Sunday, June 20, 2010

Handwriting, meet wall

Sometimes I hear from people who wonder how long they should "hang in there" waiting for a "promised" promotion that never seems to come.

Well, the old adage of "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" applies to broadcasting quite well.

Promises by News Directors during the hiring process often rival those of politicians. If you hear that you'll be next in line for an anchor job, "but we don't need to put anything in writing," well, get ready for a case of selective memory sometime down the road.

Let's take a look at this very common example. You're hired as a reporter and told you'll be used to fill in on the main newscast when one of the anchors is off. If anchors have been off several times and you still haven't been asked, well, that should tell you that smoke has been blown your way.

If you're told you're first in line for the next anchor opening and you're passed over for someone else, that's a red flag.

And if the same promise is broken more than once, rest assured it will never be kept.

Sometimes you need special glasses to see the handwriting on the wall, and they're not rose-colored. If you look at the handwriting honestly and it tells you that you're never going to be promoted, it's time to move on.

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