A good friend of mine has taken the plunge, and not just any plunge. Vickie Newton, a broadcast news staple in St. Louis for more than 11 years, announced in July that she’s leaving the anchor desk at KMOV-TV.
Here’s the announcement post on her Facebook page:
“Whew! Talk about major decisions. Deciding to resign took months of praying and evaluating what I would like to do at this stage in my life. After 25 years, I decided I wanted to tell a different kind of story…one that is consistently committed to sharing the many uplifting stories about African-Americans. Two years ago, I founded an online magazine, TheVillageCelebration. It is for anyone who wants to read about the rich tradition of African-Americans.”
I first got to know Vickie when she was a reporter and morning news anchor at WDIV-TV in Detroit. Her career journey took her to Atlanta and then brought her to St. Louis. I know she’s been hankering to get back to her hometown of Little Rock, so their gain is our loss! Full disclosure: I contribute to TheVillageCelebration.com; in fact Vickie was one of the first people to give me work when I took my own plunge in February!
Just doing it
It takes a lot to take the plunge. People who decide to make course corrections in their lives all have their reasons, and these are often so complicated and commingled it can be tough to articulate or share with family, friends and colleagues. Sometimes hindsight is the only way to figure it all out.
A recent Huffington Post item from another former TV news anchor really hit home for me. Rene Syler made it all the way to the “big dance,” a network news spot with CBS in New York. Then, everything changed. She lost her job. She decided to have a preventative mastectomy. She got a bad relaxer and her hair fell out. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“I was like Job. How much worse could things be? I lost my job, I lost my breasts, I lost my hair. But now I look back and I think in losing all those things I really found myself and who I’m supposed to be. The best way to describe it would be the me that people see on the outside finally matches the me on the inside.”
Now Rene is living the dream, a dream she never envisioned: She wrote a book called, Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book Of Parenting, and parlayed its success into a business. In addition to her parenting blog, she makes personal and television appearances.
I never thought…
When a person begins to find success in her career, especially success that has been hard won, making a change may be the last thing on her mind. The itch got to me sometime last summer and I forged out on my own in February. Like Vickie, I chose to resign; to walk toward something I hoped would bring me closer to where I wanted to be. Like Rene, I find myself wondering…
“I never ever thought I would be in this place…. ‘Is this going to work?’ When you work for people your entire life, the idea of being able to do whatever you want, to be your own boss is a really cool and wonderfully freeing thing. Sometimes all of that freedom is scary, but that’s what I would say is the most gratifying.”
The great thing about it all…
You CAN do it. People may think you are crazy, others will call you brave. Still others will say, “I wish I could do that.” Maybe today is not the day, but it’s good to start thinking about the things you love to do and figure out how you might get people to pay you for those things. Maybe it’ll all be one big flop. Here’s to trying!
- Start tallying your talents, skills, abilities, credibility, trust capital, and experience
- Think about who your support network will be — morally and professionally
- Talk to people who do what you want to do
Sometimes change happens to you. At other times, you lead the way. Be ready.