Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good book & a hot bath... or a bad date?

A few years ago I worked with a terrific young lady who was unattached. She rarely dated, didn't want to be fixed up, and once told me, "I'd rather sit home with a bottle of wine, a good book and a hot bath than have a bad date on Saturday night." In other words, better to wait for the right guy to come along than spend an evening with one just for the sake of going out.

Yes, time for another dating metaphor. Bottom line, grabbing the first job offered just to get outta Dodge might be a bad move.

Of course these days, multiple job offers aren't exactly the norm. And if you're looking for that first job, you don't really have much in the way of bargaining power. Still, you have to be selective when making any move. The right move can do wonders for your career, while the wrong one can really set you back.

I once was so desperate to get away from a certain News Director that I took a job that was totally wrong for me. The station wasn't committed to quality, and I didn't do my homework before making the move.

So when you get a job offer, take time to breathe, step back, and take a look. Remove the rose colored glasses and get an honest assessment of what you'll be going into.

-Check the product. You can usually do this online. Is the newscast a good one, or is the quality not up to your standards?

-Check the photography. Do the packages have great video and editing? Or are earthquakes (no tripod) prevalent in every story?

-Will your job be as a one man band? This is crucial, and you need to get your job description in writing.

-Research the ND. Screamer? Nice guy? One who will give you honest feedback? And you should also find out the ND's history. On the way up or down?

There are the other things that always factor in, like money and benefits, but the important factors are those that will affect your career.

And if the opportunity doesn't feel right, get a good book. Otherwise you literally could end up in hot water, and it won't be from the bath.

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