For most of the staff at Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome, Thursday will be the last day at work.
But over bagels and coffee Wednesday morning or a drink Wednesday evening, they might meet their next employer. From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thunderdome’s hosting an informal networking event in New York to help connect their journalists with new jobs. The event will also feature a space to engage in an online chat with the 12 staff members located around the country.
Mandy Jenkins, Thunderdome’s managing editor, said in a phone interview with Poynter that most of the major media organizations in New York will have someone at the event.
For Jenkins, who worked at the now-defunct TBD, this is her second time to be laid off.
“I have never seen people in such good spirits when they’re being laid off,” she said.
Those people could work at home, but most come into the office every day, on time, she said, and keep working. They’ve also worked with each other, editing resumes, practicing interviews and sharing connections.
On Tuesday, Thunderdome reporter Meg Wagner wrote about what it was like, at 22, to be laid-off her first job. Wagner ended her story with this:
After all of this, I have no room to complain about being laid off or being “unemployed.” Last Wednesday — exactly one week after getting my official termination letter — I accepted a job with the New York Daily News. I start Tuesday.
In my first year post-grad, I’ve gone from barely paid intern to landing my dream first job to watching that job crumble to getting a pretty stellar second job.
Jenkins thought that the attitudes and approaches she sees from Thunderdome staff says something about the people they hired. Yes, those people needed digital skills, but they also had to be problem-solvers.
“I think because of that versatility, they are able to handle this obstacle,” she said, “just as much as they handle anything else they’d have to handle in their jobs.”
box of champagne in the Thunderdome fridge. pic.twitter.com/LLGuvO4ssi
— Patrick Hogan (@phogan) April 3, 2014