I’ll have to admit that I was happily surprised at the number of responses we received from our recent tribute to the many talented people I’ve had the privilege of working with and knowing these past years.
In fact, because so many readers said that they, like us, have been impressed with the caliber of those particular members of our staff—many of them still in college or high school at the time—I thought this might provide a good moment for a reminder that our doors are always open to new interests, new enthusiasm and, of course, new talent.
This is particularly the case right now because of our plans to extend Wrangler’s scope of coverage, which will require reaching out for broadened capabilities and a willingness to help us grow.
We’ll be recruiting for a couple of those kinds of positions in future issues of our paper, offering a little more detail about the kind of people we’d like to hear from—maybe even you or someone you know.
Which brings yet another thought to mind.
One of the reasons I’ve been able to stay in this business well beyond the time that most people do is that, simply said, I love it.
Being around people you look forward to seeing every day and to whom you feel a commitment toward helping achieve a happy, successful future — well, I’m sure you understand the satisfaction this brings.
No, it isn’t always easy, for me at least. I had an employer once whose management style dictated that business dealings should never cross the line into anything more personal. I’m sure that’s a commonly held precept and I don’t disagree with those who practice it.
But what I’ve found over the years, particularly in working with the kinds of people who are attracted to a business like ours, is that creativity is a dynamic that isn’t easily reined in to the corral of what an HR department has been trained to believe it should be.
Which may in part explain why, by the way, after my last column appeared, some of those gone-but-never-forgotten employees called or emailed to reconnect.
In fact, a couple of them, Chelsea Martin and Kyle Maki, showed up at a little birthday celebration that Tracy Doren, our publisher, had cooked up for me earlier this month.
This, in addition to being a lot of fun, reinforced my commitment to not overlook the bond that exists with some of the young people we’ve employed at Wrangler News—a bond that, for the most part, holds up quite well, even when time, miles and circumstances would suggest otherwise.
There really isn’t much that disappoints me more in my day-to-day interactions with friends than to hear how unhappy and, at the same time, unfulfilled they may feel in their jobs.
It’s obvious that a lot of us, once having been young people ourselves, struggled with selecting a career field that we’d want to pursue.
The implied urgency of picking a college major has a tendency for some, and perhaps for many, to aim a young person in a direction that ultimately won’t turn out to have been the best choice.
Fortunately, in my experience working with the young people who have seen their creative talent unfold in an environment like ours, the future seems to be much more secure.
In my case, it was a future that I saw as a child, my first published newspaper arriving at my neighbors’ front door after having been printed, flat with some sort of indelible ink, in a gelatinized baking tin, a trick my sixth grade teacher taught us.
Luckily, publishing has changed dramatically since then.
But not so the pleasure I get from arriving at my office every day of the week, surrounded by people for whom I hold enormous regard and an unwavering determination to help them, like me, reach a productive, successful, happy future.