Monday, October 26, 2009

Mailbag: Find your angel

Grape,

I'm getting really down about my job hunt. It's been over a year and I've had some nibbles, but it's always "the economy" that gets in the way of getting hired.

I have a good tape, I've been told I'm very talented by everyone in the newsroom, my ND loves my work, and I'm still stuck.

Just curious how other people deal with this.



Well, this is an excellent question, as just about everyone in the business can say, "I've been there."

The answer is that you need to "find your angel."

Nothing is more frustrating than job hunting, and the current economic situation has taken it to a new level. I can hear the frustration over the phone with many clients.

And what always makes it worse is seeing someone else who might not be as talented move on to a place you're targeting.

I always remember the day I got a wake up call. I had been searching for months and hadn't gotten anywhere. The daily grind of working in a bad place was really getting to me. That particular day I walked in, looked at the board, and saw my name next to "Special Olympics." Good, I figured. Easy story. I was in no mood to bust it that day.

When we got to the location you'd have thought I was the Pied Piper. The special kids all ran up to me and the photog and hugged us. Every time we interviewed one of them we got another hug. They all wanted to look through the viewfinder so the photog set up his camera on the tripod and let them take turns. Then more hugs. After we shot our story we were packing up to leave. Yep, more hugs.

Read into this what you want, but that day I believe a higher power sent me a wake up call. Spending the day with a bunch of people who were blind, couldn't walk, couldn't talk, and still wore the biggest smiles I'd ever seen really put things in perspective. They couldn't care less about politics, wars, the economy, or the physical obstacles they'd been dealt. Or job hunting. They were just pictures of pure joy.

Maybe they were the angels I needed that day. Perhaps they're called "special" for a reason; are they here to remind us we need to be thankful for what we have?

Anyway, back to the original question. You just need to find your angel. Something or someone who makes you appreciate the fact that you are blessed with talent.

So pitch a story that will make you feel better, and you might put that job hunt demon on the back burner for awhile.

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