Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Letterman effect

It's almost inevitable, especially in an industry filled with young, attractive people who have a lot in common. With all the fallout over the David Letterman story, now's as good a time as any to discuss dating in the workplace.

Of course "fishing off the company pier" is a bad idea in any workplace, and there's always the underlying hint of sexual harassment if a manager is involved with a subordinate.

But beyond all the stuff that has to do with love and romance, there's a more practical reason not to date anyone at your station, let alone anyone in this business. And the reason is enough to scare most people out of doing it.

You think it's hard finding a job for yourself? Imagine being a couple and trying to move on. To the same station. Or even the same market.

I've worked with several married couples over the years, and one in particular illustrates my point. In this case, one half of the couple was extremely talented, the other was pretty average. The talented one had plenty of offers from major markets, but when that person insisted that the other half be hired as well, the stations didn't bite. They only wanted the talented person. I can only imagine what went through both their heads; one person having to give up a dream while the other knowing the reason for doing so was the person in the mirror. Bottom line, they never moved on.

In fact, I can't think of any couple I worked with that did move up. A few were talented on both sides, but finding two openings at the same time is next to impossible.

Bottom line, if you're planning to move up the ladder, find someone to love who can work anywhere.

Or just stay single until you reach your goal.

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