Climbing the Hill of Content

Staff Writer

Walking through the city recently, I noticed a store with a name that immediately stood out.

The ‘Hill of Content’. Turns out it’s a bookstore. Being a radio devotee, I understandably read that as content. After a moment, I realised it was of course, content. I trust you just did the same.

Once I stopped smiling at my somewhat tragic interpretation, it hit me that the two words are quite closely related for people like us. Content – the nucleus that contains the majority of what makes up the cell of radio, if you will. Content – a state of peaceful happiness.

Are you content with your content? Have you ever been? Will you ever be? I’m not just talking about that phoner you have planned tomorrow morning, or the remarkably relatable story you plan to regale your co-host with. I mean ‘content’ in a much broader sense, i.e. the body of work you are tallying every day. Your career.

Before we go too far down the rabbit hole, I’d like to steer this thought towards the argument that (in my experience) you will never be happy with your radio career if you are not happy with yourself. At this point, I should mention that I truly appreciate achieving happiness in your career is easier said than done.

One of the biggest afflictions I notice deserving beginners in the industry suffer from is a debilitating lack of self-belief in their talent and competency, and in turn, their confidence in themselves as a person. This is one of the most treacherous areas of the business. I have witnessed many good people starting in the industry ride a roller coaster of emotion based on what one person thinks of their demo.

I get it. I was exactly the same and here’s why. To some, radio means everything to us…ev-ery-thing. It’s part of our very being. Bad CD’s exploit this. Good CD’s will recognise this and choose to not take advantage.

If this is you then please remember this; heads of content do not have the ability, nor the right to validate your self-worth. Not only is this an unfair burden on decent CDs, it’s also a highly dangerous way for you to approach your career and emotional health. You are giving over control of your happiness to someone else. You’re also letting someone else dictate to you what your definition of ‘success’ should be. As long as you’re happy, you can work anywhere. I would argue that if you rightfully gain employment in the radio industry at all, you are in fact, a success.

Please don’t misinterpret this as a recommendation to ignore CDs, that’s a one way ticket to a bad attitude. Just please stop handing a stranger the power to control your happiness.

It’s a big hill.

Try to be content.

About Stephen Walter.

Steve is a Senior Creative Writer & Announcer for MML Australia, based in Melbourne. Over the last 18 years Steve has also worked in various content direction, creative, production and on-air roles for SCA, Super Radio Network and Network Ten.

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