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PLANNING YOUR POST-RADIO CAREER

QUESTION FOR DAN O’DAY:

Even though I retired from the biz a few years ago, I do like to keep up- to-date and enjoy your newsletter tremendously.

This is probably one of the things you have never thought about; I know sure didn't: What do you do when it is time to get out? I spent 23 years as an on air personality, filling about every position there is. At one time or another the burn-out gets to all of us, and I must say my choice to leave at the time I did was the right one.

What I wasn't prepared for is how much I miss being on-air. It is something that everyone needs to think about. To work that long in the radio business constitutes a love affair, and it is just as traumatic when it ends as any relationship is.

It is unfortunate, but in many cases age really does make a difference when you are applying for even a part-time job. It's never spoken; everyone knows you can't say it. But after you have talked to a few PDs you can see the signs, a look of fear. They wonder, "Is this going to be me in another 15 or 20 years?"

Then the reality hits: Yes, it could be them.

We all need to give a little thought and preparation for when that day comes."

DAN REPLIES:

Probably the most memorable moment of PD GRAD SCHOOL 2000 - perhaps of any radio event I've ever attended or been part of - occurred when the legendary Dr. Don Rose reflected on his career....

O'DAY: Don, at my request you sent me a bunch of tapes (some of which we're hearing today) to go through in preparation for this event. And you included a note saying, "I'm sorry it took so long to get these to you. I couldn't understand why I kept putting it off until I was dubbing the WFIL tapes and I noticed there were tears streaming down my face."

What did you mean by that?

DON: The memories were great, but they also were painful. To think that such a big part of my life was gone, never to return, and that the only place Dr. Don Rose exists is somewhere in outer space, where I'm sure the radio signals are still traveling....

Later during that session (which also featured Gary Owens the two of them actually worked together at KOIL/Omaha 45 years ago), Dr. Don offered a piece of advice to all radio people:

"Spend as much time on your family as you do on your career."

Sooner or later, your career will end.

Do you have a plan for what happens then?

Financially? Personally? Spiritually?

Do you have any interests outside of radio?

Have you invested the time and effort required to build rich, lasting relationships with your relations?

Do you assiduously save some portion of every paycheck? Do you care enough about yourself to insure your financial security for the rest of your post-radio life?

Here's a tip that can turn you into a millionaire...eventually. Give yourself a 15% pay cut. That is, automatically deposit 15% of each paycheck into a savings plan. If you start doing that at least 20 years before you retire, your retirement probably will be more financially comfortable than your radio career.

You can't do that? You make too little already? Here's a test:

What would happen if tomorrow your employer said that due to economic hard times, your salary is being reduced by 15%?

Would you starve? Be evicted from your apartment or have the mortgage foreclosed on your house?

Probably not. Probably you'd find a way to cut corners, do some belt-tightening, and continue.

If you're a typical credit-card borrowing radio workaholic, do yourself a favor. Give yourself a 15% pay cut. And take 15% of the time you're spending at work and invest it at home.


Let Dan O'Day personally coach you in your job hunt with CAREER CONTROL: Radio Job-Hunting, Interviewing & Contracts!


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