Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Moving for the sake of moving

It happens to just about everyone in the business. You reach a point in a job where you know you've been there too long. You're not learning anything new and your work has plateaued. Other people are beginning to leave, moving on to better places.

And suddenly you just have to get out. Right. Now.

And what often happens is you jump on the first available train out of town. Doesn't matter that the train might be a broken down old locomotive, doesn't matter where it's heading. Anywhere but here.

That happened to me once. A bad situation made it imperative that I bail at the first chance I got. I'd been there too long, friends were leaving. And so I jumped at the first offer that came my way.

And ended up in a situation that was actually worse than the one I'd left. It was one of the worst career decisions I'd ever made, and actually set me back a few years.

Patience may be the most difficult virtue for creative people to develop. We send out a great tape and expect News Directors to ring our phones off the hook. And when it doesn't happen we get desperate, like a teenager who dreads the thought of a Saturday night without a date.

When considering any move, you need to do two things. Take off the rose colored glasses that make any offer look terrific, and seek the honest opinions of people who know you well. Remember, a News Director is like a guy on a first date when conducting an interview. If he really wants to hire you, he tries his best to hide all the warts of the station and put his best foot forward. When considering any offer you need to step back, take a breath, and honestly assess whether moving is going to do your career some long term good... or if you're just taking the job to get the hell out of Dodge.

No comments: