Barb’s Update

2 months in…

Regular readers know Barb Richards. If you need to catch up on the beginning of this story, click HERE. Barb is sharing her experiences, good and bad, as she redefines herself:

Two months at the new job. I am feeling very settled.

I had a good friend just get eliminated from her radio job and she was lamenting about how she has no skills for any other job. Not true! There were many times this past month that I have felt that my radio job completely prepared me for this job. Here are some great, marketable skills radio taught me and most likely, you as well.

We are used to working through interruptions. I work for a historic theater in town that brings in concerts and shows. The first ‘show day’ I worked was Steely Dan (awesome show, btw), and some of the people were telling me that I would get nothing done that day because of constant interruptions with demands from the artist, promoter and media.

But it was no different to me than a day at the radio station where there is bad weather and the EAS is going off every 15 minutes, or a breaking news story, or school delays. I still got stuff done because Radio trained me how to handle interruption and go right back to doing what I was doing.

Radio makes us hard workers. We are used to long hours. I was asked in my interview if long hours were a problem. Oh honey, no one knows long hours like Radio!

Radio people are great detail people. We know how to win in the details. And we are good at knowing the details that make a difference to get us to that win quicker. Most companies do not do details well. We do.

We know how to organize events and make the experience memorable. People had to write us down, we had to break through clutter. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, you have to be memorable to your customers. Being memorable has been drilled into us. We do it well.

We know how to approach people, engage them in our product, cause, event, sale, etc. Again, no matter what field you are in, at some point you will do a trade show, a business dinner, something that will require talking and engaging other people. Guess what? If you can approach a customer coming into a car dealer when on remote, you have this skill!

We ‘get’ social media. I know several former air personalities now making a great living at doing social media for small locally-owned companies. We know what works. LOTS and lots of companies totally fail at this. Most radio people I know slam this skill out of the ball park!

We are great project managers. This is why a radio PD would win The Apprentice (I so want to do that show). We can execute an idea from the beginning to the end and it will be spectacular and achieve the goal.

We understand brand marketing. Lots of companies don’t know how to stay ‘true’ to their brand. What does your company stand for? Another skill most radio people do very well.

We can be a responsible spokesperson for the company if needed. When there is an emergency and a TV camera wanting the story, we might be the only one in the company that can perform well under such pressure.

There are many more skills than just the ones I mentioned here, so I challenge you to write out the skills you believe you have. Picture yourself executing different parts of your job and write out the skills you see yourself using. Organization? Problem solving? Diplomacy? Writing out your personal skill set might just lead you to another line of work.

It takes courage to do what Barb is doing, but if you’ve been pushed out of our business, her courage and innate optimism may help you find yours. I hope so.