Still Waiting – The Long Battle To Find That First Broadcast Job

Graduation seems like it was ages ago. You were pretty fired up to get that first job in broadcast meteorology a month and a half ago, but today you are starting to feel a little disheartened about the whole thing. That’s okay, but I’m here to tell you its way too early to throw in the towel.

Hopefully you know already that there are more broadcast meteorologists out there than jobs available to fill them, so the field is pretty competitive. You might have been the best in your graduating class, but there are plenty of other schools putting out good broadcast meteorologists as well. In addition, you might be up against more seasoned mets who have been working for a year or two who are looking to make a lateral move, or bump up from part time to full time. So right from the start, you’ve got a lot of qualified people all applying for the same jobs you are. That doesn’t mean you won’t find your spot. You just need to keep working at it, and planning for the long run.

Here are a couple of things to consider if you are still looking for that first job in broadcast meteorology:

Get some feedback on your tape. If you haven’t had someone take a real critical look at your tape, now is the time to think about that. You might be a pretty good met, but if there is something clearly wrong with the tape you’ve been sending out, it might be selling you short right from the start. Find a meteorologist that is working at a local station you may have interned or networked with and ask them to take a hard look at your tape. They might see something you hadn’t, and give you ideas to make it better. There might be some easy changes you can make to give your tape a more polished look.

Widen and loosen your job search. Take a look at the jobs you have applied to so far. Are you disappointed that the tapes you sent to the Weather Channel and New York City didn’t land yourself an interview yet? There is a chance you might have set your sights too high. Even the best broadcast meteorologists coming out of college need to prove themselves in a smaller market to get started. Be sure you are applying for jobs in markets 90 and up. Also, if you’ve been sending out tapes to only one particular area, consider looking for opportunities in other parts of the county. You might need to start somewhere farther away before you have the experience to get where you want to go.

Put together a Plan B. Stay the course, but think about the future. I had to come to the hard truth that my resume tape was really bad, and that there was no way in the world that anyone was to to hire me based on that. Its still way too early to give up, but begin thinking about other things you could do to keep you moving in the right direction. Maybe you could take a job as a weather producer, or do something part time. Perhaps you could go back to the station you interned with and get another hour in front of the chroma key. There are also other opportunities to consider in private sector and government meteorology. Plus, there is always grad school.

Keep in mind that summer can be a slow time for hiring in local television. Everyone is on vacation and it can usually take until August or even September for news directors to start looking at tapes and to get set for a busy fall. In my experience, it take most graduating broadcast meteorologists three to four months to get that first job. Don’t loose hope, keep sending out those tapes every week. Its still way too early to give up.


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