HOW TO BUILD YOUR RADIO CAREER: The Final Installment

by Dan O'Day on February 21, 2013

This is the final in a series of career advice for radio professionals.

Protect Your Future.


There is at most only one person at your radio station who truly cares about your career.

If you don’t care enough about what happens to you when there’s a change in format or management or ownership or ratings, don’t expect someone to come along and tell you what you should be doing to insure your professional and financial security.

Here are three things you already should be doing.

1.  Saving your money

Financial experts commonly recommend stockpiling the equivalent of six months’ salary. (I’ll pause for a moment for the laughter to die down among our readers.)

No matter how much (or little) you make, resolve to put 15% of each paycheck into the bank.
    
Yes, it might take some budgeting on your part. But it might also mean the difference between finding yourself unemployed and desperate for any job that’s offered…and being able to wait for the right offer to come along.

how to negotiate radio contracts2.  Negotiating your employment contract

Whether or not it’s in writing, you do have an employment contract.

Most jocks are told, “Here’s our first and final offer; take it or leave it.” That’s almost never the truth — and certainly not when a station seeks to retain a proven performer.
    
There are plenty of resources that unravel the mysteries of negotiation. Here’s my favorite crash course in negotiating. Asking for what you deserve doesn’t need to be as daunting as you think.

3.  Making friends in your local radio community

Yes, I know this will turn some program directors apoplectic. They look upon radio as nothing short of war, and having friends at other stations is tantamount to treason.
    
But look around you.

Our industry offers disc jockeys less security than ever before. When your shift suddenly is voicetracked by someone from out of town and you’re on the street, will you be glad that you treated your fellow professionals like scum…simply because they had the audacity to choose the same career as you?

 

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