On The Beach ... Again!
March 31, 2015
In my 30-plus years in the business, I don't know that I've ever seen as many talented and experienced radio folks out of work at one time. Being one of those, here are some suggestions on how to get through what can be a very stressful and painful time in many peoples lives.
Take a look at your financial picture. What do you have in savings? How long will it last you? Make a detailed list of all the bills you have each month so you know exactly what you'll need and how long it will last. Whether you get a severance package or not, immediately file for unemployment. You've paid into it the entire time you were working, you deserve it and you've earned it. This is no time to be a martyr. How much you qualify to receive will vary from state to state. Don't forget to check the box to have them take the taxes out or you may end up paying a big lump sum at the end of the year!
2) Keep Your Regular Schedule
With all the free time on your hands it's very easy to stay up until 2a watching TV and sleeping until noon. Don't do it! You will only reinforce feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness. It's only a job; it's not your life. If you woke up at 6:30 every morning when you were working, took a shower, got dressed and headed off to the office, keep the same schedule. Dress just like you're going into work and visualize yourself as having the job you want. Fake it to make it! Spend a few hours each day looking for work, making phone calls, sending out resumes, etc. You're doing all you can do, let the rest go and remember every "no" means you're that much closer to a yes.
3) Have A Back-up Plan
Who knows how long it will be until that next radio gig comes along? There are fewer and fewer quality gigs out there and you have to expect the best but plan for the worst. What other careers might be a good fit with the skill sets you've acquired in radio? Public speaking, management, marketing, website development and social media ... all are skills that can help land you a job in another profession, whether it turns out to be temporary or long term.
4) Learn A New Skill
Make the most of the time you have by doing something positive with it. In the past three months I've passed the Florida Core Training online and will take the state Core Competency Test this weekend. After I pass, I will be a licensed healthcare administrator in the State of Florida. I have past experience in another state (due to my last radio downsizing six years ago) and this will give me options. The reality is you may have to learn some new skills outside radio to make yourself viable in today's marketplace.
5) Take Care Of Yourself
It's normal to get down in the dumps now and then when you're faced with rejection and disappointment at every turn. You have to pull yourself out of it. Now is a great time to work on you. Exercise is not only good for your body but also your mind. Force yourself to exercise even if it's only to walk for an hour each day. Make a goal to shed some extra pounds or run in a local 5k down the road. You'll feel better about yourself and right now nothing is more important than your health and well-being. Do simple things that give you enjoyment and help to recharge. Whether it's spending time in nature, volunteering, reading a good book, listening to music, or in my case scuba diving and riding my motorcycle. Force yourself to get out of the house and get your mind on something else or you'll drive yourself nuts!
6) Keep It Positive
Do everything you can to let go of anger, hurt, resentment and any other negative feelings you may have due to your circumstances. These feelings only weaken you and accomplish nothing. When one of those thoughts or feelings hits you, be aware of it and immediately replace it with a positive thought or feeling. Think of all the things in your life you've accomplished and remember that if you did it then, you can do it again! Surround yourself with positive people who will support you. Pray or meditate daily for strength and guidance.