Holiday preps

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By: Mandy Mitchell

You may have looked at the headline and thought “um…it’s October.” This is the time you should start talking to your family about the holidays.

One of the toughest things during your first few years in the business is missing the big holidays for the first time. It’s not just tough on you, it’s tough on Mom, Dad, Grandma…and you should prepare them for what’s about to happen.

The first thing you want your family to understand is that working the holidays shouldn’t be viewed as some sort of punishment. It’s not necessarily that you are the “lowest on the totem pole.” It could very well be that management would like to give you a shot at anchoring, or producing a show in a different day part. Lots of older, more experienced folks in the newsroom have husbands, wives and kids. This is your shot as a young single person to work a shift you normally wouldn’t get the chance to work.

Explain that to your family. Make it clear this is an opportunity to advance and better yourself in the business. If you change your own attitude about the situation, you can convince others to join in the excitement. If you explain how to watch your anchoring debut online, I am betting the family will be pretty pumped to make that a part of Christmas Eve celebrations!

That being said, you may very well have to work simply because you are new and you are young. That’s the business, baby! It sucks, but you shouldn’t tell your family that. You should explain that you are paying your dues and someday someone else will be the new and young one and you will be sipping eggnog with the fam. Be as positive as you can be and you can lessen the emotion that is likely headed your way!

Having a backup plan is another thing to do. If you are scheduled for a holiday, try to come up with a way to visit your family another day to “makeup” the holiday. If you have family traditions on Thanksgiving, Christmas or Chanukah, maybe you can participate via face time or move it to another day all together. Getting your family to understand the holiday doesn’t have to be on one specific day can really help. Christmas morning is just as fun on December 28th!

One thing to always remember is your family likely will never truly understand why you are working holidays. YOU chose this business. THEY did not.

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