It was a Friday night around midnight back in the day, and my best friend was taking my girlfriend out on a date. I knew this because they’d come to visit me at a major market radio station where I was getting ready to work the overnight shift as a low-level assistant. Funny thing was, I had already obtained a fulltime job as a radio newscaster at a nearby small market radio station. But I was also working weekends—in effect, seven days a week.
This was the broadcasting equivalent of functioning as both a big fish in a small pond and as a small fish in a big pond. In other words, I was working as a performer at a smaller market station while at the very same time, holding down a bottom-rung position at a major market station in the evenings and on weekends.
Because of this, I was unable to go out many weekends, hence my best friend accompanying my girlfriend on a date. But at the time, I could see the bigger picture. I had rationalized there eventually would be time to go out with friends. I was young and this was the time to hustle.
If you can possibly keep a foot in both a smaller market and larger market outlet at the same time—while getting adequate rest and maintaining your sanity of course—this could have a significant benefit on your career. It’s simple really—while you’re getting your on-air experience at one place, you’re effectively “in the door” at a larger facility. So, say after a year or so of being on the air at the smaller market station, you could begin to shuttle samples of your work to the people who matter at the larger station. That process made so much easier by the fact that you’re in the door already, that you know the important people there and perhaps even more significantly, they know you.
This is best accomplished by acquiring employment at a small station that’s within a reasonable driving distance of where you live and the larger place where you might work at other times. If you can do that and put your social life on a temporary hold, it could have greater professional benefits for you in the future.
At www.marczumoff.com, we’ll help you with becoming a big fish in a small pond and a small fish in a big pond.
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