You've Been Fired! Four Things to Do Now!

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So you’ve just been notified that your position is being eliminated. The company is going in a different direction. The company is undertaking a reduction in force. No matter what they call it, you’re out of a job. Here are four things to do right now.

First, Don’t Take It Personally.

There is no getting around the fact that it hurts. You may even be in shock. You’re confused and scared about the future. You don’t have much money saved up, and you’re worried. You must get control of your feelings and stay focused on moving on to your next opportunity. Yes, opportunity. Regardless of how you feel right now, this is the beginning of a brand new chapter in your life that promises better days to come, but only if you keep your wits about you, make a plan and move forward professionally.

You cannot take this personally. There is nothing wrong with the Radio business. There is plenty wrong with the way some of the big companies are trying to run the Radio business. Don’t let their problems shape your personal image of yourself. Now is the time to be clear-headed in your self-assessment. You are a good person and you have a lot of good to offer your next employer. It is my opinion that the work ethic required in most radio stations today far exceeds the work ethic needed to be successful in other fields of endeavor. So you know how to work and you know how to work hard. Put that down as your first and most valuable asset. You can do just about anything anyone asks of you.

I’ve been fired before, several times to be sure. Every time I was let go from one position, I ended up in a much better position that led to better opportunities and more money. I have never moved backward in my career path despite having been fired from the previous position.

Second, Buy a Copy of What Color Is Your Parachute.

In the 1980s, I came off a series of very successful business ventures. I had built two media companies from scratch and sold them for large profits.  These were family-based companies and with corporate media and consolidation on the horizon, I wanted to find a place in corporate Radio. At the time I had no idea what corporate Radio would turn into. For many prospective employers, I was perceived as too entrepreneurial. They were afraid I wouldn’t fit in working for a “boss” since I had been running my own show for ten years. It was quite frustrating.

But then my mother introduced me to a book called What Color is Your Parachute and it completely and thoroughly changed my life forever. The book is advertised as a practical manual for job-hunters and career-changers. But I feel it can do so much more for you. The book has become such a success that it has been republished year after year to keep up with the changing job market. The book has even spawned versions for teenagers, college students, and retirees.

Before you do anything else, order your copy right now.

After being let go, it is only natural to question your value, your self-worth. Stop that right now. You are more valuable than you know and What Color is Your Parachute will help you recognize your true value and help you repackage yourself to be the most desirable new hire any company would want to hire.

I can tell you that the book changed my life for the better. No question about it. Buy a copy right now.

Third, Don’t Think of Yourself Only as a Broadcaster.

If you have been in Radio for any length of time, you have developed the skill of public speaking. You can go before a crowd, stand and deliver. This one skill qualifies you for so many other things besides just a Radio job. You are probably more courageous than you give yourself credit. There is life after a career in the Radio business.

My good friend John Speer in Wichita Kansas spent his whole life in Radio. When the end of his Radio career arrived, he became a school teacher and even the mayor of Kechi Kansas! He told me recently he has never been happier. Who would have thought? I know many fine people who left the Radio business only to go on to a second and more rewarding career.

Another friend and coworker left Radio and started a home health care agency. He recently told me the billings from his agency rival those of a radio cluster in a small to medium-sized market. He’s doing quite well thank you very much.

After 30+ years in Radio, another friend went back to the insurance business, essentially starting over from scratch, only to build up his agency into a substantial business. He recently sold his agency for a nice profit and now is happily retired doing some part-time event bookings on the side.

Fourth, If You Want to Stay In Radio, Reinvent Yourself.

I believe there is still ample opportunity in the Radio Business but only if you reinvent yourself. Get a copy of What Color Is Your Parachute. It will help you take an inventory of all of your skills. You will have to look at the Radio business through a new paradigm. You might have to learn to do some things differently. But if you can shake away the old way of looking at the Radio business, you may find that it is actually quite fun and easier than before.

Some of my older friends with 40 years or more in the Radio business have come to enjoy using the computer to produce their shows. They tell me that they wished they had computers back in the day. They love the convenience and the extra time to produce vignettes and special segments.

If you were a victim of the recent events at iHeart or any other reduction in force, it is not your fault. It does not represent who you are as a person or what you can offer your next employer.

Let me know if I can help.

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Spike SanteeYou've Been Fired! Four Things to Do Now!

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