As the end of 2013 approached, you, like everyone, probably thought of some new-year resolutions. The usual ideas relating to personal health are always good, but they are usually the resolutions that are quickly broken. Even the easiest (or so we think) resolutions are often cast aside by the third week of January.
But there has to be something you can do to improve yourself. We shouldn''t just wait until a new calendar is placed on the wall, but it''s as good a reason to start as any. Here are three items you can put on your list that you should be able to keep.
Take a class. It''s probably been a while since you took an actual class, but it''s never too late to do so. And there are plenty of classes available from a wide variety of sources. Even a class in something you already know (or you think you know) will have some benefit. Even if the topic isn''t electronics, or computer networking, or RF, going to school stimulates your thinking. Learn a foreign language. Take art appreciation. Attend accounting 101. If it applies to your daily career in radio, all the better. If you take the class only for yourself, that''s a perfectly good reason as well.
Your local community college, adult education center and extension office, professional training centers and the Society of Broadcast Engineers are just a few of the places to look. But take a moment and look. And register for a class today.
Become certified. You know I''m active in the Society of Broadcast Engineers, and I support the SBE Program of Certification. But there are other professional certifications that apply to what we do in radio. Certification is an easy way to demonstrate an understanding of a particular area of expertise. Your work experience and credentials alone are part of your curriculum vitae, but having a professional certification shows that someone else has evaluated your skills.
I''m sure you reviewed the results of our annual salary survey from the October 2013 issue. In every survey we''ve conducted over the decades we have compared the salaries of those who hold SBE certification and those who do not. Those people who hold SBE certification on average earn more than those who are not certified. While simply obtaining the certification won''t ensure a salary increase, it shows your employer you are actively involved in bettering yourself. And once you obtain the certification, be sure to notify your employer.
Learn to speak manager. There are some engineers who excel at speaking manager. Or sales. Or programming. You have no doubt seen that when you retell the story of how you prevented hours of off-air time by finding and repairing the forgotten air flow switch before it failed completely, others in the station may appreciate your enthusiasm, but likely have no idea what you''re saying as their eyes glaze over. This doesn''t mean don''t tell the story. By all means, show your value to the station and the team by showing the results of your work and how they helped the bottom line or the ratings.
If someone wants the full explanation, share it. But learn to speak the language of those in other departments. They''ll appreciate and understand the effort even more.
Save the nuts-and-bolts explanation for the next SBE meeting.