Q: I have been working at a mid-sized daily for a year now, and applied for an open position covering the state house about two months ago. Just last week, I got a call from the state house bureau chief congratulating me for getting the job. The main editor in chief hadn't said anything to me yet, and I've been waiting for him to talk to me or email the newsroom, but nothing has happened. The political editor and the bureau chief both say I have the job, but I think the editor is still deciding.
Believe it or not, this is the second time this has happened. The last time I was told I had the job by the political editor and the editor gave it to someone else.
What in heavens name do I do?
Waiting for the word
A: Don't you love the communication industry?
I would go to my immediate editor and pose the question: "People tell me I have the job, but I have seen no announcement and the top editor hasn't said anything. Do I really have this job?"
Do it at the next opportunity. If this is out on the grapevine, you certainly ought to be informed -- officially. It could well be that you have the job but that the process of informing you is taking way too long.
And when you're a high-ranking editor? Don't do things this way.
Here is the order of events when a job is offered internally, and it should happen pretty quickly so that news doesn't leak out in inappropriate ways:
- The editors decide
- One tells the current supervisor if he or she was not in on the decision.
- Assistant editors are told.
- An editor tells the person who gets the job.
- Unsuccessful internal candidates are told individually.
- The newsroom is told collectively.
- Unsuccessful external candidates are told.
- We post the new opening and start over again.