Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A polite "no" today can mean a "yes" tomorrow

If you take a look at the right side of tvjobs.com main page, you'll run into a section you probably don't pay much attention to. "News Directors named" lists the NDs who have moved. Yep, they move as often as reporters and anchors, and it's a good way to keep tabs on them.

Go ahead and click on that section and check out the moves. You'll see some people moving from Palookaville to decent places.

And if you'd been rude or condescending to someone who used to be in Palookaville, you've shot your chances in the foot for a job in that nice place the ND has landed.

At some time in your career you'll get interest from a News Director in a place that doesn't interest you in the least. It might be a nowhere place, have no quality of life, be too hot or too cold, whatever. You can't just blow off these people because you have no interest.

When this happens, you need to be polite, return calls, and have a valid excuse as to why you aren't interested in the job.

Let's say you're from upstate New York. You love cold weather, snow, skiing, ice skating. When the thermometer hits 80 you suffer. You get a call from Arizona, where the heat is legendary. You have no interest in working there, but you can't just ignore the News Director. So you return the call, thank him for the interest and give him a reason why you aren't interested. You can't deal with the heat. You want to stay close to family. Your significant other can't move. Whatever. Come up with something and have it ready should you get a call.

Why go through all the trouble? Because that ND in Arizona might end up in a cold weather place you do like. He'll remember that reporter whose tape he liked but couldn't take the heat. And maybe he'll give you a call, or consider you when you apply for a job at his new station.

You should also have a rolodex of News Directors who have been nice to you or shown interest, and keep tabs on their movements. The guy who wanted you five years ago might be in a place today in which you'd love to work.

So if you're not at all interested, have a polite "no" ready with a good excuse why. It could turn into a "yes" in the future.


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