The Conservative government has introduced some controversial changes to the Employment Insurance program. The changes include ‘encouraging’ recipients to take jobs that are either outside of their field, at a significantly lower pay rate or further away from your home.
Frank Appleyard is an Ottawa-based writer recently let go by the National Post. Facing a tough job search, Mr. Appleyard penned this essay for Thought Out Loud, advocating the importance of following one’s heart rather than one’s wallet in one’s career:
I was a part of the furniture at the student newspaper at my university, writing and editing at all hours of the day, practicing and learning, making mistakes and swearing to never repeat them. Repeating them. Along the way I seized every opportunity that was even the smallest of steps toward this career. In journalism classes I endlessly studied and dissected the wordplay of the best scribes in the business. I wrote, I re-wrote, I interviewed, and I edited. A lot.
All this in the name of wanting — some days maybe even needing — to enter the world occupied by the ink-stained wretches. All this to be one of them. And if this quest sounds narrow-sighted and obsessive, that’s only because it was. I never looked at journalism in the same way people look at doorknobs or refrigerators, as objects to be made and then sold. No: it was a world I aspired to belong to, and more – a mountain to be conquered. Then, a year ago, I was offered my seat at the table.
I had arrived, and although it might not have been the best job in the industry, I walked into the office every day loving what I did. I was a journalist, and little else mattered. I’d scaled this mountain, and left my ink-stained handprints on the peak.
I haven’t yet formed an opinion on the proposed EI changes, and I don’t think Mr. Appleyard’s outlook is appropriate for everyone, but I think one thing is certain; Frank can write. Not everyone is prepared to value passion over a paycheque, but he just might be.
Naturally, I wish him the best of luck.