Diabetes-Focused Careers

IF I didn't love my job and career so much, I might consider moving into the public relations field from journalism.

(Gasp. Jaws dropping. Eyes bulging.)

We won't digress into the debate that is Journalism v. PR (i.e. The Force V. The Dark Side), but know that this transition (er, "selling out") something that comes to any reporter's mind at least a handful of times in their career. Moreso, when one works at a daily newspaper that nowadays is likely struggling in this current newspaper industry. But, I work for the remarkable Indiana Lawyer and Indianapolis Business Journal, which is doing stellar and gives me a place I'd be hard pressed to want to leave. Four years and running, and still love it dearly. (Read: My editor, co-workers, and company RULES!)

But, if that time ever did come, it would most likely only ever be for something Diabetes-Related. Aside from handicap or some other unforseen happening, that's likely the only reason. Which makes it more difficult lately, as I strive to beef up and do more D-Advocacy and find myself confronting more time-management challenges in juggling my regular work duties with those of the D-World, not to mention regular blogging, Twittering, and anything Outside of Diabetes that may be a part of life. Paying the bills is important (not to mention being able to afford the D-supplies), so that does help dictate a decision. And sleep can be sacrificed some these days.

Anyhow. Taking on more of an advocate role in recent months - from the JDRF Indiana to JDRF Advocacy and other ventures, including active participation in the Diabetes Online Community - I got to thinking about attending D-Conferences. The list isn't much, and most aren't in the Indianapolis or even this area.

Of course, this made me reflect on the historic Roche Diabetes Blogging Summit that happened in July 2009 here in Indianapolis. I'd missed it, and most recently that really bummed me out. So many of my fellow D-O-C chums, those who've been doing this so much longer and so incredibly better as I have, attended this event here in town last summer. Why did I miss out? I thought it was because I wasn't yet as active in the Twitter-verse and DOC, but as it turns out, there was another reason - that was our annual camping trip. See, every year in the last or near last week of July, we travel to northern Michigan with a group of friends from college and have a blast. It's our one annual week-long vacation, and as the years pass here in Indy, it's becoming one of the few times each year we see those good friends. Last year, it overlapped with the summit here and that's where my priorities are at.

Still, I do regret not being able to attend and also meet up with so many, like George, Kerri, Manny, Amy, AllisonKelly, CrystalLee Ann, Scott J and Scott S, Gina, RivaCristel MChris from Diabetic Rockstar... And so on. Seriously, I greatly respect and look up to them and really really missed out on a chance, one less than 20 miles from my home. That really sucks. Since it's so close and we write about them so much, I probably could have pretty easily snagged an invite to this gig. But, alas, it didn't happen. I hope there's a chance before long to get to an event like this again. And that more companies take the lead. (C'mon Lilly, you know you want to... Bueller, Bueller...)

Anyhow, in researching lately whether there'd be another of these Roche events where they'd fly people in on the company dime, I came across this PharmiWeb.com ad for a Diabetes Care Public Relations Manager at Roche. Mainly, it lists the primary duty as leading the strategic PR development and management of communications in Diabetes Care. It's appealing, I really have to admit. Found it interesting, and one that really made me think about my future and what I want to be doing with my life, especially as D-Advocacy takes a more significant role in what I'm doing. Of course, then with Roche there's the whole storyline that the D-Biz suffered in 2009 and they're turning away from the D-Device market (as reported in the IBJ), and having to spin and deal with that just isn't a pleasant thought for anyone. I wonder how it would be doing that for Lilly, or any other company?

How would it be to not only be on the other side of journalism, but also on the other side of just being a patient and dealing with the end-result of the system? That would be like the Twilight Zone, in a way.

Honestly, I'm not qualified for this position and don't have what it would take to be this type of PR Manager for a company like Roche, but it does make me think about lower-ladder spots that could be of interest - if I had any interest in leaving where I'm at, which I don't. (Hint, boss: If you get a glimpse at this, please read "I Love My Job And You RULE.")

Aside from Roche, there are other jobs out there that offer real-money career opportunities for those wanting to enter that world. For example, there's spots like this Editorial Production Manager for the American Diabetes Association. Or these career opps with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

It makes you wonder what working in one of these roles might entail. I've thought about that before, reflecting upon those who work in some capacity at D-Life. Or even those who work as sales reps for pump companies or blood test meter makers... Must be interesting merging those two parts of life. Makes you think. As someone who's now at 31, at the 26-year mark of Living With the D, and is bringing in his half of the bacon from a reporter's salary, it makes you think about what the future holds.....

No. I've decided. Reporting is where I should be and continue to operate, and despite my advocacy, I'll do best by watching and keeping in touch with the PR Folks at these all-important companies and organizations that mean so much in the lives of diabetics. That's where Advocacy comes in, and separates itself from Employment.


Cara said…
I've thought about leaving my job to work for a diabetes related company many times. But any job I find isn't something I'm trained for. My degree's in education and I work in social work. Leaving me with very few options in the PR and/or marketing area. No experience = no job. Sigh.
Mark Harmel said…
This is not the type of comment you want, but it may lead to the ones that you would welcome. It's very hard to read your post with the white type on a black background. Many of your readers will have vision issues as well. Play with your design to help your readers see your words.
Anonymous said…
Thanks, Mark. I appreciate the feedback. I haven't been all to happy with Blogger, and am considering switching over to Wordpress where there's more layout and design options... In the meantime, I'll switch it up here to be easier on the eyes. Appreciated.
Anonymous said…
Regarding the comment about the white text on the black background, I have had several lasers on my eyes. This is so much easier for me to see than the blue or light gray text that so many web sites use. The old-fashioned black text on a gray background might be something to try.

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