We spent the majority of our adult working lives in the educational publishing industry. We have many friends, cherished former colleagues, and individuals that we hold in great esteem who have worked or continue to work in that industry. In the wake of publishing giant Pearson’s recent announcement of 4,000 layoffs, it is difficult not to reminisce and reflect on those experiences and people.
So many of the individuals who embark on publishing careers do so for reasons that are not financially driven, present company included. While we feel fortunate to have enjoyed the successes and commensurate rewards there during our careers, that was not what drew us to those careers and kept us there for decades. We saw the opportunity to positively impact the educational experience of students across the country and around the globe. We relished the interactions with faculty and teachers who were (generally) open to providing us a view into the evolution of scholarship and teaching in their fields. We would not trade the opportunities this field provided us to interact with smart, creative, funny, generous… colleagues and customers that we would put up against any other industry out there. .
Pearson is not alone in facing the types of challenges that forced these cuts and like any industry in transformation, it is hard on both those who have been laid off and those that remain. We hope that the spirit in which these folks entered education, some many years ago and some just recently, is the same spirit that will help them to adapt their passions, talents and experience for the education market that lies ahead.