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How do you switch careers?

June 8, 2011
Cubicle Farm

Image by brianhendrix via Flickr

I’ve been helping my cousin craft a new résumé, but I don’t have a lot of faith in its power to get him a new career.

He graduated college with a radio/television/film degree and took a few radio jobs early in his career. However, unless you become a big time personality, there’s really no money in radio. So when it came time to settle down, get hitched and have kids, he switched careers and went into the mortgage and banking industry. As you can imagine, this industry is a tad less fun than the radio gig.

After 12 years of toiling in a paper pushing profession, he’s finally had it. It’s time to work a job he actually likes, not just to cash a check.

My cousin is very creative. He has a vocation to work in the news or entertainment industry (we’re both the grandsons of a late, well-known reporter for 1010 WINS in New York City). He’s not the kind of guy who necessarily wants “on camera” work, he likes crafting a broadcast.

So here’s the problem, how do you get a guy who’s been out of the broadcast business for 12 years back in? Keep in mind, he’s got a family to support, so interning isn’t going to be an option.

His résumé doesn’t exactly scream “HIRE ME COMCAST SPORTNET!” There’s not a lot of television or radio producers out there who have spent most of their career figuring out loan agreements.

My cousin has all the ability and know-how to be a good producer, what he doesn’t have is the proof. Well he does, but it’s 12-year-old proof, which, unlike a good scotch, doesn’t age well.

So how does he get back into broadcasting? Obviously the old-fashioned paper resume isn’t going to cut it. Cover letters are meaningless. He has a few connections, but none with much pull or, more importantly, hiring power.

Personally, I think there are easy ways to show off his talents with as little cost as possible. A lot of people have been hired after displaying their abilities on YouTube, via a blog, of even a Twitter account (the guy from @shitmydadsays landed both a book deal and a television series based on tweeting the hilarious stuff his father rants).

I could see my cousin creating a Deadspin.com-ish blog or video series critiquing sports teams and/or sports broadcasters. Who knows, if he’s good enough maybe the Deadspin guys will pick him up. Or, I hear the Huffington Post is always looking for cheap content. Perhaps Examiner.com?

If you have any thoughts about how my cousin can switch careers, I’d love to hear it. Feel free to post it below in the comments section.

Oh, and if you want to hire him, I’ll pass that along too. Resume available upon request.

Wondering why someone like my cousin would leave a nice little desk job? I believe the movie Office Space is a great reminder of why:

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