Friday, December 05, 2008

Go West - Life is peaceful there ( media tales)

Go west, life is peaceful there, said 80s sensational Brit pop act the Pet Shop Boys.

Twenty plus years on, Go East, could be a more fitting lyric, particularly if you work in the media.

Tom, worked for ITN, Sky and a host of other broadcasts before in 2006, he was struck by that big plank of wood that falls from the sky with the inscription, BOREDOM.

" I was pretty bored, with it all. Same stories, predictable, the fun had gone".

He mentioned to his Greece partner, lets up stakes, sell everything, except the car and go to Greece.

That he duly did and then through a combination of adventure and serendipity, one of Russia's most renowned broadcasters came calling.

When it comes to constructive critiquing, Tom, also an ex-BBC knows how to play diplomatically with words.

If you're pitching to work for a future employer, tell em what's wrong, without being smug and how you could fix it, without being a know-it-all.

So with his house in Greece, Tom commutes every week to Moscow to work. Yep you can re-read that last sentence again.

Back in the UK
"So what brings you over to the UK?", I asked

" My car is registered here and it needs an MOT, so I drove it from Greece for an MOT and I'm now swapping it for something else"

"Ahh", I responded, eyes pinced, "are there no MOTs in Greece".

"No, it's registered in the UK".

"Silly me. What do I know"

We moved on.

"I think if you're in the UK or West, you could be looking to places in the East e.g. Russia to put together your new plan for global media.. yep think Global'?

This by the way is not alien advice. I have strongly advocated myself, based on my peripatetic career that travelling to new places is the stuff that strengthens you personally and professionally.

A couple of acquaintances have been asking me to come to Poland, Moscow and China, to name a few places.

Relocating, though takes more than a laundry list and "things to do in Denver, or Beijing" as the case may be.

What about Africa?
A couple of old Masters students are set on relocating to East Africa to try their hands working for an emerging publisher. We've been swapping interesting emails. "What can we expect for a relocation package?", they've queried.

Tom ( and by now you'll recognise I have left his surname out) says Russia is ideal. The economy is holding out and there's work for journalist, in which quite a few newly qualified ones have taken advantage.

But get ready for the culture shock, he adds.

At a time when the West is feeling the crunch, perhaps the East isn't such a bad idea after all. I'm thinking whether to consider the South.

Despite the short time we spent together, I really enjoyed the experience of recently meeting one of South Africa's most respected media managers, Trevor Ncube.

Go South! Doesn't quite have the same ring to it as the previous two.

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