Trueline Spotlight: Finding Acceptance in Rejection

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When Kirk Dyson moved to Portland, Maine in 2013, to take a job as a journalism intern for the Portland Pirates hockey team (who have since moved and been replaced by the Maine Mariners) he thought he had it made. With his family’s support, he left Delaware County, Pennsylvania after college to chase his dream of becoming a sportscaster.

During that first eight months, Dyson was in his element: gaining behind-the-scenes access at the rink; writing feature stories, developing player profiles and producing game recaps.

“Memorable stories I wrote included one on John Slaney when he was selected to the American Hockey League Hall of Fame, and longer pieces on players like Tobias Rieder and Andy Miele that were published on the AHL’s site.  It was a really cool experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything,” says Dyson

In the spring of 2014, he teed up another great opportunity, this time as a network engineer for the Portland Sea Dogs baseball team. For a while, it seemed like that endless summer would never end: working in conjunction with the Sea Dogs broadcasting team during games; playing ad breaks and cutting highlights while making sure the broadcast stayed on air.

Before long, however, Dyson realized that, in order to pay the rent, he needed to find a first full-time gig as a broadcaster—and fast.

The Real Game Begins

His big break came later that year, landing a part-time job at Portland Radio Group.  Not only did he make sure the group’s seven stations were running properly, he quickly put his sonorous baritone voice to good use producing commercials, deejaying for country station WPOR and eventually landing a full-time role with WGAN as a news anchor.

But after five years of radio—including a year of working a 4 a.m. to 12 p.m. shift—Dyson admits that the glamor was beginning to fade. It certainly didn’t help having people in the industry dashing his hopes at every turn.

“I was told there are 10 million guys like me wanting the same job. I applied for 65 jobs in a three-month span and got three ‘no thank yous.’ I hated it,” the Springfield, Pennsylvania native recalls. “I just put my head to the grindstone and kept pushing. For what, I didn’t know.”

Enter: Barb

Not sure of where to turn next, Dyson picked up the phone and called his mother Barb for advice. Having spent years working in human resources, she put her skills to work. Before long, she’d found an online ad for a job at a place called Trueline. The company was looking for someone with a journalism background, she said, and encouraged her son to apply.

“I had no idea what to expect, but I was hired as an assistant content developer in 2019,” says Dyson.

“It was fun to use my skills and ask questions to learn more about our clients. I discovered the joy of storytelling.”

While the work was more sales-oriented than he expected—he admits it wasn’t easy cold-calling potential clients—Dyson quickly found his groove, developing feature stories for Blueprint Magazine.

Related Post:  Trueline Spotlight: Once a Writer, Always a Writer

Once again, he put his great radio voice and Penn State journalism degree to use. Better still, he realized that the more he tapped into his construction experience (his father Ray is a contractor), the easier it was to connect with people.

“It was fun to use my skills and ask questions to learn more about our clients,” says Dyson. “I discovered the joy of storytelling.”

Worth the Wait

His talent was soon recognized by the Trueline team, who promoted him to content developer after five months on the job (he also won a Wizard Award for providing excellent notes to the writing team).

“I have to thank those people who told me early-on in my broadcasting career that there would only be 10 jobs for 10 million people like me,” says Dyson. “It opened the door to Trueline, where I love my job and working with the people here. I see a future for myself. It’s given me the freedom to develop into the person I was meant to be.”

Which will soon include becoming a father. Married in a small wedding due to the COVID-19 pandemic last October, Dyson and his wife, Glena, finally were able to tie the knot and will welcome Baby Dyson in August 2021. And while the two have opted for a more traditional gender reveal party (they’ll know on the delivery date), Dyson knows the surprise will be more than worth the wait—just like all good things in life.

I love my job and working with the people here. I see a future for myself. It’s given me the freedom to develop into the person I was meant to be.”

In 2020, he was given greater responsibilities, being appointed as Blueprint’s sector lead, where he’s overseeing group meetings and supporting his coworkers in a team environment. That translated to a record-breaking month in sales for him in March, surpassing $100,000 in  ad revenue.

“My baby, like my job, will be worth the wait,” he says.

Details on Kirk Dyson:

Most unusual job: There’s a reason Dyson can talk the talk at Blueprint: He’s worked as a day laborer on many a construction site. Even when he tells people that, they never believe him.

When he’s not working: You’ll find Dyson happily watching any type of sporting event, craft beer in his hand. Ice hockey happens to be his favorite, but he’s also a baseball, football and soccer fan.

Serving up supper: There’s no denying Dyson, a Philadelphia native, a good Philly cheesesteak. What you didn’t know is that he loves to cook! His specialty? Stuffed pepper casserole.

Advice to new hires in the throes of cold calling: Don’t take rejection personally! The best way to get through a tough day is to just keep dialing. You’ve got nothing to lose!

Favorite craft beer: Dyson never met an IPA he didn’t like. He also enjoys a Kolsch or Pilsner.