Selling all of my possessions and booking a one-way ticket to a foreign country was a no-brainer. Re-investing in my professional future required a bit more convincing. Luckily, while I was hesitating, Alex was taking the plunge and pulling me in with him. Ready or not, I’m going to be a journalist!
When I left America with a one-way ticket to Indonesia, I had every intention of incorporating my career goals into my travels. In many ways, I was successful. While on the road, I made time to write, to photograph, to edit videos, to run my personal website. I never stopped producing content. Unfortunately, the way I produced content changed. Traveling abroad and living out of a suitcase for 28 months will do that to a twenty-something aspiring journalist on a budget.
I remember the day I made the decision to delete Photoshop and Final Cut Pro from my Macbook Pro. I had only been on the road for four months. I was sitting at a fold-out table in Tasmania. Yet again, I found myself staring at a frozen computer screen and a spinning, rainbow wheel of death. My hard drive was at capacity, my RAM was nearly non-existent and almost all of my digital content had already been transferred to my external hard-drive. I could hear Jim Morrison’s voice, “This is the end, my only friend, the end.” And so it was. Since that day, I’ve been using iMovie and iPhoto to edit all of my digital content. Shameful, I know, but I did what I had to do to survive.
And so it went. I continued to produce content using the bare minimum in every direction, relying on creativity and improvisation to get by. In turn, I accepted the fact that as my months on the road turned into years, the journalism degree I had worked so hard for was exponentially depreciating in value. Today, I feel like I am no longer a strong competitor in my job field. Sure I can still write with proper grammar and a bit of wit, but I have no idea what the latest AP style guidelines say about referencing social media. Sure I can still shoot on manual settings with a DSLR, but I would be hard-pressed to sit down and edit my images with a current version of Photoshop or Lightroom. I know how to gather creative video clips and I am full of ideas to put all of my footage together, but iMovie is the only video-editing tool I know how to use. There are plenty of things I am very, very good at, but on paper things don’t look so pretty.
Ultimately, with my college graduation more than three years behind me, my diploma and my skill-set are outdated. Internships want ‘new grads’ and employers want professionals with experience. According to my resume, I’m neither.
Still, I want to make journalism my profession. But having an appetite simply isn’t enough without the tech specs to feed it. This is one obstacle that I probably wouldn’t have overcome had Alex not decided to go behind my back and make the investment himself. Despite my avid resistance, I am now equipped with all the gear I could possibly need in order to turn myself into a professional or at least to give myself a fighting chance.
Over the next few weeks, I will be re-training myself to become a more qualified multi-media professional. There is no doubt that I have all of the fundamentals under my thumb, but adding tech specs like Adobe Suite and Final Cut to my resume will hopefully expand my job search and help me land an interview! Thanks bud x