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Who’s Out, Who’s In?

Midweek Motivator

100_100_timby Tim Moore


Every day the trades are full of people coming, people going…though the ratio is swinging dramatically for the outbound. Mega-groups continue to pare down their headcount. Once confined to staffers, the shifting cartography of Radio now includes managers and others from the ranks of leadership. It’s unchangeable and if you subscribe to the “those-with-the-best-people-wins” doctrine, no matter how it’s temporized in the press losing impact players insures one thing: less impact.

Every business is fluid. There are all kinds of statistical tables showing the average moves per career across the occupational categories including the military which if you haven’t been tracking it, is sending termination notices to American service men at the front; pure class and a shocking sign of declivity within American government. There’s nothing like being shot at while getting your walking papers. But, for the world at large including media one can if so inclined, move every two years. Some thrive on it, many dread it, but as sure as the sunlight finds the sand and United Van Lines has trucks, you can answer the call to a new challenge routinely. With two hundred sets of call letters under our firm’s flag and countless colleagues engaged in radio programming we’re often asked, “How do I know when it’s time?”

The subject of decision-making regarding career moves warrants a weekend seminar. Yet condensed to its simplest, it’s fair to say most have the wrong idea about re-potting themselves. Through the generations people have quit jobs based on growing unhappiness while others leave for more money and a larger office. Assuming the option is theirs, ninety percent of the time people leave at the wrong moment, for the wrong reasons. Much of the time professional separation happens because a growing sense of dissatisfaction has resulted in a down-spiral over weeks and months until the parting is more a conflagration than a respectful goodbye. We hear about it daily in the trades; people leaving suddenly with rancor. Consider that if one waits until a relationship has crossed the tension curve into disrespect, the escapee never really knows whether they’re running-to, or running-from.

When you take a job for the wrong reasons (assuming the choice is yours), three things can happen; two of them are bad. (1) You jump to an opportunity but on someone else’s terms and they know it, (2) you run
from something instead of to something that you’ve patiently and methodically considered, or (3) you land in a more enlightened setting capable of recognizing your temperament traits and core skills, creating your Valhalla. The odds however seldom favor the latter when you choose the ready-aim-I quit model.

Changing jobs, companies, and locale when done right eliminates a lot of chance. It’s a process of head-and-heart; studying the new potential weighed against the old “known.” We’ve often strongly suggested that in a perfect world if they must leave, people should change only when they’re on top and convinced they’ve accomplished most of their primary objectives.

You often see this when a highly accomplished coach, CEO, or academic success suddenly announces he or she has accepted a new challenge; much to the surprise of acolytes left to wonder. But when you think about it, leaving when you’re on top in a particular setting is the best way for the reasons we’ve discussed. Those who do will tell you they left for the right reasons; they left at the right moment. You’ll know when it’s time.

Tim Moore

Tim Moore

Managing Partner

Audience Development Group