Recession Mama











–by Carla Marion

The dark clouds over Dallas/Fort Worth didn’t seem so threatening on Tuesday for those of us who heard that wonderfully reassuring voice on the radio again. Sure, it was a different frequency, but the voice hadn’t changed a bit. Here, meteorologist Brad Barton fills us in on what’s been going on…and shares the exciting news:

brad

Carla,
 
Here’s an update on what’s happened in the two months since I was dismissed from CBS.  It’s been an exciting time.   
 
First, Brenda and I are grateful for every act and expression of kindness from the management and staff at KRLD, many others of all stripes and our Bethel Methodist Church family in Southlake and throughout Texas.  The comments and best-wishes are again, just heartwarming. Carla, Don, Ed Spencer, Jason Sickles and Steve Blow of the Dallas Morning News, you have helped us more than I can ever express.  And I must thank God for his faithful and providential care. 
Case in point:  Although our prized Blue Bird Wanderlodge had been on the market for over a year, we really needed to sell it after I was laid off.  Just one month later, on Labor Day, a couple in California who thought the coach was already sold, found it again, called us, agreed on a price and wired the money within 24 hours.   
 
As for employment, I have begun a new business known as WeatherTrust to deliver syndicated weather forecasts and other content to various clients. 
 
My websites are coming on line now, including
http://www.brads-weather.com, bradsweather.com, weatheroncall.com and others.  The main point of my website is to alert you by phone of severe weather in your area, then give you a link to click to hear live streaming storm coverage as I’ve done on the radio.  Soon, your  internet-capable phone will be your emergency weather link wherever you are- in your car, at your kids’ soccer game or in your closet when the power goes out at the height of the storm.     

I’ve also had a couple meetings with corporations both in and out of media to discuss some very interesting ideas.   
 
But the crowning jewel of the past two months has been a plan quietly formulated by Tyler Cox to bring me on board as the new Chief Meteorologist of WBAP.  Since 1922, WBAP has been a perennial leader in all of its chosen formats.  And beyond the richness of its past, the WBAP of today still has principled leadership that appreciates talent and loves broadcasting, not just the profits that come from broadcasting. Just to be a part of one of the eight most powerful, influential and honored radio stations in America is a privilege few people will ever know.  To be entrusted with weather coverage where the legendary Harold Taft once held court, is an honor and solemn responsibility that I take very seriously.  I am humbled and extremely grateful.  And I already feel at home.  Since the deal was kept secret for some time, it was a surprise to most people at WBAP, and a shock to Hal Jay, whose look was just priceless.    

The next time the skies turn dark, just remember, I’m right here in Weather Center 820.  The weather leader in North Texas radio is WBAP.

Brad, this makes me just want to stand up and cheer!

On a personal note, I am filled with joy that you have a new radio home …and what an amazing home it is. (I am beyond thrilled to be a back-up, fill-in anchor at WBAP.)

What a small and crazy world.



{September 25, 2009}   Who Wants A Little Good News…?

–by Carla

I went digging around on the Internet the other day trying to find an upside to all this recession talk…which honestly gets to be a total downer from time to time…and I  found this article.  It gives a broad overview of how the recession is “taking its toll” on various aspects of American life. But I chose to dig deeper for you and find the happy stuff…not all the doom and gloom. For example, here’s a little somethin’ about the old ball and chain: 

 married

“Marital bliss also suffered. Nearly 1 in 3 Americans 15 and over, or 31.2 percent, reported they had never been married, the highest level in a decade. The share had previously hovered for years around 27 percent, before beginning to climb during the housing downturn in 2006. The never-married included three-quarters of men in their 20s and two-thirds of women in that age range. Sociologists say younger people are taking longer to reach economic independence and consider marriage because they are struggling to find work or focusing on an advanced education. The Northeast had the most people who were delaying marriage, led by states such as New York and Massachusetts. People in the South were more likely to give marriage a try, including those in Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas.”

The way I look at it, there are fewer people trapped in crappy marriages who are too broke to get out of ’em. KIDDING. Just kidding there.

Ok, now for upside point #2 from the article:

“The share of people who carpooled to work rose to 10.7 percent, up from 10.4 percent in the previous year.”

Recession: terrible for most other things, good for the environment. See?

Next “plus”:

“Women’s average pay still lagged men’s, but the gap has been narrowing. Women with full-time jobs made 77.9 percent of men’s pay, up from 77.5 percent in 2007 and about 64 percent in 2000.”

Right on, ladies! Oh wait, the one time in history we’re THIS close to getting paid the same as the guys (um…and exactly why AREN’T we?)…and I got laid off!? WTH!?

Anyhoo, there ya go. Some happy news to report.

Have a great weekend everyone!



{September 18, 2009}   The Lead Story That Means So Little

–by Carla

This week I heard the wonderful news that the recession was over.

newsweek-recession-over-cvr

You’d think this former news girl would at least post a link or have the mindset to have remembered where she heard such a thing, so here’s a picture instead. I’ve got two gorgeous baby boys under age 2.5 and they both had yucky nose issues this week (their 2nd summer cold in 2 months…ugh) so I’ve been up to my thick Lebanese eyebrows in tissues, hand sanitizer (or as Toddler Boy calls it “hanitizer”), baby Vick’s and gunk stuck in my hair (that last one is pretty normal, actually). So you’ll pardon me for not accurately detailing for you what should have otherwise been the top story on every station across the country: “The Recession Is Over!”.

Um, K.

This news had about as much impact on me as did the news that we WERE in a recession when it broke at the end of last year. Hello, I’d just been laid off. Not a real shocker. But even before then, while I was still anchoring the news, about a year and a half, maybe 2 years ago, we did story after story about this expert or that analyst saying we WERE already in a recession, or explaining why were weren’t ..and so on. I was so tired of those stories. Then when Lehman Brothers failed a year ago and the cards came crumbling down, it was clear to everyone on earth and possibly even some passing aliens just outside our stratosphere that we were in deep doodoo. But the “official” news that we were “actually” “in” a recession came months later. (Once again, if I were a journalist worth my salt, I’d look up that information, copy the link, paste it here and let you know, but I haven’t showered in 2 days, my hair is clumped up in 2 clips and I’m wearing the same thing I had on yesterday. Having 2 sick kids is a total beat down.)

So you can see that a recession “officially” having come to an end will likely mean little or nothing to most of us. It may do a little something something to Wall Street and Wall Street types, but there’s Wall Street and then there’s Main Street…and there are a bunch of houses for sale on Main Street. In fact, the story on the TV news the other night that followed the news that the recession was over was (no shiz) “150 Blockbuster Video employees are losing their jobs as the company closes several stores…” bla bla bla.

The financial experts and analysts and the smart people who do numbers and money for a living may have a sense of what’s going as far as “official” data, but it doesn’t change a thing for me or my family. I’m still a (very happy) full-time stay-at-home-mom now and we’re still living on a cop’s salary…and having a great time adjusting to this little curve ball.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited to see what happens in this new period of economic recovery, but I also think we need to be realistic about it and not think that life (those of us for whom life changed, that is) is automatically going to snap back to the way it was..with us gobbling up everything we could possibly cram into our ginormous houses that we could barely afford on 2 incomes and charging every last purchase we made, paying the minimum each month on our credit cards, putting debt out of our minds, leasing new cars every 2 or 3 years and not putting money away for the future.

Wait, come to think of it, I don’t want that life back.



{September 11, 2009}   We Will Never Forget

–by Carla

sept11

Our world changed 8 years ago today. Most of us will never forget where we were on September 11, 2001 when we heard the news that America was under attack.

I was single and living in Dallas at the time and just waking up when my Dad called to tell me to turn on the TV. He said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I rushed to turn it on and still had Dad on the phone when we both watched in horror as the second plane hit. He said, “Carly, we’re being attacked! You need to get to work.” I screamed, told him I loved him, and threw the phone down. At the time, I was the editor (producer) of an afternoon radio news program and didn’t normally go into the newsroom until 10am, but today was different. It was just after 8am, I tossed on a ball cap and ran out the door, speeding as fast as I could from east Dallas all the way to Arlington, about a 25 mile drive. On the way, the anchor of the afternoon news called me on my cell…because no one could believe what was happening. He was near a TV when the Pentagon was hit. He screamed, I hit the gas even harder, barely able to breathe now as I zoomed down the highway at nearly 90 miles an hour.

That day, the newsroom was quiet and somber and bustling…all at the same time. The morning anchors were still on the air, broadcasting what they were seeing on live television…when the towers fell. The silence was deafening, both in the newsroom and on the air. It was at that moment that I knew we had to jump into action. We, as news people, had to step up and cover this story…so we started sending reporters all across Dallas/Fort Worth: federal buildings, DFW International Airport, schools, malls. Word had spread that schools were sending kids home, that offices were clearing out, that malls were closing. Our newsroom was located on the ground floor of the Ballpark in Arlington, a giant baseball stadium, and the surrounding offices were closing and sending people home.

There was no news clock that day. News came in as it happened. As editor, it was all about not letting the story get to me, just getting the facts out as quickly as possible.

It was only when I got home late that evening, after being in the newsroom for 12 hours, that it hit me. I’ve never told anyone this, but my Mom and brother stayed the night. We wanted to be together, we were all so scared.  We stayed up late,  what else, watching the news…

I had not met my husband yet at that time, but now when I think about the risks that police officers and firefighters take every day, and then I think back to the enormous sacrifices that were made that day, I cannot help but get choked up.

To first responders everywhere, not just my Don, but all of you, Thank You.

 



{September 4, 2009}   The Anti-Recession Mama

–by Carla

I’m not sure if was the alignment of the moon and the stars or of the tide and the Big Dipper or what, but this past week was about the best week I’ve had in a very long time. My husband and I celebrated 6 years of marriage on August 30th. (For the record, I normally leave “the husband” out of all of this because he thinks I’m a nutbag for writing about this stuff…or he just things I’m a nutbag in general…I’m not sure which) Anyway, six isn’t even that big of a deal, really. Well it IS, but it’s not 10 or 15, you know what I mean? I think the common gift for 6 is iron and candy or something random like that.

 six!

We each thought the other was going to forget the date, so we hid the cards that our relatives had sent to the house. How very dorky of us. But we didn’t forget. I’d saved up my pennies and bought him a gift certificate for a round of golf since he’s always saying how much he enjoys playing but never gets a chance. I also got him his favorite dark chocolate snacks. See? Iron and candy? But what he did for me was so above and beyond anything I had dreamed up, it really blew me away. He took me to Wolfgang Puck’s “Five Sixty”, high above downtown Dallas.

This tiny little cone (a signature WP dish, I'm told) cost as much as my shoes. This better be tasty!

This tiny little cone (a signature WP dish, I'm told) cost as much as my shoes. This better be tasty!

The swanky, revolving restaurant was so very much out of the norm for our new lifestyle that I was literally giddy with excitement the entire night. He forced me to forget about how much this was costing us, assuring me that he had worked a ton of hours at his part time job to make it happen. 

...see how happy he is about that?

...see how happy he is about that?

Just kidding, he actually seemed to be having a good time, honest…

"At least I don't have to eat Carla's cooking tonight..cheers!"

"At least I don't have to eat Carla's cooking tonight..cheers!"

To be back in this wonderfully familiar atmosphere for the night, and with our two baby boys safely asleep at home with grandma Nina making sure the house didn’t burn down, we could focus on each other for the first time in a very long time. No worries about money or bills and certainly no worries about tantrums or poopie diapers. See, the layoff was tough on our marriage, I won’t lie, and I’m sure the husband won’t mind me outing us like that. I mean, good grief, I’d just had a baby 5-weeks earlier, we had an older child…a 20-month-old at the time…and those things alone can put a lot of strain on a marriage. Not to mention the fact that news people and cops are pretty stressed out folks at times. But this one night almost seemed to erase all of that.

It’s certainly an anti-RM theme for me to talk about going out for a swanky, super expensive dinner (oh and he bought me a spa treatment at a phenomenal spa that I love), but I think I learned some sort of lesson from it all. 

Honestly, I don’t know exactly what that is, but I think it had to do with letting go, not being so uptight and stepping out of my financial comfort zone if even briefly….and just enjoying life.



{August 28, 2009}   The Reinvention Continues…
–by Carla

As Heather embarks on her new, fabulash career as an interior designer and Katy gets ready to start working on her latest Hollywood hit TV show, I’m here in suburban Dallas, trying not to eff up dinner each night. And so, the reinvention of Carla the Career Radio News Anchor continues…

Yay, the stove's right behind me....mocking me...can you hear it?

Yay, the stove's right behind me....mocking me...can you hear it?

I have made a little headway in the kitchen, but not as much as I’d hoped by now. I mean, I was laid off 9 months ago. You’d think I’d have gotten the hang of being a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) by now. But I was “baptized by fire” for this venture, so I try to cut myself a little slack every now and then. It’s not like I started out as a SAHM with my firstborn, then eased into baby #2. I woke up one day and was all of a sudden a SAHM of 2 baby boys…with zero experience.

This week, I did manage to cook a few dishes that didn’t end up crossed out on my “Can Cook This Again” list. I whipped up a chicken and rice casserole Sunday that was inspired by the one and only Campbell’s soup can. Yup, I got me some inspiration at the grocery store last week. I thought, “This looks pretty easy…even *I* can’t screw this one up”. And it was pretty ok. My next bit of inspiration came at the checkout line and one of those little books about “fun cooking for kids” or something. You know the ones…food that looks cute and fun and MAYbe, just maybe, your picky, doesn’t-want-to- ever-eat-anything-at-all, toddler will actually want to eat this stuff. So I then cooked up some chicken strips breaded in crushed corn chips and some other stuff. The breading didn’t even smell appealing to me, but whatever, if Toddler Boy eats it…then fine. I also made some Italian breading-coated chicken strips to go with the giant batch of pasta and sauce I’d made earlier (bc I’m up to HERE with chicken most days). If you’re following along (and I am not), that’s roughly 4 semi-successful meals in about 3 days. I also whipped up my always enjoyable Mexican Casserole which is a lot like what ya get at Chipotle…and even *I* can’t screw up that dish. I’ve made baby Dean several home-cooked meals in the Magic Bullet (bless you, PopPop and Granny for THAT Christmas gift)..and last night I cranked out perhaps the greatest banana bread I have ever cranked out. (For the record, baking does not freak me out like cooking does, for some weird reason)

Success!

…Not really. See, my palate is accustomed to a certain level of yum that my current culinary skills simply cannot deliver. That is a terrible feeling. Talk about champagne taste on a beer budget. It stinks when you’ve eaten at some of the tastiest places on earth, yet you are serving up stuff that a 3rd grader could cook.

It is nice, though, to cook things that my family will actually eat. My very favorite morning this week was when Donald ate my banana bread for breakfast and Dean had a few bites as well, along with his standard baby grub. My heart was huge with joy. Still is.

And lastly this week, in an attempt to save a little money …since I was accidentally poking the boys with my crazy, out of control nails…I hacked them off myself. A good old-fashioned “Recession Manicure”…

Wow, practical AND sexy

Wow, practical AND sexy

…and the tips of my fingers are STILL numb. TOO SHORT. Plus I sliced open the ring finger on my right hand the other day opening the knife drawer. In all, I had 1 bum thumb and 2 bum fingers on the same hand…all while trying to do all of this cooking …just this week. Not to mention the vacuuming, dusting, laundry, laundry, laundry, baby care (all of it), play dates, time-outs, and the who-knows-whats.

Most days I feel like all the other moms are doing a waaaay better job than me…and that I should be waaaay better in the kitchen that I am, that my house should be cleaner, that I should get out more often and host play dates more often and try to meet other moms more often and lose more of this baby weight …and so on, but I also know that I am doing the absolute best that I possibly can.

I also know that I am having the time of my life. A lot of people really don’t understand that, though. I mean, how can you be happy about having lost your nearly six figure income? Easy…

1624a

…I feel like pinching myself because I am living my dream. So what if my cooking stinks right now and money is tight. I’ll learn to cook. In fact, one of my awesome girlfriends …who is very awesome in the kitchen…is organizing cooking classes at her  home coming up soon. I can’t WAIT! (I’m sure I’m not alone on that one…)

…and yes, I do know that there are about 14 different fonts on here. My eyeballs are glazing over. I need a font czar.



{August 21, 2009}   So It’s Over?
—by Carla
 

I’ve had two sniffling, sneezing, dribbling, kiddos to care for this week. Summer cold. Not a big deal, really. No fever, no puking (thank you, puke gods!), just regular old runny/stuffy noses, sneezing (followed by fake sneezing) and coughing (followed by fake coughing). Hey, when you’re 2 and 1/2 and  9 month old boys, these are things that are worth copying. Plus I did get called to fill-in on the anchor desk at WBAP 820AM (Fort Worth/Dallas) on Tuesday, so that was fun. It was fun and refreshing, but it has set me back an entire week. Waking up at 2am is simply not normal. Being at work at 3am is just plain nuts. (I worked that shift for 6 solid years before I was laid off from that other place and it was never this tough. Of course, I didn’t have 2 babies back then, either. Just 1 and that was tough enough.) 

Anyway, I was starting to worry that I was really backed up on my “other” work for the week like laundry, vacuuming, dusting (HA!), laundry, mopping (don’t even get me started on that stupid chore), blogging, emailing, facebooking, tweezing, plucking…you get the idea. Oh plus the husband was off all week, which is like cleaning up after yet another kid. Sheesh. I’m backed up!

But (and my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek here, incaseyouwerentfollowingalong) I was SO relieved when I heard the news this week that the recession is over.

the end 

Yippee! It’s over!!!

So let’s go out there and party our little rear ends off this weekend, ok?

That bit of news probably means very little to most of us, but it is good for a little laugh.

The “experts” didn’t officially declare that we were IN a recession until we were well into it, so news of its “end” actually did nothing to change my day-to-day life. How ’bout you?

Happy Friday y’all.



–by Carla Marion

It’s been a few days now, but word continues to spread about Brad Barton’s shocking layoff from Dallas/Fort Worth News/Talk CBS radio station KRLD (1080AM).

brad

The longtime meteorologist/news anchor/morning news host is among the most trusted names in Dallas/Fort Worth media and his unceremonious termination is still sending shock waves across North Texas, as you can read in the comment section of the previous post. Brad and I have been in touch quite a bit these past few days. I worry about him and Brenda more than he knows and having just been through the “your position has been eliminated” axing myself, I can bet I know exactly what he’s going through right now. But he is a man of extraordinarily strong faith with a family equally as strong and those two things matter more to him than any job could have ever mattered.

Here, once again, Brad gives us an update on what life has been like the past few days, seeing all of the comments on not only this blog, but the various others in the area:

“Wow.  I feel like Jimmy Stewart at the end of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ “the richest man in town.” 
I can’t thank Carla enough for setting a match to this little firestorm as only she can.  I never realized I had so many friends and not just listeners, of course, with friends like Carla and Don, you don’t need many others. ;}
 
The public comments here and in the media blogs have been kind beyond measure and almost all positive.  One negative was a former radio announcer who liked “my predecessor” better.  My most recent predecessor (several years ago) was Mark Watkins who co-anchored mornings with none other than Carla Marion.  As a former radio announcer myself, I can say Mark’s combination of voice, script delivery and recall puts him among the elite talents in broadcasting.  If I were in charge of finding network talent for a new national network, Mark Watkins would be the first one I called.  Compare him to any of the current radio network anchors and he’s already in the top ten percent.  I’ve been Mark’s supervisor, trainer and co-worker but I’m happiest just to be his friend.  I hope we can get together next week.   If the former radio announcer was referring to “my predecessor” in the KRLD Weather Center, there was none.  I started it from scratch on a borrowed desk with an HP 386 in the “wire room” of KRLD.  Maybe I’ll write a book. 
 
And to hear from David Conner and remember his great family was an extraordinary treat.  I hope we can meet again soon.  I finally broke down and put up a Facebook page to keep from sponging off Carla, but I warn you, I’m just a neophyte.”

Keep those comments coming, I know it means the world to Brad and Brenda.



{June 12, 2009}   It’s Been HOW Long?

—by Carla

Six months ago today, I was laid off from my job as a Dallas radio news anchor.

I may have actually looked a little cuter and way more pissed when I was let go.

I may have actually looked a little cuter and way more pissed when I was let go.

No “Debbie Downer” drama here. Just a few thoughts about how my life has changed in that time. 

The new catchphrase these days seems to be “New Normal”. “What’s your new normal? How are you living your life now since the economy went south?” In fact, ABC News is hitting this theme pretty hard right now and Recession Mama has been talking “New Normal” since we got our cute, little feet off the ground. 

I can say with 100% certainty that being laid off was the absolute best thing that could have ever happened to me. I’m not saying that to snub my former employer or anyone else in the world, I really mean it. I had two smiling faces here at home who needed me. At the time of my layoff, my oldest son was 20 months old and the baby was just 5 weeks old. And although I had never wanted to be a working mom, I had resigned myself to the fact that it was the way it had to be. In fact, I had started writing a book about my experiences, entitled, “…But I Don’t WANT It All: Confessions of a Reluctant Career Woman Who JUST Wanted to be a Mom.”

Here, I describe the moment when everything changed three years ago…

“When I found out we were pregnant (with son #1), I was so SO happy and so nervous and so everything…just like any first-time mom-to-be. And I knew one thing for sure: I’d be quitting my job and stepping back from my career for a few years until the little one(s) went off to school, then I’d make my way back into the workforce. I had it all planned out in my head, how it would go down with the husband, when I told him about my plans. We were on a “babymoon” cruise…I was 3 months pregnant…we were in our stateroom, looking out the porthole when I started talking. I told him that since my contract was almost up, it would make sense to tell the bosses that I would not be coming back because I was going to stay home to raise my child. But things didn’t go as I had imagined in my head all this time. See, in my head, we’d embrace and he’d have tears in his eyes, and I’d wipe them away, and he’d tell me that he couldn’t be luckier than to be with a woman who was willing to give up her successful career…one she has worked so hard for…for so many years, to raise his child…and we’d embrace more, and cry together, then we’d hit the buffet. What ACTUALLY happened was much, much different.” 

I’ll stop there. Needless to say, I became a working mom.

(And for the record, I would never dream of passing judgement on working moms. Remember, I was one. These are my personal thoughts I’m sharing with you now.)

As much as I had tormented myself about going back to work with baby #1, I had completely reprogrammed my brain to BE that working mom with baby #2. Then the universe said, “Naaaaaah…change of plans again” on December 12, 2008.

In the last 6 months, I’ve gone from being a working mom (who was home at 11:30 every morning to spend the rest of the day with her baby boy) to being a stay-at-home mom with 2 kids. BAM…just like that. Talk about on the job training. I went from having a twice-a-month housekeeper…to doing it myself. I went from ordering out and bringing in food and eating out…to learning to cook (and I mean learning everything). No more buying whatever I wanted to buy because I could buy it (not that we racked up credit card debt..it was all cash, but that meant no savings). 

This transition has not been all about money, either. It’s been a deeper life lesson.

bitch-slap

I was basically bitch-slapped back into reality. And you know what? I have loved every minute of it. That is not to say I’ve been running around screaming, “Yippee, I was laid off! This doesn’t suck at all!” But there is something about this “new normal” that I have been able to accept rather easily. I am glad this happened. It has put everything back into perspective for me…and it feels great.

Happy Friday !



{June 9, 2009}   Look Out World Here I Come!

By: Heather

graduation

My niece graduated from high school last week! Now it’s time for her to take on the world.  Or more realistically, it’s time for her to say goodbye to old friends and move on to college.

She’s a smart young lady who’s fortunate to be going to a good school. But will that be enough to make her successful in life? That’s the big question.

She certainly has some advantages. She’s a smart cookie, who has a supportive family, so I have no doubt she’ll do well. But she’ll have to buckle down and work hard to stand out from the rest. 

I wish somebody would’ve slapped some common sense into me about the “real world” when I graduated from high school and college.

My mom tried to warn me. But I wasn’t listening.  I was so naive about what was going to happen next.

I had a “look out world here I come attitude” but was shocked to learn that the world didn’t really give two hoots about my arrival on the “grown up” scene.

Ouch.

I was even more devastated to learn that I wasn’t the only girl who wanted to be the next Diane Sawyer or Murphy Brown.

Murphybrown_1[1]

“Whaaat? But I’m unique right? I’ve got a “can-do” attitude.”

“Whatever honey. Now get in line behind the other chick who has a better resume, more experience and actually knows someone in the business.”

“Experience? Contacts? But I have a degree. Isn’t that enough?”

“Hardly.”

I was slightly delusional in thinking that employers would want to hire me immediately if I just sent them a resume. Not so.

graduate

 

“Wow! This is so much harder than I thought.”

I had just about given up when I finally met the cousin of a college friend. She worked at a radio station and knew about an entry level news job. She told me when I could find the operations manager roaming the halls.

I literally backed him into a corner and refused to move until he agreed to a specific time and date for an interview.  

He looked slightly afraid and finally agreed.

“I’ll work for cheap and take whatever hours you can give me.” I told him during the interview.

Now you’re talking honey!

That was basically my start in the world of news. Not quite the “big splash” I had anticipated.

It took years of working overnights, early mornings, working for free, working for little pay and working two and three jobs just to get the experience I needed.

I’m still no Diane Sawyer. Never will be. And Murphy Brown doesn’t actually exist. But I can honestly say I feel pretty good about what I have accomplished.

Would I do it all again? I’m not sure I would’ve taken the same path had I known how hard it was going to be. Maybe. But it’s really hard to say.

The world taught me a big lesson as a young adult. It takes more than a can-do attitude and a good work ethic to get ahead. Sure they help tremendously. But going to the right school, landing a good internship and networking are just as important.

caps

My best advice to my niece and other graduates: get prepared to fail and succeed. You’ll experience both.

A degree isn’t a ticket for stability and success. It’s a jumping off point to an even longer journey. You have to be prepared to suceed, fail and accept many challenges. Your character will be defined by how you handle them.

“Look out world here we come!” It’s a good mantra. 

But a more realistic one would read: “Hello world. I’m going to do the best that I can.”

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