Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mailbag: the digital age doesn't help your job search


I've sent out lots of tapes this summer but haven't heard anything. Is there a way to know if my tape is "working" and it's just a case of people not hiring right now?

Well, you answered part of your own question... it's August, and News Directors traditionally save money on salaries during the summer. Since the next book after May is the November book and viewership is down in the summer, managers often go short staffed and save a few bucks to hire someone after Labor Day. You want your new people in place by November. Relax, this happens every year.

As for whether your tape is working, sadly you do not have the advantage I did back in the day. When we sent out expensive 3/4 inch tapes, News Directors always sent them back. You could pop them in the machine and see where they stopped watching. If it was always the same place, you'd realize something wasn't working at that point and change things up.

These days, there's no way to know, so there's no harm in changing things and sending a second tape. Remember, the resume tape police won't care if you send multiple tapes and the News Director probably won't notice... unless he already likes your tape and has put it aside. So make sure your new tape has some new stuff rather than just rotating things around.

Dear Grapevine,

I started a new job in April. I've gotten a lot of positive response to my work from my managers but for whatever reason many of my co-workers won't give me the time of day. I've done nothing to offend these people and am always polite. This wasn't a problem at my first job. Am I going to run into this the rest of the way?

Nah, you're just in a dysfunctional newsroom filled with jealous people who are envious of your talent.  A good indicator is how the photogs (if you have them) feel about you. If they're in your corner, don't worry about anything.


Are non-compete clauses enforceable? Seems like they would be illegal.

Good question, and there's really no answer. Depends on the state, the judge, or both. But whether they're enforceable of not, trying to break one will cost you legal fees either way. And some companies will play hardball just for kicks.

Mailbag notice: Lately I've gotten several comments that have links on the end leading to places that are selling goods and services.  That's why I screen all comments. If you want to advertise your product, buy an ad, because you're not getting a free plug here.


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