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Randy Lane

Advice on Finding Your Next Gig

by Randy Lane

Take care of yourself first. Take the time to process what has just happened. Embrace your feelings whether they be shock, hurt and disappointment. Then as best you can release those feelings and let them go. The next stage is likely to be anger. Embrace anger and then let that go as well. Connect with family, friends and business people who support you.  Take a deep breath (ok, several) and remember: this is not the end of your world. If you've worked in radio long enough - you've been here before. You got it through it then.  You'll get through it again."

Take a vacation if you're lucky enough to afford one. If sitting on the real beach just isn't your style then the 1st thing you should do is: see previous. Take your life back before you give it away again. Dont panic! Take a deep breath and spend some time with your family. Take your kids to school; enjoy the gift of time with the people you care about. Then develop a system of looking for a job. This way, you focus on the process without having to worry about the results. Keep track of the calls you make and the interviews you get. That way you can follow up on the interviews."

Prepare an mp3 demo no longer than 5 min and perhaps a one sheet to accompany highlighting successes such as past ratings, web traffic increase, etc. See 4. Future note: Save and archive every show you do. Put together your best moments on the air for a demo. Find your best show or your best two or three hours so youll have a long form aircheck that most programmers will want to hear in addition to your edited demo. Assemble your resume and bio.

Start a blog if you havent already and post your resume, bio and demos. Blog on topical stories. Danny Czekalinski, most recently WRMF West Palm, says, Once you are up and running promote your blog through other avenues in social media. Send a RSS feed to your Facebook page. You can set it up so that when you update your blog your Twitter followers will know there is new content.  Find other blogs that interest you and comment on their content. This will only increase exposure to YOUR blog. Gaining exposure is just like gaining listeners; you can never have too many or too much.

If your last aircheck was on reel to reel OR you dont have anything relevant, create one. If you dont have a home studio, the investment in audio equipment and editing software will pay off. You can buy adobe audition, a decent microphone and USB audio interface (for use with a standard condenser microphone) all for under 500 dollars and be able to execute broadcast quality audio and create a demo worthy of your ability. USB microphones run around 100 to 150 dollars. They are good for podcasting but not for broadcast quality material and will do for demo purposes.

If you use a Mac, you already have the editing software. Pull the songs off your collection or from I-tunes and produce a 3 to 4 minute demo.Show your character NOT just liner card reading. Who should I reach out to right away? I'm kind of lost? Start networking and make connections you have with programmers, managers, corporate people and consultants when you are mentally and emotionally ready. Use social media, email, text and your phone to connect with people. Friends who have left the business (probably because they were sick of being fired) and are living a successful life without radio. It's a good reminder there is more to do outside of radio. As For work: consultants always know who's looking and for what.

Heres a link to 30 sites you can mine for broadcast job opportunities:
http://journalismdegree.org/2011/top-30-job-sites-for-careers-in-broadcast-journalism/

Know that you are a personality brand. Define your brandwhat do you stand for? What are you known for? Target jobs that play to your strengths. Be creative with your package and make it stand out. Create a business card and attend industry conventions. Create a website that contains a few demo samples, any press and include information that highlights your successes such as ratings, web traffic and sales/client satisfaction. Send a link to any and all PD's with a quick note to check it out. A digital resume of sorts. Keep it simple. Keep it real. PD's are busy so a quick n easy with a link to your site will stand out.
 
You need stories that illustrate your career successes. What is it that you can offer that others can't? Do whatever it takes. Which is worse: Working really hard at a number of different jobs or not being able to pay your bills? Remember, the job you get today is not necessarily the job you will have forever. Take care of yourself and your family first. Use future based language (yes, positive thinking). Imagine yourself already getting the job youve always wanted. How does it feel? 

Looking for a job IS your job, pick up the phone, and go to work. Next to dealing with the death of a spouse, child or parent, the fourth most emotional thing we do is look for a job. According to an on line poll, almost 70 percent of people only do two things when they look for a job: They either call their friends or look on the Internet. Increase your odds. Mine your social media, LinkedIn, Facebook, past employers, co-workers past and present.

You will land a job if you are a highly defined character; you have a reputation as a team player who can contribute content that connects with listeners. You will increase your chances of landing a new job if you have additional skills beyond your abilities on air. Experience in production, music, research, promotion and marketing will increase your chances of gaining employment.

First and foremost you must possess a gut instinct for what makes for compelling content. You need to know news and pop culture inside and out! After that, in no particular order: digital editing, social media management, booking A-level guests, write copy, manage talent, solid editorial skills (selecting news worthy and relevant issues that fit your brand and appeal to your demo) strong call producing skills. And knowledge of adobe editing, prophet, and how to run a board are sure ways to lead the pack ahead of the average producer who just books guests and screens calls... The list goes on and on these days. The question should be: what skills don't I need.

Take this gift of time to read everything you can about improving your ability to guide and interact with people.
Being skilled in multiple areas makes you more indispensible.

Email randy@randylane.net Read more at his website
Like to The Randy Lane Company on Facebook facebook.com/TheRandyLaneCompany
Follow Randy Lane on Twitter www.twitter.com/TheRandyLaneCo




(10/24/2013 2:10:52 AM)
X3GJXH Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article post.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

- NY
(10/31/2011 7:20:49 PM)
This is insanely helpful. Thank you, Randy.

I did some of these things (demo reels, highlights, branding) for my TV work and (stupidly) didn't think how it could translate to radio (nobody said I wasn't an idiot).

Seriously though, your tips gave me a bunch of actionable things to take and work on from my radio stuff. Very, very cool - thank you!

- @BobbyDeMuro
(10/31/2011 8:01:19 AM)
Randy, This is helpful and useful and I hope that many people will find your excellent article to be their guideline during what's been a difficult week in radio. I just tweeted this link - Sincerely,
Valerie Geller
Geller Media International -
Author: "Beyond Powerful Radio-A Communicator's Guide to the Internet Age"

- Valerie Geller

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