In the wake of the recent round of firings at ESPN, I see plenty of hot takes. Some are better than others (anything saying ESPN had this coming for its liberal agenda immediately goes into the “shit take” category), some are well meaning and some aren’t. But it’s a public business, so invariably people want to sound off on it … regardless of how much understanding of the situation they personally have.
I can relate to the folks who’ve been laid off, the people who survived and have survivor’s guilt, the ones who received the extra special “gift” of demotion, and even the fortunate climbers who might somehow benefit from these moves. I can relate because I “enjoyed” each of these experiences throughout a 15-year run in the sports communications business.
And this isn’t a woe is me tale, because for whatever it’s worth, I’m very much at peace with where I am right now (which is out of sports entirely). I don’t blame any former employer or hold any grudges, because that would be stupid (and I really, really don’t believe in burning bridges … finding work is hard enough). Moreover, I feel as though I’ve been more fortunate than most.
But I’ve seen one particular refrain in the aftermath of today’s carnage that I thought I could and should address, because maybe my own experiences in the business can help someone.
Just answered one of these emails yesterday. My honest advice: do something else. Can’t recommend this as viable career path anymore. https://t.co/PAyN1OH7lG
— Andrew Carter (@_andrewcarter) April 26, 2017
That sounds nice. And it’s a convenient thing to say to someone if you want the conversation to last 140 characters or less. But as with most things in life, the reality is much more nuanced than that.