Friday, September 14, 2012

Mailbag: No job offers despite great work


I'm at a loss and at the end of my rope. I've been searching for a new job for a year and while I've gotten great response to my tape, I've had no offers and no interviews. I've received very nice comments, that's it. My boss loves my work, I've won awards, reporters I know in big markets say I'm turning out excellent stuff. And I'm not just asking friends for feedback.

I'm a team player, never cause trouble in the newsroom, a decent human being. There are no skeletons in my closet.

So why haven't I found a job?

Well, this won't make you feel better, but you're not alone. There are a lot of talented people out there who are struggling to find a new job. Talent without success can be frustrating and make you want to pull your hair out. What's even more frustrating is seeing someone with less talent who has a better job than you do.

You haven't found a job simply because the timing wasn't right, the NDs who loved you didn't have the appropriate opening, you didn't fit the demographic they were looking for, they couldn't afford you, they wanted someone local, the GM overruled them, etc.

Just about every successful person out there was rejected at some point for some reason. And here's the one thing I want you to take from this: those rejections often have nothing to do with talent.

Harry Potter was rejected by twelve publishers (who are now kicking themselves.) Just an example of talent needing to find the right home. Next time you talk to one of those people in big markets, ask them how many times they were rejected. You might be surprised to find that success is often a long and winding road. There are many roads you can take to get home; some people just have to travel a little longer. Hang in there.


Our sweeps idea meeting is next week. I know you put out a list of obviously sarcastic sweeps ideas every year, but how about putting out a real list for November? Little help?

I'll take it under advisement. Though the sarcasm gene is dominant in my case.

Dear Grapevine,

Just wondering if you ever worked as a one-man-band.

Nope. We didn't have those back in the day.

I did grab a camera and tried to shoot a fire once when there were no photogs available.  But I "reverse rolled"... which means the tape was rolling when I thought it was paused and vice versa. Got some excellent video of my feet.

I was blessed to work with many talented photogs, and wish most of you could enjoy the same experience.


Ken said...

I'm looking to graduate with a four year degree a semester early. What kinds of reporting/stories and skills should make sure I have for my reel and resume?

Additionally, is there any benefit to applying for a graduate program in broadcast and digital journalism, spending a year to earn a master's degree? I have already had an internship in a smaller market this summer and felt well prepared. However, I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle of another year of school for a master's.

-The Grape said...

For that first job it helps to have a variety of stories... some hard news, a feature, a little anchoring if you have it. News Directors are hiring potential at this point, so your tape needs to show you know the basics.

As for a Masters Degree, I don't think it helps you get a better first job. You'll learn ten times more your first year in a real station.


Looking long term, a Masters will help you get a teaching job down the road when. (As I discovered when I was offered a college teaching job but was not allowed to teach due to state rules requiring a Masters.) The beauty of the time we live in is that you can work on a Masters part time online while you're getting real world experience.