When I worked at XTRA in San Diego, one of my co-workers was a legend in the sports broadcasting industry. Chet Forte had been the longtime director of Monday Night Football in the days of Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford and Dandy Don Meredith. After Chet’s well-publicized gambling problems forced him off the broadcasts, he got his life in order then got back into broadcasting working as a sports talk host at our station.
Chet passed away while employed at XTRA Sports. The entire staff wanted to attend the funeral to give respect to Chet and support to his family. Chet had been great to all of us – so kind, generous, and fun. I especially enjoyed attending the high school basketball city championship with Chet, after which he treated me to dinner at a nearby Black Angus steak house.
We all owed a debit of gratitude and appreciation to Chet.
Radio stations require 24/7 programming, even during a funeral. I volunteered to miss Chet’s funeral and fill-in for other local hosts so they could attend. That day I hosted the mid-morning show, hustled to Qualcomm Stadium to cover a Padres afternoon game, then high-tailed it back to the station to host my regularly scheduled night show. I was on the clock for roughly 12 hours that day, from midday to midnight.
My motivation was to help my team. However, in the immaturity of my youth, I also wanted to be thanked for my effort.
I never heard “thank you” from management or anyone for whom I had filled in. I felt underappreciated.
Here’s why I bring it up.
Most everyone working in sportscasting at some point feels overworked, underappreciated and underpaid.
There are long hours. You wear a lot of hats. You don’t earn what you think you deserve and you rarely get a pat on the back.
How do you feel better about it?
Here’s the key:
What you are not getting in appreciation and compensation, you are getting in opportunity.
Your employer is paying you to build your resume and polish your craft in pursuit of your next job. They’re paying you to prepare yourself for a bigger and better opportunity.
When you look at it that way, you’ll quickly stop feeling underappreciated and stay motivated.