Monday, January 18, 2010

Your timetable is not on a News Director's agenda

Several years ago I went on a job interview. The day was a Friday, and as the ND dropped me off at the airport, he told me he'd call me with a decision one way or another on Monday.

On Monday I jumped every time the phone rang. He never called. I figured he may have been busy, major breaking news might have happened in his market, or he just forgot.

Tuesday, no call. Same with Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. By the weekend I figured he'd moved on to someone else and was like many NDs who hate to make calls and deliver bad news. So I moved on as well, focusing on the other opportunities out there.

Three weeks later I got the job offer.

What happened? Well, in a News Director's life all sorts of things can delay the hiring process.

The one thing you have to keep in mind is this: Unless filling your position is absolutely critical by a certain date, that task sits on the back burner. Job hunting may be first and foremost in your mind, but filling the job you want might be number 22 on the ND's priority list. There are numerous things that can push back that phone call you were expecting; breaking news, newsroom drama, orders from the GM to drop everything you're doing, orders from corporate to drop everything you're doing, etc. And in many cases a ND who absolutely loves your tape might get overruled by the GM or corporate.

So if you're promised a call and it doesn't come, it doesn't "mean" anything. Trust me, a ND has a hundred things on his or her mind at any given time. The ND is not sitting there all day long thinking about one job applicant.

Relax and stop watching the phone. You may still get the job, but it rarely comes in the time frame you expect.

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