Today it is Winter, and I am on my own.
After happy years as part of Cover magazine, the Johannesburg office has shut down, and yesterday was my last day. Sitting at my laptop in the frigid, almost lavender early morning light, I am surprised by how much I feel it, this loss of a working family. I should be amped, I should be jacked – today is the day I officially start the most exciting part of my career yet.
Halfway into my retrenchment month, I found myself interviewing at a certain swish finance and investment magazine. I remember a brief sense of vertigo standing in the car park, thinking: how did I get here? I had never before interviewed for someone who published their publication in Mandarin and was read by CEOs in New York. In that first of the three interviews I was asked whether I know economics, finance, investment and such. I should have thought of asset classes and weightings, black swans and bearish outlooks and all those inexplicably animal terms. Instead, I thought of FIA summits and manager watch surveys, countless coffees above the noise of Sandton gridlock, and the Matroosberg FSB offices, and a hundred other things.
“Yes, I know them,” I responded.
At last I was selected for the auspicious role of content manager, second only to the CEO and in charge of sign-off on one of the more impressive magazine teams I’ve seen in the flesh.
I turned them down yesterday.
The thing is, when love comes, it does so in forms that surprise you – just ask my mechanical engineer husband who found himself with his idea of a Lit hippie. I fell in love with the financial services industry and its people, much to my initial horror. On the day of my rather heart-rending retrenchment meeting with the Cover family in Rosebank, I made a stop in the safe harbour of Exclusive Books, and I prayed. Minutes later the phone rang, a dear industry PR colleague asking me if I would consider doing some freelance work for her. It was the first of many phone calls. And every time my head spoke about the more powerful job at the swish magazine, my heart spoke louder still.
With Tony van Niekerk’s blessing and financial support, as well as several other industry leaders’ and a correspondence job at an American online publication, I have somewhat giddily set myself up as an industry-insider freelancer on both the journalistic and public relations sides of the fence. I get the somewhat dubious privilege of working for myself. I also get the much more valuable privilege of working with you.
Today it is Winter and I am, quite literally, on my own.
So, I guess you could say that it is my first day too.
So, I guess you could say that, although it is still very much Winter, I may never have been less alone in my working life.