Today will be a very personal blog. Thousands of people will miss what I am sharing. And it's an important message.
I start this week officially “unemployed." (Sorry, President Obama, you'll have to add me to the list.) Whatever negative baggage comes with that term, that is not me. Even more importantly, my last job was not who I am.
For the past 14 plus years, I have served as executive producer and host of a Chicago based morning radio program. That's right … 3 AM wake ups, many 80-mile-per-day commutes, along with the daily pressures of finding interesting topics and conversation starters. And did I mention being not only awake, but energetic and excited at 5 AM sign on? Every day.
Make no mistake, here. I ENJOYED it! Radio is a wonderful line of work. The connection to people from all walks of life … travel ... the opportunity to be creative and use your gifts … are all such a blessing.
But radio can also be a very transient line of work. Most of us in this business have experienced changes in station ownership, management, and formats at some point. It often required that we move along, and take our talents with us. Thus, I've been blessed with tours in Sacramento, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Chicago.
The radio management team where I've served in Chicago recently decided to make a change in morning programming. Like most changes, "in with the new and out with the old." Marketing impact is always made with "new and improved." That's usually how I came to get my jobs!
Most of my work life has been as a radio personality. (I dislike the term "deejay" since it implies my role is to "spin records."). Formats I've been involved with have been quite varied. Some involved music. My talk radio work did not. But it was personality radio that kept me employed.
Having said that, radio is not who I am. My identity is not wrapped up in being a radio personality. I've also been a radio sales manager and program director. I've helped launch two nonprofits, headed up operations for a trade show company, and been involved in two business start ups. I've authored two books. NONE of this activity truly defines me.
I share this with you because, in the world of the unemployed, it is very easy to lose sight of your worth. For a season, you're not on the "WANTED” posters ... you become unwanted. And I refuse to go there. Moreover, I want to help others not go there.
But know this: our work should never define us as human beings. God created in each of us something much greater. The Creator of all things has made every human being in His image. He doesn't stamp us with a job title. He gives us His divine imprint. [Pause, please, while I reflect on this amazing truth.]
When we are around the unemployed, we have in our presence people uniquely gifted by God. People of such great value that God sent His only Son to die for them. (John 3:16). That's who I am. And no one can ever take that away from me.
This is not a new revelation to me. I've held onto this truth for years. And perhaps in the days ahead, I will find a way to make this message come alive more powerfully in the workplace.
As we say in the radio business … STAY TUNED!