A lot about myself and a lot about this industry
There have only been two times I’ve truly been without a job in sports radio. The first time was when the sports radio station I worked for was sold to a Christian radio company and was flipped.
The other is now.
The first one doesn’t really count in my mind. This one, obviously does.
Here are a couple of things I’ve learned about myself and the sports radio business having really lost my job for the first time in this business.
1. I didn’t take it as hard as I thought I was going to take it.
Now my wife, Lady EZ, took it a little harder. Her reaction, a very natural one.
“What are we going to do?”
“How are we going to make it?”
“I thought you were doing well?”
Me? I didn’t have time to take it hard. It was time to get to work. I needed to find a job. I needed to get on the phone. I needed to talk to my next potential employer. And I needed to do it… yesterday. So, there was no time to be emotional. There was no time to be pitiful. I needed to help provide for my wife.
2. I realized how grateful I really was for the job.
I had always said it while being employed, but it really sinks in when you don’t have a job that you were very grateful that someone thought you were talented enough to work for them and pay you for those services for that time. That may sound corny, but now being unemployed (for now), I realize just how thankful I was to have had a job. It’s much more fun being paid for something you love than to not be paid at all.
3. I realized how grateful I was for the support from others in my profession and from my friends.
There were phone calls and texts from people in California, Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and many other places. I didn’t even know I knew people in all of those places. That’s so cool that they call to offer support or, in some cases, help my find another place to work. And all of my friends as well. Even though I can’t talk to all of them every day, they are the first to call and offer support when things don’t go your way. Talk about grateful. Those people taking the time out of their days to support me is so awesome.
4. I can do really good radio.
Some people will find that sentence pompous, and that’s okay. It’s not meant to read like that, but that’s okay. But when people reach out to you hours after you are let go from your previous job and showing interest in working at their spot… Dammit, that sounds pompous, too. I don’t mean it that way. Let me explain. When you get let go from a job, especially one that you love, that perpetually-negative voice inside my head starts saying “I told you that you weren’t very good at this, but you would never listen.” That’s not fun to hear from that perpetually-negative voice. Not fun at all. So when you receive calls from people that are coming back at that perpetually-negative voice with a baseball bat, seemingly, it reaffirms your belief that while you’re never going to be everyone’s “cup of tea*,” at least you are still considered employable by people and stations you admire in the business.
4a. I don’t have to change.
It always pissed me off that so many radio people get so much more job security almost strictly by kissing the team’s ass all the time. How can they do that and get away with it? It always made me ill, and still does. I’ve seen it in multiple markets. But, I’ve learned that being critical and fair also has a marketplace in this business. If it didn’t, I don’t think I’d write what I wrote in #4 above.
5. This is an affirmation of what I really like to do with my life.
I can’t remember how many times growing up, and still today, I get told “keep doing what you love, even if it you don’t get rich.” I hear this from people that are far richer than I am, financially. I always wonder why they say that. Surely you can’t be that unhappy, right? But being unemployed has made me think about that a little more. Maybe they’re right. I mean, I’ve never been rich, so I guess I can’t speak directly to the discrepancy in income compared to the people who say that to me, but what I do know is that I already miss not doing radio. I miss doing what I love. I miss looking forward to going to work. Maybe that’s what these people are talking about. Looking forward to work has real worth. I don’t have that right now. I need to get back into it. I want to get back into it. Losing my job has reaffirmed my love for this profession.
Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
* crappy cliché, I know.