What advice would you give to someone who’s ready to graduate and who wants a job in broadcasting?
What advice would you give to someone who has been “downsized” out of a media job and is looking for another gig?
It appears that today’s jobs in media require many skills, long hours, low compensation, few opportunities for growth and little appreciation for a job well done. The rewards, such as they are, include being laid off once you reach a comfortable income level because you’re too high-priced.
So if good work is seldom appreciated and seldom rewarded, and if making a good wage often leads to being laid off, the business is actually based upon a dis-incentive to do excellent work.
In today’s education system, most colleges and universities still give grades, and the incentive to get good grades can include scholarships. So the kids who think they’re ready to enter the media job market face a major reality check.
And speaking of reality checks, how’s this one? I got a phone call from a woman who had been cut from her radio job and was in tears because, in her words, there was no other job she could do.
This, of course, was not true, but it was in her mind, so that was her reality. The job she ended up taking was in a slightly different form of the radio business. But the truth remains.
The mindset of the job applicant/holder is that person’s most important attribute.
So many people are stuck in miserable media jobs because they think that’s the best they can do. Heaven forbid they should even think about a job in another field.
But all those skills one needs for a job in media today can easily translate into valuable skills in other lines of work, and I know a large number of former media people who took jobs outside of the business and never looked back. They are more secure, often make more money, work shorter hours, have time for a family/social life, and see a future for themselves.
How many media people can say all that about their jobs today?
So that advice for the folks mentioned above – I’d make sure the students were completely prepared for the realities they’ll encounter and if they’re still interested in media jobs, I’d encourage them to go for it, although I’m not sure many of the smart ones would.
As for the people who have been laid off from the media, I’d advise them to run as far away from the business as possible. They’ve suffered enough. My guess is they’d be very surprised at how good life outside the media can be.