Friday, October 29, 2010

Career change advice from Al Pacino

Many of you who read this blog on a regular basis probably think I've been a broadcasting lifer. In reality, I'm like many people in this business, because I've left it and come back.

Three times, in fact.

Surprised? You shouldn't be. Because at some time in your career you may get so frustrated, so burned out, that you'll just want to chuck it all and do something else.

Problem is, nothing else really compares if broadcasting is in your blood. Oh, you can certainly be successful, but you may never recapture the magic that exists only in this business.

I remember one time I left the business and yelled, "That's it! I've had it with this business! Never again!" And then someone calls with a tempting job offer, and back I go.

I feel like Al Pacino in Godfather 3 when this happens. "Just when I think I'm out... they pull me back in!"

Yeah, I guess broadcasting is like the Mafia of the heart.

If it's in your blood, going to another career is like witness protection. You end up like Ray Liotta at the end of Goodfellas (here we go with the Mob analogies again) when he picks up the paper, complains he can't get decent Italian food and feels like a schnook. If it's in your blood, you can't get it out.

How do you know? Well, if you change jobs and find yourself doing things you'd never do in the news business. Watching the clock. Being bored. Having time on your hands. Watching newscasts and knowing you could do a better job... or that you wish you were at the scene covering the story you just watched.

If those things don't haunt you, then you're cured. You can move on and look back at a time in your life when you did something unique. But if you can't get the business out of your head, resign yourself to the fact that you're probably going back.

Trust me, very few jobs offer the rush that TV news does. Yes, there's also the low pay, the stress, the occasional whack-job manager. But you don't see too many offices out there with the family atmosphere you find in a newsroom that clicks.

By the way, plenty of people have left and come back. Nothing's forever in this business, and talent doesn't fade because you've left the business. If you wanna try something else, fine, but don't be surprised if the life calls you back.


No comments: