ColumnsKeep It 100

Keep It 100: A Favor for a Favor

Dear Shameika,
I am in desperate need of a career change. I am currently working in the healthcare field, but not having any luck finding my dream job in television news. I have always wanted to work in television, and so I thought that reaching out to my connections on job networking sites would be a great idea. However, when I reached out to a guy that I went to college with that works in the industry, he used that as an opportunity to hit on me and tell me that the only way he will help me is if I sleep with him. Do I take one for the team and do it to get help getting in the door to my dream job?
-A Gal Desperately Seeking a New Career

Shameika Rhymes

Dear Desperately Seeking a New Career,

Girl. Girl. Girl. Are you really asking me this right now? I’m desperately trying to fix my face to figure out where to start with this response. He has his nerve, but we’ll get in his ass momentarily. Let me Keep it 100 with you first. I commend you for wanting to follow your heart and skip down the yellow brick road to a career in television news. I actually come from the television news world, and let me tell you right now; while some of it is who you know, it’s also mostly about your own merit and talent.

You can’t expect a referral to get you in the door if you haven’t done the work. I get it, you work in healthcare now, but have you taken classes at one of the broadcasting schools? Have you done a job shadow experience? Have you talked to the folks that are actually in the day-to-day grind of putting news on television to decide if this is really the path you want to take?

Television news is far from the glamorous life, but if it’s your dream then you have to be willing to work hard. I suggest starting with making your own connections in the industry; going to media events, finding a mentor, and if possible, doing an internship. You may discover that the hours and pay for the amount of work you have to do isn’t worth that career transition. Or, you may find that this is exactly what you have been looking for to fulfill your heart’s desire.

Do you have a resume reel? Do you have writing samples? Do you practice in the mirror accepting awards … err, wait I got sidetracked, that’s my dream. But anyway, the idea is the same: If you want something you will manifest it by believing it is yours, but you have to do the work to receive it. That starts with working on your craft to make sure your resume and reel rises to the top of the news director’s pile on his or her desk.

Now, let’s jump over to this mofo. Sadly, there are no shortage of jerks that see an opportunity to talk the panties off someone by dangling their dream in front of them. You have to be the voice of reason in your own head and decide if this is going against everything you stand for. Besides, wouldn’t you rather have the respect of getting the job based on your talent versus having to compromise yourself just for him to allegedly pass your resume on? He seems like the type that honestly wouldn’t even pass it to the appropriate folks, but scam you for a ride on “Love’s Train,” shout out to Con Funk Shun, (y’all will one day appreciate my old school song references). How will you feel when he’s got his and you’re left walking the halls of the hospital or doctor’s office where you currently work, waiting on a call from HR that isn’t coming. Hell, if he has to set it up to get the cookie that way, his peen probably ain’t worth the trouble of bothering to hunch.

So no, there is no need to “take one for the team,” unless you just want to bump uglies for nostalgia’s sake. Personally, I would check his ass and call him out on his inappropriate behavior and explain to him why this isn’t okay, then use my best finger and block his ass!

In the meantime, work on you and find out what you will need to know to break into the news biz, including the specifics for whatever role you are interested in. Figure out if you need to move to market 200 in a small town no one has ever heard of to get that experience under your belt before you come back to the Queen City and take the news world by storm.

Don’t let this mofo discourage you from taking your career into your own hands. Please don’t let your desperation show. Instead, be confident and know that the universe has got your back so if you want this career switch bad enough, it will happen in due time. Good luck!

If you have a dilemma you need help solving, drop me a line:

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