Life On The Beach
June 18, 2013
The employment expectancy of the average air personality is similar to a member of the House of Representatives – two years at a minimum; akin to a Senator, six years would be a luxury. Like a politician, there is potentially a lot of time in between gigs. "On the Beach" is the term most used these days for unemployed jocks and like we learned from the prison movie Shawshank Redemption, there are good and bad ways to spend these unfortunate times.
I did all sorts of things when I was an unemployed jock; applying for other on-air positions can take up only so much time. The most important thing not to do is to act impulsively and spend money you do not have. This subject is on my mind because I have a client who is recently out of a radio job, but fortunately employed as a cab driver until he can get back behind a mic again. This week out of nowhere, he tells me he is moving to Atlanta because there's a lot happening there. We had a conversation.
Coach: Do you know anyone there? What's the plan? Have you saved some money? You are separated right now, and you have a five-year-old daughter, how is that going to work?
Client: You are saying some negative things, I need to think positive.
Coach: Negative? These things are real. Just last week you canceled a session with me because your daughter had fallen and hurt her knee. And you are telling me you have not thought about her or how all this is going to work out between you and your wife? I know you are trying to get back together with her, how's this sudden move going to go over? Did you not learn anything from the time you impulsively took a jock job in Los Angeles and let your friends visit and screw up your life by convincing you to use your credit and buy a small recording studio that was a bust and indirectly cost you your job?
You have been working on a plan and you need to stick to it. There are no guarantees, but up and moving to Atlanta sounds like a guarantee for not succeeding.
Client: I see where you are coming from; guess I just got anxious and thought I could make something happen just by moving.
Coach: Your frustrations are understandable, but let's get back on track by putting you in a position to get hired by another station.
Here are a few things you might want to do while you are unemployed:
- Continue to file for unemployment until you can find something. The average length of time for finding another jock job is a little longer than it once was -- three months to a year or more. If your unemployment is about to run out, find a regular job until you get another job on the air. If you just became unemployed file for unemployment even if there is a severance package.
- To keep your voice and on-air act in shape, use the audio editing software on your computer to make a daily aircheck/demos. If you need software, download Audacity -- it's free. Another option is the free version of Live 365 to do an Internet radio show. There is also the free version of Blog Talk Radio ... Google it. Need a mic? I recommend the "Blue Yeti;" you'll find the best price on line at Amazon.
- Use social media to stay connected with others in the business.
- Get into a routine while you are on unemployment looking for a job. Try planning out your days; breakfast, phone calls, e-mail, the gym, picking up the kids from school, etc.
- Stay current; keep up with the news, new music, and all social trends. In fact while doing your daily aircheck or show, use what you find in your show prep.
In summary, the most important thing while "On the Beach" -- don't get discouraged, keep applying because it only takes one person to say yes.