Paying your dues(I.E. trying to move up)

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Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:44 am

Paying your dues(I.E. trying to move up)

Post by ejradio » Mon May 10, 2010 7:10 am

Ok here is the deal, I have been in radio for about 3 years, working in small towns do anything and everything to learn about this buisness that i love. the problem is i was laid off in March and im still on the beach.......I apply to everything that im qualified for and even a few that im not...but willing to learn. yet only hear back from about 15% of those. I have phone interviews and yet i dont hear anything back, when i call in to check up on the interview i get voicemails....this question is for you that have been in for a while as i am not a teenager just out of school, im looking for a station to call home, i dont want or like moving around ever year or so. I LOVE radio and want a career not just a job. How do I market myself better? how do i get that leg in the door in a bigger market? I look at the job posting here on allaccess, and corporate websites and even individual stations in markets across the country...what am I doing wrong?

Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:42 am

Re: Paying your dues(I.E. trying to move up)

Post by winterwest » Tue May 11, 2010 6:51 am

Find an area you want to live that offers the kind of lifestyle you'd love whether in radio or not.

Pretend radio is not a part of your life and get a J-O-B there doing what you know how to do, can be content doing, and that will pay you enough to be content.

Now you're in a position in which you don't need radio.


Find that station where you're now living that really moves you. What would you do differently? What could you bring to the table that will make that station better? Walk in the front door with ideas of your own. Make it clear you'd like to work there, but make it clear as well that you've got a way to support yourself already. This disarms managements ability to lowball you in the door as just a "hungry board-op with a pulse", beat you up on hours and pay and limit your creativity, knowing you'd do anything to keep your gig. Take a shift (if it's offered) that won't interfere with what you do to eat. Offer to take on some production to keep your skills sharp or develop them further. Make yourself a valuable fixture around the station and especially at any promotions the station takes to the street. Get your face out there and be known by those who follow that station. While the position you're putting yourself in my sound like an intern or go-fer, it allows them to know you, know your work, and gain trust in you. I've had a guys resume in front of me, talked with him on the phone at length and had discussed a general offer when he engaged in some rather unprofessional behavior regarding his pending contract with another staffer. That said a lot more to me about who he is than what he can do.

By the way, if this sounds like an "old school" approach to getting your foot in the door somewhere, you're right. It is. Myself and many I know got our first gig this way. Here's the difference. You, with only a couple of years in, are competing with people with way more experience than you have right now that are willing to do anything to get and keep a gig. What's going to set you apart is, again, familiarity. What gives you the security to develop that with a station is not needing the gig to survive.

There's another option. Produce your own show the way you want to, keeping in mind someone is going to have to want to air it. Then approach the station with the show on a barter basis. it's worked out great for me for over ten years now.

Best of luck!

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