Wednesday, October 26, 2011

5 Things You Can Do Right Away (If You Were 'Budgeted Out')

Wow, is it getting crowded out here.  Another round of 'reduction-in-force' going on a the biggest radio groups has hundreds of pros on the well-populated radio beach.  If this has happened to you, I'm truly sorry you're having to go through all of this.  Been there and done that and I hope you'll allow me to share some things you might want to consider in the short term.

THE BIG CHILL... Take a couple of days or a week (or a month) to clear your head before you reboot.  It's a good opportunity to recharge your batteries, enjoy some family time, maybe (to quote Bob Seger) get out of Denver for several days.  It's a lot easier to re-energize once you've let the emotion and the noise of these events die down.  It may even be a case of evaluating whether you want to stay in radio at all...many have said 'adios' and some stubborn goofs Iike me (as evidenced on my first blog post) after I found myself in your position.  It may be time to seriously consider professionally re-inventing yourself.

HOW IS YOUR PACKAGE LOOKING?  When is the last time you updated your resume?  Is it simple black & white text or is it different, something that will set you apart from the crowd?  It's a pain for some to send aircheck files in email, so why not create a personal YouTube page and post your audio there vs. clogging the inboxes of those who hire?  Think whether your presentation looks like most others or stands out.  Your package represents YOU...make it cook, sizzle and rock the house.  And, be persistent...a squeaky wheel. 

NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK...  Reach out to everyone you know and let them know you're available, especially your mentors. It may sound silly to ask, but are you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Googie+?  It might make sense to create a separate 'fan page' for you, the radio guy who's looking, and there are ways to dress them up (and for free, as with Pagemodo or Wildfire) so you can be more than average or ordinary.  An even better question might be, "are you on any social network(s)"?  If you aren't today, you might want to get going so you're not irelevant tomorrow.  There are tons of websites that can help (like Mashable or the Facebook page Social Networking For Radio Stations).  Remember back in the day, when we had to record airchecks on cassette, UPS or FedEx them, etc. and please keep in mind that social networking involves one cost:  your time.  Use these great (and mostly free) tools to spread the word and present yourself and, most importantly, to build and cultivate relationships.  You always hear about engaging with your audience; engage with your network, as well.  Avoid posting just shill about you looking for a gig and focus on sharing thought-provoking items. Those doing the hiring are there- are you?

STAY MOTIVATED BY STAYING PLUGGED-IN... Keep in touch with what's going on in our industry.  Sign-up for the daily emails on important websites like, Jacobs Media,, and (among others).  To widen your perspective, subscribe to free blogs or Twitter feeds from thinking people like Mark Ramsey Media, Chris Brogan, Eric Rhoads, Social Media Insider, Brand Channel, Triton Digital and more. You'll be asked about a lot of the things they discuss and present on these pages and now that you have some extra time, take advantage of it.

KEEP BUSY... Take up a new hobby, get more involved in your church, take some college classes, use this time to do more with your family, start a new workout routine or volunteer your time (because giving your time to others will help keep you positive).  Knock out some of those home projects you've been putting off.  Think about having a yard sale (in case you end up moving, plus the dough will come in handy). Feeling sorry for yourself day after day will get you nowhere.  You actually should grieve some- losing a job is one of the most stressful things you'll ever go through but please don't drown in your grief. Until you land your next job, you'll have good days and you will have bad days.  You'll go days and maybe weeks without getting any action... that's just the way it is these days. 

One think I know for sure is I don't have all the answers but maybe something in this piece will serve as some decent thought starter sor you..

If you still love being in radio, keep the faith, hang in and please remember these words from the late Jim Valvano:  don't give up, never give up.

Thanks and, more than ever...KEEP ROCKIN'!
502.222.3600, 502.310.9474


  1. Sorry to hear that, Michelle. Good luck on your job search! ~JJ

  2. JJ - most radio folks can start a podcast for little to no monetary investment - and start exploring the new media landscape. If nothing else - it keeps the performing skills honed and technical skills (audio editing, internet, etc...) sharp and gives you something extra to add to the resume. Sure, you can't play licensed music so DJ stuff is out - but a 30 minute weekly talk show on a hobby could turn into a great new venture.