Your Career Choice Can Ruin You Financially

Mama’s don’t let your babies grow up to be DJs or journalism majors. Your kids will soon after choosing to be in radio or television or journalism become dead broke and they will come begging for you as parents to let them move back in with you. Stop them before they make a terrible career mistake!

You probably have at least heard of Kiplinger, a publisher located in Washington, DC that provides business forecasts and personal finance advice. Perhaps you’ve read their content online. It is worth noting that this company has survived since 1920. I think Kiplinger deserves your trust and confidence when it comes to forecasting financial issues for you, personally, and for business entities in general.

I just read a 2017 Kiplinger analysis entitled “10 Worst Jobs for the Future.”

Kiplinger is warning young people at the start of their career to steer clear of the radio and television industries. This comes as number 5 of 12 such warnings worth knowing about.

A projected decline of 10% (ten percent) in available jobs up through the year 2026 is forecast. The median annual salary of $32,283 is cited for radio and television announcers in the Kiplinger analysis.

A far worse fate than suffering through the indignities of that very low salary level you can expect is this Kiplinger explanation as to why you should steer clear of such careers in the first place:

“More radio disc jockeys, talk show hosts and podcasters are under threat of being silenced. Consolidation of radio and television stations, as well as the increased use of syndicated programming, limit the need for these kinds of workers. Plus, streaming music services offer fierce competition to radio stations and their workers. On the upside, online radio stations may provide new opportunities for announcers. If you’re committed to this career track, consider addressing even smaller audiences and becoming a party DJ or emcee. These other types of announcers make up a small field of just 17,326 workers currently, but are expected to grow their ranks 6.0% by 2026. They typically earn slightly less with a median $32,177 a year, but only require a high school diploma to get started.”

Why I’m writing this commentary needs to be explained clearly to you right now: I chose to seek a career on the air in radio back in the year 1970 when I was not yet old enough legally to buy alcohol. More of less four years later I was let go from that amazingly thrilling gig in the Los Angeles radio market, which the second-largest in the United States. I just was not sufficiently talented for an on-air career in the radio industry in Los Angeles. That stunning E-Ticket ride in Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard was fast, unpredictable, and, entirely too short.

After I was not talented enough to keep a radio job in the Los Angeles market, I tried to work (part time) in the dead-end markets in both Eureka, California and Bloomington, Indiana. Working in both of those markets proved to be exceedingly depressing compared to working in the Los Angeles market.

My dear friend Evan Haning wrote in 2011 for the Foreword to my book KHJ, Los Angeles: Boss Radio Forever that the profession has disappeared. That was 6 years ago.

Evan Haning always was a man ahead of his time. And, Evan Haning is the ONLY person I knew personally who made it on the air in radio over the long stretch. Compared to me only being on the air in Hollywood at some rock and roll station for a very short while, Evan Haning, who started on the air in the dreaded San Luis Obispo, California radio market, made it from a success in the Los Angeles radio to the crucial Washington, DC radio market and he did so within the cut-throat all-news radio business there. He is one of the few living radio heroes I have.

Pay careful attention to my commentary here: It makes sense for you NOT to go after a profession that is already gone from our culture. I urge you NOT to pursue a career in the radio or television industries. I believe what Kiplinger is saying. So, should you.

You may want to go get a bachelor’s degree like I did in Journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. But, do not for one minute believe that being on the air at KCPR radio at Cal Poly actually will prepare you to make a living in a career on the air elsewhere. Read about my own KCPR radio at Cal Poly experiences as a possible guide to what may happen to you if you go that route.

Remember that ANY bachelor’s degree anywhere will do the basic minimum—train you to learn how to use your mind effectively. Just do not expect a financial payback for all the dollars that you or your parents invest in your undergraduate education if you choose a major such as journalism that is declining in job prospects. You will need more than merely a bachelor’s degree. You will need a top-notch graduate degree or two from highly-reputable universities that are expensive and not at all easy to get into.

Ironically, now in the wake of President Donald Trump’s claims about so-called “fake news,” which is a false claim that does not stand up to the test of reason, skilled and talented journalists are needed perhaps more than ever before. But, the reality is this: Skills can be taught during an undergraduate or graduate degree program, yes. Getting a bachelor’s degree in journalism won’t give you talent that you don’t already have within you. And seeking a career on the air on radio or television may just ruin you financially even if you go the extra distance to get graduate degrees. You don’t want to beg mommy and daddy to let you move back in with them after you are 30. Mommy will do your laundry. Daddy will curse you under his breath while he gets loaded on adult beverages at the dinner table. And, while your rent will be free, you will end up not being able to look yourself in the mirror for the rest of your life.

These are my opinions. Your mileage may vary.

Boss Radio KHJ Books on Amazon

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I’m pleased to announce that as of May 2017, Amazon.com is the exclusive place where you can find both the paperback book version and the Kindle eBook version of KHJ, Los Angeles: Boss Radio Forever. Visit Amazon.com.

Both these versions are identical (except for a few formatting differences.) If you prefer to hold a paperback book about KHJ and Boss Radio in your hands, you’re in luck. Or, if you’d rather have this same exact book on your Kindle, there’s good news for you as well.

Visit Amazon.com to learn more about these May 2017 publications of KHJ, Los Angeles: Boss Radio Forever.

Come to Las Vegas. Learn. Play. Network.

new_york_new_york_las_vegasAs President of the Las Vegas chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) 2015 through 2016, I invite you to come to Las Vegas for an exciting special event entitled Intranets, Content, & Collaboration. This professional development conference (December 9 – 11, 2015) is for anyone who needs to learn the latest about success in employee communications using digital technology.

I am pleased to have been selected as a featured speaker. Here you will learn success stories in employee intranets so you, too, can engage your workforce to drive better business results.

Are you’re looking to transform your multi-generational culture with your employee intranet? Will new technologies and social media challenge your patience and perseverance?

If you want your employees to welcome your intranet into their daily work and actually use it, the path to success involves answering these crucial questions correctly for your organization:

  • How do you position new technologies in the workplace for every employee?
  • Who can help make or break your intranet?
  • What expectations should you embrace for using social business apps?
  • When do you want leaders to endorse and recommend usage of your intranet?
  • Where are the stress points, barriers to success, and roadblocks?
  • Why do you need to have an intranet at all?

In my session you will benefit directly from my unique perspectives, guidance, and lessons learned from my years of employee intranet and internal communications leadership experience within 3 very different organizations.

REGISTER HERE and enter “SPK1215” and my name “Woody Goulart” to get a special discount.

Getting Back to the Neon Fun Desert

As October 2013 came to an end, so did my Las Vegas life. Or so I thought. Now, as June 2015 comes to an end, I’m getting to go back to live in the neon fun desert.

This feels right. This feels like what is “supposed to happen.” So, I am going with it. I am leaving my home state of California to live and work in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Yes, the weather can be impossibly hot. Yes, there also are other factors about living in the Mojave Desert that are challenging. But, for me, returning to Las Vegas feels like a fulfillment of certain song lyrics: “get back to where you once belonged.

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I know now that one must look into the sometimes stormy skies to find a patch of blue. A proper mental attitude can carry you through. You just need to discover how to stay in control of your mind and not let others encroach upon you or your thoughts and beliefs.

My partner of 19 years, Sam Glass and I will once again be locals in Las Vegas.
We know what to expect because we lived there very recently and see what’s what.

I’m pleased to be continuing my digital marketing and advertising work of 2 years for an international company headquartered in New York City that understands how to encourage excellence through flexibility in employee work locations. This is not futuristic. This is reality right now.

Golden Anniversary: Boss Radio KHJ

Fifty years is a very big deal. Happy golden anniversary, Boss Radio KHJ Los Angeles. Boss Radio Forever!

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Whenever I talk with professionals from the radio industry or read their online commentaries, I feel disconnected from them. I feel like somehow I just ventured into a room with military combat veterans who spend a lot of time talking in detail about their memories of battles and tactics for killing the enemy. They belong to a very specialized (and some say bygone) era that I only visited for a very short while when I was young. But, yet I dared to research their world and retell their stories. Sort of disrespectful. Sometimes kind of rude. But, cunning and fun for others to read.

Why You Need a Website

You only need a website today if you want to prove to others that you exist. If you are happy to remain in obscurity, you can get along just fine without having your own website.

Individuals, small and medium-size businesses, and nonprofits need a complete, yet affordable, selection of professional and customized services to enable them to win over their particular target audience with online marketing. Usually this means paying today’s high prices for professional services to get your own website. That is just a waste. And so unnecessary.

Nearly half of small and medium-sized businesses or nonprofits do not yet have their own website. One thing that I tell people today may sound shocking: You need to have a website if you want to have street credibility today in the business world. Your personal brand depends on having a website.

I firmly believe in this need to have a website after working since 1996 using the Internet for business. If you are someone who really does not want to have your own website, please read this one page and give me a chance to change your thinking.

I can help you if you start with an acceptance that yes, you need a website if you really want credibility today in marketing your business to your target audience.

Basic Rule of Business

Once you understand the need to have your own website, you need help with strategic marketing and personal branding online. The basic rule of business that I use can be explained using an ocean metaphor: You need to swim in the same waters as your potential customers.

You get the idea. The truth is: To do business today involving seeking and attracting potential customers, you need to bring what you are offering to your customers where they are.

The other simple reality is that having your own website is essential proof that you are savvy enough to use today’s contemporary tools of communication in the digital realm and online. You don’t want to be considered irrelevant or outmoded.

Perspective

Today, the use of the Internet for business is roughly 20 years old. Websites today differ greatly from how websites worked back in the 1990s when the Internet was new.

The major difference is that today’s websites are intended to interactive for your visitors compared to the old-school style of websites from the past.

Let me quickly express what you need and should want: You want a website for today, not a website that is from the 1990s. The past belongs in the past. Learn to respect the past, but understand that we must focus on today and tomorrow.

Living in the Present Day

Today, the best practice is to have a site that is attractive to look at and easy to use, plus, the website works the way it needs to work: People need to interact with you through your website if you want to be successful in using the website for your business.

The manner or way that you employ online and using digital outreach technology should be important to you. Resist the temptation to jump into an expensive contract with a provider of website services that promises you the sun and moon and a couple of galaxies, too.

Sure, having a website today is essential, but you can be smart and conservative in how you go about it. Why? You don’t want to dump a lot of money and time into something that is wrong.

Now a Warning: Merely getting your own website is not a secret doorway to either sudden riches or fame. Rushing out and using social media channels without thinking about why is not the answer to your most pressing business problems. Text messaging to thousands of smart phones may not necessarily rescue you from irrelevance.

Today’s digital technology together with the Internet represent marvelous human accomplishments and inventiveness. Websites and smart phones could surely not have been imagined a few decades ago except by the likes of science fiction writers. But, don’t get lost in the marvels that we now have at our fingertips in the 21st century.

The best way to success is to use digital technology together with the Internet as one of the tools of your trade.

Consider how computerized word processing has become an indispensable tool for writers today. Since word processing is so important to the craft of writing nowadays, how did anyone write and publish books before the invention of word processing software? Trick question.

Here is wisdom you can take with you today: Make effective use of the tools of today’s technology. Use the Internet. Have your own website. Yes, get into Twitter. And Facebook. Send text messages to reach the smart phones you know your audience uses.

Just be sure that you have carefully thought out why you are using these tools: Reaching, interacting with, and persuading your target audience should be your core reason and chief motivation.

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[My original version of this commentary first appeared in 2011 on this and other blogs.]

The Show Must Go On

What would it feel like to be a stand-up comic who was scheduled to perform in San Francisco the night after Robin Williams was gone? San Francisco’s KCBS radio covered this angle of the larger story concerning the suicide of the beloved actor and comedian. My partner, Sam Glass, and I happened to have August 11 tickets to see actor Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe O’Brien on Fox broadcasting’s 24) perform at the Punch Line—San Francisco’s oldest running comedy club. The club’s announcer called for a moment of silence in memory of Robin Williams at the start of the evening’s performances. But, that night belonged to laughter, not sadness.