You Got the Job! What Now?

As far back as you can remember, being a radio DJ was your dream! You used to tape songs, yes TAPE, and then do your own spiel with your best announcer voice, introing and outroing your favorite tunes. You studied Communications in college, maybe even dabbled in college radio. You tried your hand at interning a few times. And NOW you finally got the gig! You have been hired to be a Radio DJ!!! YES! Well…I hate to break it to you…it’s not what you think it is.

Yes, BACK in the day, being on air meant just that…being on air. That was it. You were the celebrity on the radio. You went in the studio, played music, talked about the most wanted songs, interviewed artists, went to all the concerts, hung out back stage, kicked your heels up and coasted. Those days, my friends, are gone. There are too many people out there who will take your newfound job in a second. So how do you hang onto it and prove you are right for the part?

Try to learn EVERYTHING! When I started in radio I did a morning show, then worked in the commercial traffic department, then recorded a midday show, then did production, then did nights. I wanted to pay my dues. I wanted to prove I was ready for anything. I wanted to learn as much as possible. Because of this, I’ve been able to work in a variety of areas within companies and have proven to be essential to those stations. You need to show you are an asset to the team. TEAM is a huge part of it. You want to help out anywhere you can. Ok, so you got your first on air gig. Now ask if you can shadow production after the show. Offer help with promotions. Talk to sales and ask them if there’s anything you can do to help as far as going with them to see clients and sell endorsements for yourself. Go to the traffic director and ask if you can shadow. Learning more about commercial placement and music logs so very beneficial. You can no longer “kick up your heels and coast” in radio. It’s all about thrusting yourself into every area you area able to.

Obviously, don’t be pushy or overstep. There are some who are very protective of their work so asking to learn more is a great way to show your respect. But it is key to learn more in every aspect of the station you’re working for. I would suggest reading up on the system you’re using for music and traffic, when the prod room is open, use it to mess with whatever recording programs they use and learn as much about that as possible.

The more you know, the more you are able to be of use, and the more indispensable you are to the company. Wear all the hats you can. It’s not just about being on-air anymore.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top