OPINION – Heard any good rumors lately? This has become my standard greeting when running into friends and acquaintances over the past three weeks.
You’d be surprised at some of the answers I’ve received.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good conspiracy as much as the next guy, but I need to set the record straight regarding a recent career shift.
Yes, the door has closed on my radio career after 32 years – most of that time spent here in Southern Utah. Losing a job in radio is nothing unusual; it’s the nature of the business.
A dismissal in talk radio always seems to prompt the kind of theories that would have Art Bell shaking his head. No, the powers-that-be didn’t issue an order that I be silenced. Frankly, I’d be flattered if they had.
The real story is that a change in management resulted in a change in direction. Pretty mundane stuff in and of itself.
Having said that, there is an intriguing twist to my story I would like to share with those willing to think a bit deeper than the rumor mill.
What many of my listeners saw as an injustice has turned out to be an unmistakable blessing. Let me explain.
I had a clear warning that change was coming. Late in the afternoon the day before I was let go, I received a text that management would be coming for a visit. This is something that happened on an almost weekly basis, and there was nothing ominous in the text itself. However, as I read the text, I had an overwhelming vibe that this visit portended real change. I’m not a psychic, but the premonition couldn’t have been more clear.
The sense of what I felt was so strong that I took the time that evening to clear my desk of most of my books and personal items and took them home. I explained to my wife what I had sensed, and we both laughed about my apparent paranoia.
The next morning as I was discussing what I had experienced with my program director, he too got a laugh out of it. It was only when management walked in accompanied by a human resources rep and the information technology guy that his eyes went wide, and I started to chuckle.
Sure enough, they were there to cut me loose.
Getting let go is always disappointing at some level, but I was struck with an incredible sense of peace and anticipation as I walked to my car. Once inside, I bowed my head and offered a short prayer that included the question, “What’s the next great opportunity?”
I didn’t have to wait long for an answer.
As much as I cuss social media, it’s a highly effective way to get the word out that you’re looking for gainful employment. Within a couple of hours, I was being flooded with job opportunities and words of encouragement.
I must take a moment to express the love and appreciation I feel for those who reached out. The generosity and friendship was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced before.
At this point I need to clarify that money and corporate advancement long ago ceased being the most important factors in my employment decisions. Six years ago, when I was laid off by the very same radio company, my eyes were opened to an important truth: The best things that have ever happened to me never took place within my comfort zone.
Rather than standing and railing at the door that just closed, I instead put my efforts into seeking the better door that had just opened.
Out of a myriad of full- and part-time opportunities being offered, two possibilities clearly stood out from the rest.
One was a comfortable radio gig located in a gorgeous sportsman’s paradise, and the other was a position with an influential public policy institute. Both held tremendous appeal to me.
Curiously, both positions were initially brought to my attention within two hours of being let go.
Choices between good and bad are easy. Choices between great and greater are much harder.
The question I needed to answer was which of these positions would constitute the best and highest use of my skills and abilities. My primary goal is to have genuine impact in whatever I do.
This may seem like a counterintuitive way to approach employment, but it reflects an understanding that personal purpose is everything.
Ultimately, I accepted the position of director of development for Libertas Institute. It is a perfect fit with my background and my passion.
I will be building relationships that further this remarkable institute’s work in promoting principles of personal liberty, private property rights and free market economics.
Going from merely discussing public policy to helping shape it for the better will be an exciting and welcome upgrade.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and opinion columnist in Southern Utah. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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