Radio: A Career Like The Pinball
June 3, 2014
The pinball gets shot up the ramp, and immediately it begins hitting bumpers, sliding through obstacles and racking up points. This is like the radio career taking off and riding high for a time, heading for an all-time high score, but then just as it seems likely that you may get an extra ball or perhaps, a free game, everything stalls.
The GM, OM or PD call you into their office and let you know that "they're moving in a different direction and there's just not a place for you in their future plans."
Inside, you begin to sink, as if the chair you're in is a bean bag; with no arms to rest upon or to help you, as you attempt to stand.
Momentary Lapse of Reason
That's the part of the pinball game where the metal ball gets stuck in a hole, and time seems to tick by with nothing going on. Being impatient at this time, can create anger resulting in the sudden movement of the whole machine, resulting in a TILT, which voids everything you worked for up until that moment.
Patience during this downtime, however, allows you to think things through ... where you've been and where you will go, what you really want in life ... then all of a sudden, options come, and maybe you were a jock in the last job, but now, there's a promotions director opening, and you think about it.
Just then, the ball, which seemed to lie dormant in that hole, pops out, and using a little flipper that sat strategically near that hole. You press the side button kicking the ball higher into the machine, and now, in the new role of promotions director, you begin racking up more points and all of a sudden, your career, is back on track.
If It Seems Too Good to Be True, It Is
And just as it all seems too good to be true, the metal ball comes down the main lane towards the two flippers, and the right flipper is too far to nudge the ball to the left, and the left flipper is just shy of having an ability to nudge the ball to the right and the ball gets past them both.
The good news is you've only used one ball, as there are two left. It's as if you've switched from being a jock to being a promotions director, to now working in production, and you're ready to pull the spindle back and send the new ball flying for an opportunity to rack up some points in a not yet familiar arena.
The point is this: No matter what position you're in, be the ball. And when that ball isn't getting the job done, move on to the next ball, as long as you still have one in waiting, or have racked up enough points to get an extra one in one of your previous positions.
The Ball In Your Court Is You
And know when technology has advanced you beyond the past positions, you don't get stuck in a rut you can never pop out of. Keep learning in everything you do, in all the positions offered, so that when the day comes when the metal ball itself has been replaced by video and graphics, you don't have to sit in the corner of a bar, wishing someone would take interest in you like they did in the good ol' days.
Be the ball ... until it's no longer cool to be the ball, then be the next thing that's cool, but never ... ever, lose YOU in the process.