Monday, November 16, 2009

Why the best person doesn't always get the job

A while back a reporter sent me a resume tape which included an anchor intro. While the reporter was very good, the anchor was awful.

I see this a lot, as people often ask me to look at their packages online, which include the anchor intros. Trust me, there are a lot of people out there without much talent, or veterans who are simply phoning it in, sitting on the anchor desks across America cashing bigger checks than you while operating on autopilot.

So, you're asking, "Why do these people have jobs that pay twice what I make?"

Ah, Grasshopper, life is not fair.

Guess what? Some of these awful people started out just like you. They might have had talent and drive. And, like everyone else out there, they actually cared when they got their first job.

You see this a lot in small and medium markets. People who realize they aren't going anywhere suddenly stop trying and their performance suffers. Or they don't have the talent to move on, and end up being "a piece of the furniture."

That doesn't mean you aren't talented or would do a better job. It just means that for whatever reason, they have a lock on the job you want.

In some cases, longevity trumps talent. We've all seen those anchors that have been in the same place for years. People who, if they had to look for another job, wouldn't get a nibble. Sometimes News Directors get comfortable with people like that; they show up every day and don't complain, and the public has grown comfortable with them, like a favorite pair of slippers.

That doesn't mean you should give up.

What it means is this: Don't let this happen to you.

And believe it or not, it can happen at a very young age.

You're at your first or second job, your resume tape is done, and you're biding time waiting for an offer. So you phone it in for just one day. One day becomes two, then three, then it becomes a habit.

And before you know it, you're in the same place for ten years.

Most of us have the capability of operating on auto-pilot. They key to avoiding this is to remember your first day on the job. On that day you were going to change the world and take the business by storm.

The only way to actually do it, is to keep that attitude every single day.

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