The Desk

March 28, 2009

Grass Is Greener Syndrome

Filed under: Job Search — Yvonne LaRose @ 4:29 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

Back in the ’90s, my news producer friend and colleague and I talked about how we admired the status of the other. Kevin said I had a choice situation with being freelance because I could pick and choose what type of content I wanted to work. I admired Kevin because of the stability of his job. He always knew where the work was coming from, it was regular, the pay was established and paid at a regular (survivable) rate, he got to be among others in his profession and be a team member when necessary or a solo as required.

I look back on that conversation now as I reflect on situations that involved The Press in recent times. Now I have more appreciation of his words. It was quite an experience to watch The Press crowd the Board of Supervisors hearing room on the day they discussed the closure of King Hospital and the brouhaha regarding Sheriff Baca’s actions not too many days before. The corps was quite professional and caught all of the content.

But a trigger event changed everything that was happening in the auditorium. The Press was compelled to react because of the advertising dollars that would fund their air time for coverage of the “sexy” news. The more appealing (and on that day, compelling) story was the fact that Paris Hilton’s hearing was about to take place. The Press needed to go to the story and capture the footage so they would have the more timely content.

So when word came down that Paris was ready for her hearing, the corps consumed approximately 10 to 15 minutes while literally all of them filed out of the hearing room to their vehicles in order to make their way two blocks away to the Criminal Courts building.

Is the news what is important to the populace or is the news what the media determines is most compelling in order to maintain a well-informed and knowledgeable public? The call goes to which of the stories will get the most viewer eyes and therefore the higher ratings for the station. That then spells viability for the station and its business.

Kevin didn’t spell out the subtle nuances of his statement and admiration of my position as a freelancer. Discretion dictated his being quiet about the implied message and allow me to figure it out as time passed. So maybe it has been a good thing that I’ve never formally worked in broadcasting although I have as an independent.

Choices are replete when we’re trying to determine the career path that’s right for us. Unfortunately, we get stuck on those job titles that are the main headings and forget about the subtitles and related situations that could have a lot more appeal and more openings. It would be wise for us to look at the main heading and then do a free form analysis of related titles.

The longer I do this, the more I hear others offering the same counsel that I have in the past (as well as currently). One of the things I keep hammering at is check the Occupational Outlook Handbook to review not only the main job titles listed but also the related occupations under that title. It isn’t necessary to get stuck in a hopeless job search for something you ultimately discover is not what you want to do. There are quite a number of related things (or ways of doing them) that offer the exhilaration we all seek in our work lives.

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