Keep an Open Mind,
Show Up With the Right Skill Set and a Great Attitude
and you too can be gainfully employed

(My latest blog is more career-oriented, aimed at those trying to break into a new field)

The story of how I and many other of my colleagues arrived at where we are has been written about extensively.

The real question is “How do you get those skills if it’s a field completely new to you?”

The answer to that question is as simple or as complex as you want to make it.  The short answer is if you don't happen to have a spare twenty years, don't do it the way I did it!).

In my case, I did it the hard way:  Most of my adult youth was spent working in an industry that would repeatedly try to find ways to discourage me from staying in it!

In the process, however, I not only stuck to it, but diversified and educated myself.  I gained industry experience, collecting knowledge from “hands-on” and other people.

This was also true in my world outside of broadcasting where I’m a musician.  Guitar players are a dime a dozen, but in the mid 1980s, I took up Bass.  I studied and became a fan of some of the world’s most famous and creative bass players like Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius.   It took me a while before I could personally develop any level of skill that would be useful to the typical bar band.  Today, however, I can fit in musically with almost any style of band and do a competent job of holding down the bottom end.

In radio and electronics, I became somewhat of a hardware specialist.  When people happen to see me in the midst of a studio project they wonder how I can keep track of the very large number of cables, connectors, etc.  I tell them it’s nothing more than a giant home stereo or audio-video system.  Each section has specific funtions and if you can understand them individually, putting them all together is pretty simple.   But I didn’t learn the specifics overnight and many were self-taught.

While the demand for my kind of techie specialist (such as myself) probably isn’t as high as a skilled computer guy, what I know can necessarily bring a higher pay assuming there is SOME work out there….because there’s fewer of us.

Spending decades of ones life “playing” in a field and actually get paid for it is fun.
The simpler way to get ones self “in gear” however, is to enroll in one or more of the programs that strike an interest at Specs Howard.  The important thing is to keep an open mind!  What you THINK you may be “good” at or have an interest in, may be different from what you wind up doing.  You may not yet have even discovered what your real passion is, and won’t until you get serious about exploring areas related to your interest. 

Or if you’re like me, the areas you started your career doing are STILL fun (perhaps even preferred).  It may, however, be easier to find work in those “other” related areas.

Good luck!
Bob Burnham

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