Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Career Day: It’s all about passion

Career Day — never thought I would have to make a presentation to a group of students on what I do.
Yet, on Thursday, that’s exactly what I had to do: describe my burgeoning career as a journalist.

Chardon High School’s Career Day was a unique opportunity to tell students why they should consider journalism. Honestly, before I started the presentations, I was worried that most of the students would be turned off by writing for a newspaper.

After looking at the list of speakers, I saw physicians, teachers, police officers, firefighters, engineers, biologists. Never in my career have I saved a life, battled a fire, taught a child how to read nor designed a bridge. Not quite sure I belonged alongside that kind of company.

Despite my esteemed company, I was determined to make my job sound interesting.

So I started off with how I work like a police detective, piecing together bits and pieces of a story and then describing the thrill of a good quote and finally, seeing the finished product splashed across the front page.

After a few blank stares and drooping eyes, I realized my mistake. I assumed my audience was a group of writers — students who might understand and appreciate the craft.

Needless to say, I think the first five minutes of my presentation would have bored me if I was in their seats.

But as I got rolling, I described to them how my time as a reporter has been one adventure after another. Three years ago, I covered a plane crash, where a 7-year-old survived. Two months ago, I covered the sentencing of a child rapist.

But more than just the excitement of an interesting story, I tried to convey to them why I love journalism.

To me, my job is a different experience every day. It’s the chance to write someone’s story. It’s the chance to reach the public and keep them informed. It’s a chance to make a difference in one person’s life.

Though my articles are simply words on paper (or on a website), I believe what I do is important and that’s where my passion comes from.

Amid the group of students, I noticed a few were seniors. While a handful wanted to pursue journalism or writing, the vast majority had no interest in journalism.

And I was OK with that.

Passion — that is the key to any job.

If you wake up in the morning and love what you do, then your job will not feel like a job. That’s something I hope the students took with them.

Career Day is not about finding a job in life, but finding what you love in life and doing it.
Jacob Lammers


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