Ten Steps to a Successful Career

10 steps to a successful career in radio by Bill Pasha - Multibrand Media International

Ten Steps to a Successful CareerMay 2, 2014

career / radio / tips - By: Bill Pasha

Yesterday, a very good friend of mine scored an incredible, out-of-this-world radio programming job.

Knowing my friend as I do, this position is custom made for him and it is in one of the cities he desired to be in the most: New York City.

My buddy has been extremely successful there before, just as he has been successful in virtually every challenge he has accepted. I’ll not include my friend’s name because he knows who he is and, chances are, you do, too. He is very high profile and a great guy with about as few enemies as one can accumulate in our business.

A long time ago, my friend discovered that his ‘customers’ are his listeners, advertisers, community leaders, bosses and colleagues. Everyone. He never asks someone to do something that he wouldn’t do. He takes pride in the quality of their interactive experiences with him and his product.

So, the topic of conversation today is why some guys make it, stay on top, and go out on their own terms, while others ridicule the business and tell young people that there are no long-term career opportunities, and what YOU can do to be one of the former rather than the latter.

So, for the benefits of your career and the industry as a whole, here are my ten observations of what my successful friend has done to achieve his lofty professional stature, while accumulating lots of friends:

10) Know your job and plan your long-range career path. Sure, this seems fundamental and unworthy of mention, but it isn’t. Amazingly, most programmers are promoted into their jobs from non-management positions, not really knowing what to expect, what they should expect of others, or very much about dealing with people and competitive situations. My friend studied other successful PDs before he became one. He grew by reading, watching and evaluating. He learned what was important to do…and not do. He knew what a great programmer looked like, talked like, and, most important, acted like, so that he could repeat their successes throughout his career, all before he made his first programming decision.

9) Be a student of the industry. My friend spent his early years in radio studying music, content, presentation, writing, and marketing. He learned to create a credible budget, design beautiful client and management presentations, and how to diagnose a power supply problem in the board. He can recite the history of those who were both successful and unsuccessful, and why they were either. Today, he continues to journey on his road to discovery.

As one climbs the ladder, it is vitally important that industry influencers know who you are

image by Wouter de Bruijn

8) Be visible. As one climbs the ladder, it is vitally important that industry influencers know who you are, but far more importantly, why you are successful. ‘Publish or perish’ applies not just to professors and scientists, but also to all of us. My friend is a thought leader. He might not publicly share all of his great ideas, but I assure you that his new employers were aware of his level of intelligence, long before they hired him. His actions are the stock and trade of his success. Celebrate your success humbly, but celebrate it so that others are aware.

7) Make your boss look good. No one is more likely to be promoted into greater responsibility than one who has taken care to share the credit and limelight with a boss. We all know that it is career suicide to make the boss look bad. It is the most savvy among us who credits his or her supervisor with providing the stage for success.

6) Set goals and know what a win looks, smells, tastes and feels like. If you don’t know where the finish line is, you can’t lead others to it. Describe the prize to motivate others. If you have never felt the excitement of triumph, then passion is difficult to instill or maintain in others.

5) Understand research and translate it into tangible steps forward. My friend analyzes data as well as many researchers. He creates working plans and best practices from the conclusions he draws, and goes extra distance to effectively explain research, the data gathering process, and the impact of summary results, to the decision-makers above him and to those in his supervision who must carry out the mission. This unique talent is widely appreciated by those for and with whom my friend works. That’s why they green light his decisions over and over, and his mark is on stations from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

4) Have fun. My friend has created secret hallway passwords, handshakes of questionable origin, and environments that people want to experience each day. He tries to make the work enjoyable because he has experienced that results are many and success is around each corner when colleagues look forward to work.

3) Have outside interests that are like those of your consumer. My friend is a scratch golfer who designs and builds his own clubs. He can describe in intimate detail the mating rituals of every coveted game fish in two oceans. His knowledge of wines rivals that of a seasoned sommelier. He invests in fashion and cars. He risks his savings in penny stocks. He keeps fit. He collects friends in city after city. He’s loved and lost…a few times…and loved again. He lives life with gusto to understand how his customers feel and live.

2) Say what you mean and do what you say. Your actions, not your words, speak volumes about you. Always do your best work. Return telephone calls and emails. The journey up the ladder is much easier than the one coming down. Remember: It takes 30 years to build a reputation and thirty seconds to destroy it.

1) Ask for the job. This doesn’t mean endlessly pestering your potential new boss. It means putting your shoulder into your tasks, your goals and your career. Be willing and ready to accomplish each item on the checklist. Work harder and smarter. Get noticed for the good you do and the success that you bring. Never accept ‘That’s good enough.’ Ask why. Explain why. When Opportunity knocks, it goes to the door of those who have prepared.

Ten Steps to a Successful Career in Radio Infographic by Multibrand Media International

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Bill Pasha

Bill Pasha is President/CEO of The MBMI Companies, LLC., the parent firm of MultiBrand Media International, Maximized Brand Marketing International and Valoriant Safety. Before joining the entrepreneurial world, Bill was recognized as one of the top Program Directors in America and as an authority on consumer consumption of media. He continues to consult broadcasters around the world.

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