So you got the big call. The news director throws a few compliments, says he/she needed you there yesterday, then offers so-so money. How do you react? Be polite. Don’t sound excited. Say you have to think about it. In other words make the news director sweat just a little bit. Why? You want to eek out as much money as you can and this is your last chance to see if there is any wiggle room. Remember if you don’t get the money when you first walk in the door, the odds are about as good as playing the lottery that you will ever “see the money” in that shop. Eek out as much as you can immediately. The other reason to not jump for joy is to see how the news director acts towards you. Remember, be polite. Say you feel complimented. Just don’t say yes right away. Play a little hard to get. If the news director starts firing off that 10 other people are dying to be in your shoes right now and you better make up your mind fast, you know this person is will be hard to deal with and you should probably turn the job down. If the news director says take some time and think about it (usually that’s a day, maybe two) he/she knows this is a big decision, the odds are higher you really will be working for someone reasonable.
Then, before you decide to take the job, research two things: The management team and the cost of living where you might move.
Do Google searches and find out where this news director worked before. You want to find out as much as possible about the news director and assistant news director. Cold call old TV stations if you must and ask for people who worked under these managers. If you are told the person is amazing, demand to know the bad things. You need to figure out if you can handle this person’s quirks. News directors and A.N.D.’s can quickly make or break you. Don’t trust that they checked you out and know you will click. He/she is overworked, overstressed and mostly interested in getting through each day without being eaten alive. Your personality means little to nothing. Filling the job means one less headache for management.
Next, if you haven’t already, research the heck out of the cost of living in this particular city. Check out various cost of living calculators online, like the one at Monster.com (http://monster.salary.com/costoflivingwizard/layoutscripts/coll_start.asp). Better yet, get online and read the local newspaper. Find out the average cost of renting an apartment by looking at the classifieds and take a look at the grocery store flyers to try and gauge the cost of food. It can vary wildly and may make a huge difference to your bottom line. Also, call your car insurance company and find out what rates would be like in that city. You need to make sure that raise you think you are getting will really be there once you factor in these things. If you live in the south and are considering heading north, check out tax rates. One place we lived had state income taxes, county income taxes and city income taxes. A nearly 30 thousand dollar jump didn’t look so glamorous after that was factored in. You can use this information to try and eek out more money. Even if you end up getting only a little more, every bit helps.