I’ve just got back from spending the weekend learning how to tie up babies.
No, don’t worry – you don’t need to call Social Services!
I am training to be a Sling Consultant, so I can help parents work out which type of baby carrier best suits them and their child.
I’m also learning how to be a Doula, but that’s a whole other website.
Yep, this post isn’t about radio.
But… it also is.
Variety is the spice of life
I’ve often thought that the best programme makers are those that work part time.
Or, at the very least, are the ones with weird shift patterns that let them out and about during the day.
Because it enables them to experience real life, away from the radio bubble.
Reflecting the world
When we broadcast, we reflect the world back on itself.
It is so easy, in the pressure of a media job, to spend every waking hour in the office.
50 and 60 hour + working weeks, often with unsocial shifts, are not uncommon.
And, even in non-journalistic roles, many of us are never really off duty – engineers may be on call to offer technical expertise, presenters are always thinking about their next link and the station manager is listening at all times of the day and night to make sure nothing bad is happening on-air.
It’s easy – and tempting – to shut down and just focus on work.
Dull people make dull radio stations!
I think having only radio as an interest in your life is a mistake.
Your listeners do not spend their whole lives in a radio station, and neither should you.
Not only do you need a life outside to retain your own balance and sanity, you also need some creative inspiration …and contacts.
I would not have got my first job if it hadn’t have been for experiences I gained as a volunteer with Girlguiding.
My obsessional birth geekery has led me to understand issues about maternity care and systems in great depth and be someone other colleagues can turn to for advice in handling stories.
I have bonded with many people in the pub over Harry Potter, the biomechanics of trampolining and how to say ‘he knits a motley sock’ in Bulgarian… all because of the various weird and wonderful experiences I have had in my life (gasp) outside radio*.
Radio is still the centre of my universe, but I don’t think I’d be able to do it very well if I couldn’t bring in knowledge from my other interests.
Most importantly, it allows me to meet an enormous range of interesting people from a variety of backgrounds – great for sparking curiosity and creativity!
What do you do?
So what do you do outside of your radio life?
If radio is your life, what interest can you pursue for the pure fun of it to get you out of the office and doing something just for you?
We have amazing people in this industry, with talents that go beyond creating and broadcasting programmes. The more experiences you have, the better a station you will create.
What’s your secret skill? Let me know by leaving a comment below – I am very nosy and would love to hear what you enjoy apart from radio!
*And yes, despite that weird and wonderful list, I do still get invited out to the pub…