“I Get to Breathe Again” | Former Photojournalist Rich Glickstein on Becoming a Social Worker
Rich Glickstein has an amazing story of transformation to tell. I had the privilige of having him as a guest on my podcast to talk about how he went from taking pictures for The State newspaper in South Carolina for 10 years to a new career as a social worker.
Here’s three things that I learned about life after journalism from talking to him.
- Take action on yourself before others take action on you. The media industry has been through seismic changes, especially the newspaper industry. Rich saw layoffs and buyouts happening at his newspaper. What did he do? He could have put his head in the sand and prayed that he would be spared. Instead, he actually asked for a buyout (and was rejected) and then eventually decided to leave on his own. He saw what was happening around him and made a choice for himself, before someone else made it for him.
- What you choose to do next doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Once Rich decided he wanted to go to school to become a social worker, he started taking classes while still working at the newspaper. Yup, he went part-time for three years before he decided to pursue his studies full-time. If you think you have to jump cold turkey from one career to the next, take a lesson from Rich and see how you can plot out a gradual transition.
- Things may be different, but not all is lost. If you’re afraid of giving up journalism for something new, know that you will always carry that experience with you and it can seep into your new career in a positive way. When Rich does an intake session with a new client, as he gets to know them he always asks one final question: “Is there anything else that you think I should know about you that we haven’t discussed?” It’s a classic journalist question that is asked at the end, to get a subject talking in a freeform way, which would often yield the best insight or quote for a story. Rich asks this old journalism question in his new career, “and I tell them the origin of it too.”