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Lucy Payette

Searching for the Positive Side of Change

Illustration of six people (seen from the back) wearing winter clothes and putting their arms around each other's shoulders. A speech bubble above, adorned with holiday lights, reads "Happy holidays."
Illustration of six people (seen from the back) wearing winter clothes and putting their arms around each other's shoulders. A speech bubble above, adorned with holiday lights, reads "Happy holidays."
Copyright: cienpies

Many of my conversations of late have started with “I would have thought by now we would be … ” or “I’m not sure what the next few months will bring ….” This past year has been called many things: the Great Resignation, the Great Reshuffle, the second year of COVID. Whatever you call this year in review, it has been anything but constant.

Our professional and personal lives have been fluid for some time now. We may have struggled to make plans that stick, or made plans with the knowledge on hand, knowing full well that those plans could likely change as circumstances changed yet again. The word “pivot” comes to mind. One friend of mine works in academic services at a university and spoke of the challenges of planning students’ return to classes last fall as government health mandates governing indoor gatherings changed daily. Another friend changed jobs three times this year while caring for a parent. And yet another closed a 27-year business that would have continued to be successful were it not for COVID.

I know this was true for many who work in the editing and publishing communities and for those who worked on, contributed to or planned to contribute to The Editors’ Weekly. With every exchange I’ve had over the past year, I could never be certain about what my connection was personally dealing with. This can certainly be the case in the best of times, but I am particularly struck by the scale of change or loss that many experienced within this window of time.

Yet I can see through the blog and related social media interactions that being a part of this editing community has helped many of us manage through the stress of living through a challenging time. In a guide to help families build resilience during COVID, Harvard University explains that you can “load up” on the positive side of the scale of resilience with responsive relationships — connections with family members, friends or a supportive network.

So, I offer a big thank you to all who contributed to the blog this year in some way, despite uncertainty, and to our readers for commenting and sharing our posts. This holiday season, I hope you can take some time to pause and enjoy a lull in the fluidity of this year.

The Editors’ Weekly will be taking a break and will return on Jan. 11, 2022. A special thanks to Laura Bontje, our proofreader and social media contributor, who shared her take on the year in review: “There’s so much that we all wish hadn’t changed over the past two years. But when I think about the positive side of change, the first thing that comes to mind is editing. This year, I made the leap into full-time freelancing, and I am filled with gratitude for the extraordinary community of editors I’ve joined. I’ll be taking time over the next few weeks to delight in my children’s excitement for the holidays — and maybe even read some books that I don’t have to edit!”

For my part, I plan to listen to a few more episodes of the podcast A Slight Change of Plans.

How have you managed change during 2021?

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Previous post from Lucy Payette: What’s New in the Canadian Press Stylebook

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2 Comments on “Searching for the Positive Side of Change”

  • Tim Green

    says:

    I wonder what the COVID-driven upheaval in the workplace will mean for editors. Will in-house editing work move more to employees working outside? Yes, possibly/probably for current employees. Will it move more to contractors (freelance editors)? I’m guessing yes for new work. Do you think employers will have a difficult time recruiting new editors for actual in-office work when it may be done (albeit differently depending on the amount of staff interaction required) remotely?

  • Lucy Payette

    says:

    Happy New Year, Tim, and thanks for commenting. Forgive my delay in response, but I did think a lot about your questions — all good ones — over the holidays. I am an in-house editor and I do not have the option of working from home, but I am curious as well to learn from other in-house editors as to how their work situation is unfolding. It seems as though there is more flexibility or choice of where and how to work these days. I found this CBC article (https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/self-employment-decrease-1.6279658) about recent self-employment trends telling: that while the labour market is making a “comeback,” self-employment is falling and people are looking for more job security.

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