It is time to add one more former local television personality to the list of those being happier after leaving the business.
Former WIVB-TV (Channel 4) anchor-reporter Nalina Shapiro left the business almost six months ago when her boyfriend (they are now engaged), former WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) sportscaster Jonah Javad, got a job in Dallas.
Many people might have assumed it wouldn’t be long before Shapiro resurfaced on a local TV news channel in Texas.
She recently updated her profile on LinkedIn to highlight a job she has had since leaving.
Shapiro is a physician recruiter for the Delta Companies in Dallas.
“I’m doing really, really well,” said Shapiro in a telephone interview. “I’m really loving it here.”
Shapiro wasn’t ready to share her job shift away from television until she was sure it was going to work. She is sure now and has joined a list of local TV personalities who have left the business for a variety of reasons, including more normal hours, less stress and having more time to spend with families or loved ones.
Shapiro said she had been thinking about making a career change for a year, well before she left Channel 4.
“I just felt like I had accomplished what I wanted to in Buffalo,” said Shapiro. “I really never thought I’d be an evening news anchor in my 20s. I moved so quickly up the ladder in Buffalo and I felt like I really got a sense of the business and what it would be like in terms of my life. As I turned 30 this year, my priorities have changed, and I was looking for a work environment that went along better with what I was looking for in terms of my personal life.”
“Don’t get me wrong, in terms of journalism storytelling is always going to be a part of me and I still have a strong passion for it. But … it wasn’t making me happy. “
She concedes it was scary to look for a job outside of journalism, which she studied in college.
“I only said I would work in local TV news until I felt like it wasn’t making me happy,” said Shapiro. “If I can be just completely honest with you, I feel like I am ready to say this: Sometimes people have a perception of people’s lives on the outside and people don’t really know unless it is your immediate friends and family, really how you feel when you go home at night. For my own internal happiness, I needed to make a change.”
She randomly applied for a job on a website and was paired with Delta, a health care staffing firm owned by a Japanese company.
She spoke to her boss for two months while working at Channel 4 and never visited before accepting a job with Delta.
“They have the most welcoming and fun culture. I was looking for something where everybody was treated with respect,” said Shapiro. “I wanted men and women to all be treated the same.”
“They took a chance on me and I took a chance on them. I didn’t even know what they did ... I feel like I kind of started over, but I am getting paid to do it.”
Her job requires travel. Shapiro has been to six or seven cities since March, visiting and consulting with hospitals looking to hire doctors. She just won a Rookie of the Quarter from the company for exceeding her goals.
“I am getting an education in rural medicine and the health care industry and still getting to tell stories,” said Shapiro. “I am calling and helping connect doctors who would normally never work in the middle of nowhere. But in rural America there is a need for physicians because people don’t have access to health care.
“My company has just been awesome. They’ve supported me through this transition. I had no experience. As long as you are self-driven and passionate and you work (hard) you can do this job. I really love it.
“Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I’m like, ‘holy crap, this is my life.’ But in a good way…. It is a great balance of working really hard and you’re treated with respect and rewarded for hard work you put in.”
She doesn’t want this to be seen as a criticism of Channel 4. She still speaks with friends there.
“For personal reasons, I needed to do this,” said Shapiro.
Does it mean she is done with television?
“I can’t answer that right now,” said Shapiro. “Right now, I am happy so I don’t see myself making a change… I am all-in right now with the Delta Companies. As a 30-year-old, a lot of people sacrifice their own happiness at work because of the title that they have. And there is a pressure, especially when you get out of college to get that first job. You get to a point after 10 years, what am I willing to sacrifice right now?”
She and Javad plan to get married in September 2019, someplace near Dallas.
“I am getting married now, I want to have children in the next two years, my priorities have changed,” she said. “ Jonah is super-happy. He is in a great place. I am a great place. I just know I needed for my personal happiness to be around people who were respectful and leadership that treated everyone equally. So I found that here and I am really, really, fortunate.”