From TJ magazine: Cook Looks

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Written by Jo Cook on 12 December 2019 in Features

As Jo Cook steps down as deputy editor, she reflects on her time as part of the TJ team.

Reading time: 2 minutes 30 seconds

I have decided, sadly, to stepdown from being TJ’s deputy editor. It’s for a good reason, though; my own business is growing and I need to concentrate my time there.

In the three years I’ve been deputy editor I’ve written more than 18,500 words on this column and over 25,000 words on other articles. I’ve learned so much from my research, and that my column should come from the heart.

Along with editor, Jon Kennard, I’ve enjoyed chatting on over 30 podcasts and more than 70 interviews, webinar teasers and conference round-ups.

Working with Debbie and Jon has been a masterclass in so many things – from social media strategy to tenacity in hard times 

Most of you know that webinars and virtual classrooms are the main focus of my business, so it won’t surprise you that I’ve hosted 56 live video discussion webinars for TJ, with over 150 speakers, and I’ve read more than 10,000 messages from busy chat panels!

It’s been awesome to learn from so many people who have expertise in their field and I hope I asked the right questions so that you learned too.

I’ve been hugely appreciative of attending conferences on behalf of TJ. I’ve live-broadcasted a number of Periscope videos, with about 2,000 views! I’ve certainly developed the ability to think on my feet.

Speaking of feet, I also have the dubious stat of one broken ankle I incurred at TJ towers while with a colleague, and Brian at head office still gets teased about it.

I’m not even going to try to calculate how many YouTube videos or tweets I’ve done for TJ. While data should be a large part of L&D, so should reflection.

It was a huge honour to know that editor-in-chief, Debbie Carter, saw something in me that she wanted to work with, and would be a fit for TJ and the L&D industry as a whole.

I often joked that I was the “mouth of TJ”, which I meant affectionately. I was more than happy to speak at events, and have deep and meaningful conversations with people about a topic and an industry I adore.

Mind you, presenting my first TJ Award in front of 500 of my peers was scary – it took a little pep talk from Donald H Taylor to get me on the stage!

I’ve worked closely with Jon since he started as editor in early 2017. Jon was the second breath of fresh air that was needed for TJ to go from strength to strength with what we offered our readers, and now listeners and viewers.

Working with Debbie and Jon has been a masterclass in so many things – from social media strategy to tenacity in hard times.

All relationships have moments of disagreement and it wouldn’t be life if we didn’t annoy each other at times. But I think of Jon as the older brother I never had, and Debbie as the combination of a second mum and good friend. You can’t ask for more than that really, can you?


About the author

Jo Cook is director of Lightbulb Moment. Jo will continue with her TJ column and still co-host the monthly TJ podcast.




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