary school.”

But here’s the downside: NO job today affords TOTAL job security. Particularly in today’s uncertain economic climate (not to mention, education reform).
As a matter of fact, I gave this very “caveat” to a client of mine who just happens to be a high school teacher. “Jane” loves writing, and for many years, has freelanced on the side for various publications under my coaching and guidance. Since teaching is perceived as her “bread and butter” money, she really doesn’t give writing the serious consideration or time that she should. It’s a recreational hobby, more or less.
This is unfortunate; she is a tremendously talented scribe, who could really go very far if her priorities were different.

THE TEACHERS’ STRIKE AND LESSONS IMPARTED
Earlier this school year, Chicago teachers decided to go on strike unexpectedly, to fight for what they considered important issues: smaller class sizes, more resources and more equitable pay.
Nothing unreasonable, most would agree.

But, something that should have been settled promptly wasn’t.
As it happens, one day turned into one week. One week turned into 10 days, additional delays and time away from the classroom. After 11 days, an agreement was finally reached by both sides.
Teachers won the battle, but not without detriment.
Of the 11 strike days, Chicago teachers would only be compensated for 5 of those days, per the city’s mayor. That’s 6 days without pay for many who were already struggling.


So what can we as writers learn from the teachers’ strike and how it unfolded?

 LEARNING DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN IN THE CONFINES OF A CLASSROOM…HERE ARE 6 TIMELY TIPS THAT WILL APPLY TO WRITERS




1). NEVER PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET.
No matter what your career, it’s wise to have various income streams or side hustles.
As a writer, I find that it’s smart to diversify my creative offerings. And you should too.
As a point of reference here, not only do I professionally blog; I actually set up and design blogs for other writers; teach creative classes; and consult on the side.

2). RECOGNIZE THAT UNLESS YOU WORK FOR YOURSELF, YOUR JOB IS NEVER TOTALLY SECURE.
I kid you not; I know of people who lost their jobs shortly before they were scheduled to retire. Which can be scary. With more companies now putting profits before people, anything can happen at any time.

3). KEEP ON LEARNING, TO INCREASE YOUR VALUE.
Take online classes. Read, research and study. “Knowledge is power.“
Whether it’s in the job market, or with your creative clients: the more you learn, the more you’ll earn.

4). NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF SAVING FOR A RAINY DAY.
It's here, folks!  According to Careerbuilder.com 78% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck.
Poor finances can make us vulnerable to emergencies, diminish our quality of life, and contribute to poor decision making. If your computer needed to be repaired or replaced tomorrow, could you afford it? If your furnace in your home broke down during the winter, would it leave you in the cold? These are a few things to consider.

5). THERE ARE “POLITICS” IN EVERY INDUSTRY.
Don’t be fooled. Many folks who are unenlightened believe that “politics” only exist in Corporate America or with the government.  Think again. Being a writer or teacher won’t exempt you from politics. It exists in publishing and even the church, too.

6. SHIFT HAPPENS!
Learn to be flexible. Keep a level head.
Don’t let the loss of a client, a computer virus, a strike, or editors’ rejection keep you from making a difference and moving forward in your creative career.
There is nothing more “liberating” and empowering than being able to write when, where and how you choose.

Master these six timely lessons for a truly “smart” freelancing experience.


A penny for your thoughts here. 
Agree or disagree? 
Any teachers out there?



Image crdits: Pixabay.com









6 comments:

  1. Incredible points. Great arguments. Keep up the
    good spirit.

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    1. JENNIFER BROWN-BANKSDecember 4, 2019 at 4:16 PM

      Thanks, anonymous.

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  2. Thank you Jen, for your insight and wise tips. You're right, we often need to think "big picture" versus just getting by day to day. May we conclude 2019 and enter 2020 with this savvy advice in mind. Happy Thanksgiving! :)

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  3. I appreciate your kind feedback, Karen. May we all have "20/20" vision in 2020 regarding our careers and the pursuit of happiness. :-)
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, dear.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Jennifer, for these tips. When I was young and in the workforce, we didn't think about these things. They are crucial to all who are in the workforce and market place in today's society.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome, Quietspirit. Always a pleasure to see you here. :-)

      Delete