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Anita Bruzzese: How a Journalist Brought "Workplace Issues" to the Public Consciousness

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Anita Bruzzese

Anita Bruzzese is a nationally syndicated columnist on workplace-related issues and an award-winning journalist. She's also a thought-leader and pioneer in transforming the way the mainstream media approached journalism in the new digital age, as an early adopter of blogging platforms. In 1992, she pitched an idea for a syndicated news column on workplace issues. Her editors thought she was "nuts." They quickly changed their minds when reader response spiked. Readers couldn't believe that they too were going through similar experiences Anita reported on.

As a writer for more than a decade, she's uncovered workplace-related issues often gone unreported by major media outlets. Her work in this field has uncovered numerous issues the general public was unaware of.

In addition to being an award-winning writer, she's also frequently quoted in publications including but not limited to: WashingtonPost.com, USAToday.com and CareerBuilder.com.

Q: What provoked your passion to become a workplace advice expert?

A: I started out as a newspaper reporter covering different beats like crime, city councils, district courts, etc. But the one thing they all had in common was that everyone had a story to tell. It was something different every day. When I moved into magazines, an editor approached me about covering employee benefits….and that morphed into covering workplace issues. What I still love the most is that everyone has a story to tell, and I feel so lucky to get to talk to so many interesting people on a daily basis. I never know what I’m going to learn when I wake up in the morning, but it’s always something!

Q: What is your deepest concern for employees in the new economy?

A: My deepest concern is that people are treated as commodities. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if they’re loyal, hard-working employees who do their best every day. They may for one reason or another be laid off, simply because someone higher up the food chain made a business decision. That’s why I hope that everyone learned a very valuable lesson during the economic downturn and realize how vigilant they must be in growing their careers and always being on the lookout for new opportunities. No one should ever grow complacent in a job.

Q: Many have claimed the death of the mainstream media and print journalism. What is your take on this and how do you think journalism will continue to evolve?

A: When blogging and online reporting by “untrained” writers exploded years ago, everyone was saying “Why do we need journalists? We can do this ourselves!” Then, many people realized how demanding it is to write every day, to report accurately, to make the right ethical decisions. Journalists are trained in those issues for many years, and take it very seriously. That’s not to say journalists don’t make mistakes, because we certainly do! But I think that people want reporters and editors who have been trained to find the truth and report it impartially. There always will be a demand for that, I believe. I think print journalism will survive in some form because some people will always want to hold The New York Times in their hands, for example. But I think we’ll see a mix of online and print that will give the audience a richer – and more customized – experience.

Q: Any career advice for journalists, authors and content creators?

A: Don’t isolate yourself. You may think of yourself as a writer who doesn’t have time for an accounting class or a stint in the advertising department. But as a writer you must always be aware of the bigger picture, and that means understanding what’s important to other people and what will drive the success of your organization.

Q: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment thus far and why?

A: Professionally, I think it was being one of the first journalists to write about career and workplace issues. It was so gratifying to receive letters from people who said that the information I provided really made their lives better at work – and I still get that kind of feedback. It never gets old!

Q: Any exciting plans for the future?

A: Well, besides painting my kitchen…I am starting to teach myself more about tech issues, because I find it fascinating how that affects our everyday work lives.

Q: What do you think has been the biggest contributing factor to your success?

A: I know it sounds corny, but I’ve always worked hard. I’ve never missed a deadline, I help people out when I can and I give 100% to whatever I’m doing. I think people appreciate that and reward you with opportunities. And, if they don’t, I still feel good about what I’ve done every day.

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