I’m going through one of these phases where I’m re-inventing my life, something I haven’t done since I was in my 20s, so I’m a little out of “practice.” One is not always in control of where life is headed, and at my age, in some ways you would think it would be easier, but the reality is it’s NOT as easy. To a degree, there are financial pressures that didn’t exist when I was younger.
Actually, I once applied for work at a station in Howell, Michigan, when I was still in my 20s and in my last days as Production Director at WAAM. They even said I was “over qualified” back then. The reality is they were familiar with my background and felt they couldn’t afford me. They never say things like this, but I’m certain that was the reason.
Usually, you’ll get automatically rejected without being considered. That also happened to me at larger radio stations, too. The fact is back then, if they had given me a “shot” at whatever they could afford to pay me, I would have taken their station to a new level of performance.
Luckily, there have been many people who HAVE given me a “shot” since then and I turned it into a long-term deal, which I felt was mutually beneficial. Jack Bailey, then General Manager of WCAR said “If I find someone who is better qualified that you, would you mind if I laid you off and hired them instead?”
That seems kind of unfair, but to an extent, I appreciated that brutually honest question. The fact was, I gave him ten years of my best efforts as Chief Engineer and I was in fact, the best choice for that job.
In fact was still there after he resigned. The fact was after a couple years, I had won the guy over with my loyalty.
I BEGAN IN THIS BUSINESS OF RADIO during a simpler time.
By then I had experimented a lot on my own and had learned what I felt I needed to finally get paid. At first, I didn’t care what I got paid as long as it was something.
Sometimes it was tough, but mostly it was fun.
I taught myself almost everything. That doesn’t work for everyone, but it does for me. Eventually you accumulate enough knowledge that you can command a higher “price” for your presence.
Usually, some form of educational certification documents the knowledge you supposedly have. I chose to be different. While I did graduate from high school, I later developed a track record of years of industry experience. I had a practical hands-on approach, and it became my career. It doesn’t work for everyone and maybe it prevented me from applying for certain jobs, but I decided I didn’t want those kind of jobs anyway. Or perhaps I was just young and foolish, but I was working full time in broadcasting, so what did it matter!?
What I had studied and established on my own would be my long-term career savior though.
So what’s next? Your guess is as good as mine. The specifics are still “in development.”
Stay tuned… for the future!