“I have a new job,” came the news from my longtime friend on the other end of the phone.
This is a friend who has also worked in television for years. Hang with that crowd and you receive from pretty heady phone calls over the years.
I’ve heard everything from “I’m going to CBS News” and “I’ll be contributing to ‘The Today Show!’ ” to “I’m the new White House correspondent!”
This particular friend this week had different kind of news.
“I’ve taken a job selling cars,” he shared. I could hear shame and disappointment in his voice. “Not just cars. Used cars.”
A major career change, just like any other big lifestyle change, can be difficult to navigate.
Transitioning from what seems like a glamorous business to one that’s more traditional can have a big impact on your state of mind.
But with any career, there are positives and negatives.
Sure you hear about network news anchors making millions of dollars. You see correspondents report from around the world wearing fabulous clothes. How about the sports world? Those guys really get to go to games and talk to your heroes face to face and call that “work”?
Many sure do. But most of the folks you see doing the local news or sports on TV are living on a budget, not making a ton of money and working in the real world, grappling with many of the same job challenges that most working people have to face.
Living through job changes, some by choice, some not, are the kind of experiences that give me great compassion and respect for this particular friend who shared his news this week.
“I’ve never been more impressed with any job announcement,” I told him.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” he said.
I couldn’t be more serious. I understand that he longed to be back in front of the TV camera, to be working his sources. But bills, a mortgage and his family’s future were staring him in the face.
“You’re doing what you have to do to take care of your family,” I told him. “You’re putting your ego, your own dreams aside to do what needs to be done. You’re showing your kids what it means to be a man and personally, I can’t think of anything more impressive.”
My friend’s new boss might not realize it, but he just got a used car salesman with a truckload of integrity. Better enjoy him while he can. Like all of us good guys might hit hard times, but I honestly believe they rise above in the end.