(Continued from original article) More former radio people than perhaps we even realize have headed for the exits – either pursuing a new and different career choice, giving up entirely, or simply retiring. But many others are still working hard on honing their skill sets, improving their networking, and sharpening their packaging to find a way back in.
I’ve gotten to know Corey Dylan during the past few years. Her on-air radio career started in Bakersfield and Seattle, before settling in Tampa, working for Cox and finally iHeart Radio. It all ended in July of 2016.
Along the way, Corey reasoned that her skills needed work in a changing radio industry, and hired a voice acting coach in L.A.. – a decision that’s served her well. Since leaving radio, she’s worked lots of freelance VO gigs, including for the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, several hospitals, and even the Mob Museum in Las Vegas.
Other “odd jobs” have included regular appearances on TMZ Live, as well as the syndicated Daytime TV Show, in addition to hawking tech products on the Home Shopping Network.
Last winter, she was the audio tech playing music during batting practice, as well as running audio during Boston Red Sox spring training games where they never tire of hearing “Sweet Caroline.”
Since that time, she’s pursued scores of radio jobs, only to reject opportunities that didn’t feel right or get rejected herself.
Along the way, Corey has sharpened her skills, especially because of her tendency to “saying yes to wild opportunities that come your way.” Like many in radio, she’s adept at jocking music or hosting talk radio. She’s great on TV, she’s built a solid presence on social media, she can sell stuff, and even knows how to rev up fans at live events.
Throughout this long period of uncertainty and unemployment instability, she’s always shown a strong sense of resilience – in fact, a lot it, in order to keep fighting the good fight in search of “the perfect gig.”
I heard from her over the weekend. After two years and seven months without full-time employment (but who’s counting), she has finally found her “dream job.” For the moment, she’s tight-lipped about what and where it is. But she’s assured me her long wait, perseverance, and resilience has finally paid off.
She also attached an article from the Wall Street Journal from 2017 – during the depths of her unemployment – sent to her by her niece. Titled “The Secrets of Resilience” by Meg Jay (it may be behind a pay wall), it’s a crash course in managing your career and your brain when the negativity piles up. It’s also inspirational because it breaks down why some people are more resilient than others.
Jay tracks a number of well-known celebrities who have overcome all sorts of hardships, from bullying to various forms of abuse. As she notes, “resilient people are everywhere” from “every walk of life.”
She talks about studies that point to why some people have the ability to bounce back from adversity and right themselves. Researchers have learned that some people are determined scrappers with a strong will to survive and thrive.
My favorite quote from her story comes from a military officer who was bullied as a child. When asked how he made it through these circumstances, he explained:
“I refused to accept what they said about me was true.”
That philosophy served Corey Dylan well during her long, sometimes painful time on the beach. And it’s exactly the kind of resilience the greater broadcast radio business needs in order to once again prove it can overcome diversity, technology, and negative perceptions that continue to grow with each passing year.
That means taking ownership of problems and challenging situations, and staying focused on solutions, as painful as they may be. It means taking matters into your own hand – addressing problems, developing new skills and benefit, embarking on self-marketing, and staying positive even during the darkest times.
Over my time in radio, I’ve met many, many people, from the air studio to the sales cubicles to the corner office that have that resilience gene. They are optimistic, but realistic even in the face of the inevitable bad news that affect us all.
Over the decades, many have proven that the “R” in radio stands for resilience – the ability to bounce back, overcome, sustain, and survive. This would be a great time for the industry to double-down on it.
I don’t know Corey Dylan’s destination, whether she’ll be working behind a mic, in front of a camera, or plying her skills in something else entirely. Whatever the case, she’s shown the kind of resilience radio as an industry needs in order to play through the tough times, and emerge successful and whole.
I wish her well, and I hope she ends up in radio.