People literally freak out about what size market they work in. While it’s important to create career goals for yourself (that may include working up to a larger market), there are a five things that when working in sync with one another, matter to me infinitely more than the size of the market I’m working in.
1. Is the work environment one where where managers and leaders foster creativity?
In today’s radio climate, with the ever present fear of lawsuits, it can be hard to get management on board with a contest or promotion that may seem risky in their eyes legally. However, are they encouraging of your contribution of ideas? Do they work WITH you to work toward a plan that everyone can agree on?
These factors are key in having a successful radio show and just happiness in general for a field of work that is so highly creative.
2. Is the talent generally appreciated and treated with respect?
Is your PD constantly asking you for favors and then never seemingly appreciative when you deliver? Are u constantly the one who is targeted to host free events? It does not take much to make people feel appreciated and ultimately make them go above and beyond for you. That’s why if you are not getting the simple “thank you’s” and “good jobs” periodically, it can seem like a blatant lack of respect for your time and hard work.
3. Does sales, management, and air staff have a common goal and open communication?
In the short term it may seem like we all have different goals. Sales is out for money, we are out for ratings, and management is out to hopefully facilitate and make sure everything runs smoothly.
But really, we all want the same thing. A great sounding radio station where every one is working together to create the best product possible. If your PD hides information about ratings, or sales refuses to communicate on their end, it can really create an environment where nothing gets done efficiently.
The responsibility falls on each department to clearly communicate with the next.
4. Do you feel supported?
Do you feel like management has your back? If a listener called tomorrow and accused you of farting into the microphone while screaming profanity, would your PD Immediately come to your defense? Or be quick to believe everything the listener said?
The feeling of being supported is absolutely imperative to work at your highest capacity. Everyone makes mistakes, but knowing that your PD is on your side can help you to more seamlessly work through them and avoid them in the future.
5. Are you happy?
Are you making enough money to live comfortably? Do you have a healthy work/life balance? Do you leave work with the sense of a “job well done,”? Do you feel that your are growing and working toward your own personal career goals? Many of these things are all products of the culture created within the radio station.
If your particular situation is lacking any of the things on this list, it’s possible that you are not happy. Which is NOT COOL. It’s hard to work your way up to being on the air in any market. Whether the market be small or large, life is too short to spend it in a place where you are miserable.
If I can answer YES to numbers 1-5 on this list, I could care less about the size of the market I’m working in. And I’m totally cool with the fact that my career journey is different from other people’s. I embrace it. You should too 🙂