(By Gary Berkowitz) Losing your job is right up there with major life losses. Your feelings wander from personal failure to disappointment to plain out worry and panic. The problem radio people have is we love what we do and we love our industry. We probably care “too much” and that’s what makes this so hard. With so many people losing their positions this week, please allow me to share some ideas to help you get through this.
Take some time to “mourn” the loss. In the Jewish religion, we call this “Sitting Shiva.” When a family member passes, friends and family visit to comfort us in the time of loss. Losing your job is a major loss. Allow your friends and family to comfort you. Just don’t let it go on too long, cause you have some work in front of you!
“Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” I first heard that expression from Robert Schuller years ago at a sales seminar. If you know me, you’ve probably heard it at one time or another. It’s true. As hard as this may be, you’ve got to toughen up cause you will get through this (and very likely come out better than before).
Get all of your personal materials in order:
Resume: One page. Never send as a Word file. Always send as a PDF.
Audio: MP3s are much better to send than links. If it’s an aircheck, make sure it is tightly scoped. You will sound better. Make sure your name is on every audio file you send. You’d be amazed how many people do not do this.
Website: If you have one, make sure its current.
References: Current as possible. All should be “professional” references from radio people.
Contact everyone you know. Do not be ashamed that you lost your job. Now you are “available.” Wear it as a badge of honor. Post your availability on all of your personal platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Ask your friends and connections to share your availability. Use all available tools to contact radio stations, consultants, and others who are involved with radio. An old-fashioned phone call will work best, so pick up the phone and start calling. The more calls you make, the better your chances are of getting a reply. Set up a goal of making at least 10 calls a day. The late, great sales guru Bill Burton once told me, “Anybody can delete an email, but not too many people will hang up the phone on you.”
Prepare for some personal sacrifices. Chances are you did not receive a lot of severance. Now you will have to prepare for some time living on your savings or other resources. Hopefully you have them. A few ideas here include:
• Cancel any subscriptions you don’t absolutely need (music, Netflix, etc.) They add up.
• Eat at home. You’ll be able to go again out soon enough.
• Prioritize spending. If you have a family, everybody is going to have to work with you, so don’t be ashamed to let your kids know what’s going on (if they are of age).
Here’s the good news (yes, there is good news). There are a lot of radio stations out there that are not owned by the people who let you go. Many of these stations need people and would love to hear from you, get to know you, and maybe even hire you. So reach out, make a new connection and maybe find that next great job. Remember. “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” Be tough, breathe deep, and good luck!
Gary Berkowitz is President of Detroit-based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, specializing in ratings improvement for AC radio stations: www.garyberk.com. Gary can be reached at (248) 737-3727 or [email protected].