Professional Pivoting is What All the Cool Kids are Doing

low angle view of lighting equipment on shelf

Long ago and far away at a point in my radio career, I transitioned away from being a music host into newscaster and reporter.

News wasn’t new to me. My first radio demo from college was a newscast. It was what I wanted to do. But when I was looking for my first job, a radio station needed a “deejay” – how I loathe that term – and I needed to work. I was thrilled that anyone wanted me to do anything on the radio! So, that’s what I did for the next 15 years or so. I was good at it. Maybe not the most creative person on the air but I had my moments.

Over the years, I’d done reporting during elections when it was all-hands-on-deck. Later, I started to specialize in entertainment reporting. Then I got into talk radio and hosted my own show for several years. After that, I was offered the job of morning newscaster on Toronto’s CHFI. Behind the scenes, I worked at 680 News. On the air, I was a tiny cog in the #1 Toronto morning show wheel.

Who would say no to that?

One guy in the 680 Newsroom was very upset by my presence. He said I wasn’t a “real” newsperson, aloud in front of me and our colleagues, as if he was outing me for supporting dogfighting. He was a bully, trying to make me feel like an imposter. I hadn’t done only news every second of my broadcasting career and therefore he decided I wasn’t “real”.

Wasn’t it real when I popped into the CHFI studio every half hour for three years and delivered a newscast? Erin Davis seemed pretty real! I was there, live, on 9/11, for most of the day. That was too real. 680 then offered me the morning co-anchor position where I stayed for many more years. That was real, too.

This guy popped into my head uninvited recently as I realized I’d made another career pivot. I’ve taken on several editing projects in audio and text. Audio is a no brainer but I certainly didn’t get formal training in editing books, proposals, and a booklet for a university. However, my own writing has undergone scrutiny from many excellent editors and I’ve learned a lot. I’m not about to take on anything I’m not capable of – there are editors of all abilities and specialties. I know my lane. I work for money, not credit, and I make project leaders look good. I absolutely love it.

Finding One’s Voice (Over)

For the first time in a long time, voice-over work, especially new business, slowed down in 2023. There are many factors including Artificial Intelligence (AI), and an over-saturation of voice-over talent. So has freelance writing. Companies have been scaling back and doing more in-house. I’m still getting work, but it seems wise to diversify a little more. Editing and proof-reading are natural options for me.

I edit a document, get paid for it, and make a client happy. That’s what an editor does. It makes me an editor even though I haven’t been once since I was a fetus. Creative professionals are pivoting all over the place when their work ebbs and flows. It’s part of being an entrepreneur. (The part no one brags about in a fancy meme!)

I have no idea, nor do I care, where the “not real” guy ended up. If you cook and people pay you for it, you’re a real cook. If you paint and someone buys your artwork, you’re a professional artist. If someone pays you for editing, you’re an editor. That’s just a fact.

5 thoughts on “Professional Pivoting is What All the Cool Kids are Doing”

  1. You โ€œreallyโ€ become what you know you are when professionally recognized by others, particularly, when you are paid for what you are. Congratulations! on a great/successful career Lisa.
    Your critical edit of the above will be appreciated. Terry

  2. Whatever you are, you’re good at it!

    If people make decisions based on the information you give them, you’re a journalist! No licence necessary!

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