Wednesday, 21 June 2017

How to get that digital job

Getting a job in the digital or creative industry is hella competitive. You probably don’t want to hear that after slogging away for three years doing a degree that you love, only to find getting a job after you graduate extremely competitive.

I did a Journalism degree and at first, I was so passionate about working for a paper, or an online news outlet. Writing was always something I enjoyed from when I was little and journalism seemed to make sense for me as the ideal career. I really enjoyed the journalism aspect of my degree, from writing up news stories, to interviewing and going out and finding a story. I did however end up doing some more and digital and creative modules throughout my degree, such as PR and social media, and it really solidified by love for digital and social media.

After graduating, I decided to go down a content and PR route. I ticked all the boxes in terms of what I was interested in. Creating content, tick. Social media, tick. Digital, tick. Speaking to interesting people, tick. The list is endless!

After job hunting for a few months after graduating, I've learnt a lot along the way. My advice will probably not help everyone, and it may seem obvious to some, but I do hope that at least one person out there can find some use out of it.

Experience, experience, experience

This is one of the most obvious bits of advice and is something that your lecturers will already be encouraging you to do, but experience is so vital.

I took pretty much all of the experiences and opportunities given to me while at uni. It not only makes you CV sparkle, but you learn so much from gaining experience in the field you want to work in.

During my final year, I volunteered in the press office at West Yorkshire Police. This was hands down my favourite nugget of experience I’ve ever done. I not only gained experience in a busy, working environment, but I was also able to put the police down as my CV. A major organisation such as the police looks amazing on a CV! I met some lovely people and I really enjoyed my time there.

I also did some bits of social media experience during my second year. For six weeks, I helped organise a book festival at my uni, as well as live tweet, and provided several clients with social media support. One client was a Citizen Advice Bureau branch in Leeds and I went back for a further six weeks for more social media support during my last year.

Create a blog

If you’re looking for a job in content, PR, social media or even marketing, and you love writing, make sure you create a blog.

Having a blog not only looks great on your CV, but it also helps you develop your writing style, and how you connect with the media and PRs. My blog has always been brought up in interviews I’ve had, and it’s the perfect visual form of evidence that shows that you can fit the requirements of the job you’re applying for.

Keep in touch with vital contacts

I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep in touch with people who you’ve done work experience for, or have met on a professional level. Make sure to connect with people you’ve met or worked for on LinkedIn, it’s one of the best tools for graduates and professionals out there. Hello job opportunities!?

During my six week social media experience, I went to a marketing agency in Leeds to provide LinkedIn training. I connected with a lady who was organising the training at the agency and around a year and a half later after I graduated, she connected with me and told me about a job opportunity in social media. I got the job and worked there for a few months, so it really shows how vital LinkedIn is.

LinkedIn is also great for recruiters. There are plenty of recruiters out there who specialise in the creative and digital industry, so whether you’re after a job in marketing, social media, content or PR, there are people out there who get paid to find you a job.

Put a portfolio together

If you’ve done a creative degree, whether that’s in arts or media, you’re more than likely to know how important it is to put a portfolio of work together for interviews.

I printed all of my bits and pieces of published work, examples of my blog, social media engagement and anything that I was proud of. I wanted to show what I've achieved through my degree and work experience and employers love seeing work you've done in the past. I’ve also taken an iPad to previous interviews, as it’s a great way to present any presentations, a digital portfolio, a website or a blog.

Having physical evidence of what you’ve accomplished and achieved is so worthwhile for your career development, so spend some time putting one together!

I really hope that this post is useful for you! I am no expert – it may take someone 2 months or 9 months to find that perfect graduate job. However, these bits of advice and tips are what I’ve picked up when I was at university, and since I’ve graduated.

I’d really love to know how your job hunting is going, or if you have any questions for how to start looking for a creative job!

FIND ME ON: Twitter |  Instagram: @katiebearx 

Friday, 16 June 2017

Taking the wheel

When I was younger, I was never had an interest in driving. I, unlike most people, didn’t start driving lessons when I was 17, as I never really had any passion in wanting to learn.

It wasn’t really a case of ‘I can’t be bothered’, I just didn’t really want to. This attitude crept into my early twenties, and last year I decided enough was enough and I needed to get behind the wheel and start taking driving lessons.

I’ll admit I was a nervous wreck on my first lesson. I didn’t really like my instructor at all, she would quickly get ratty and annoyed at me if I did something wrong and she couldn’t see that I was struggling. Once she said; “Oh you’re just not getting this are you?!?!”, which crushed my confidence. I decided not to continue with her after she ghosted my messages and phone calls.

My second instructor was amazing. My confidence grew so much with her. She praised me when I did something well, and gave me constructive criticism when I did something not so well. She was an amazing instructor and I quickly built my confidence with her.

I stopped having lessons around October time, as I started to prepare to move into the flat my boyfriend and I share. I moved in November and the first month or so was unpacking and settling in time. Christmas and New Year came, and so did the beginning of the year and my birthday in March and I still hadn’t got back into my lessons. I have to admit that the break made me lose motivation and I grew nervous and anxious about taking them again.

I’ve now had a few lessons with a new instructor who is really nice and she as helped build my confidence up for the second time. I’m trying to beat my anxiety around them; I was feeling anxious about them up to three days before I had a lesson. I’ll get there.

When I do pass, I can’t wait to get a car and be able to drive to whereever I want. The chance to make new memories and see new places is one I can’t wait to grab.

I know when I do get a car, I know tyre safety is something very important. The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on both can and van tyres is 1.6 millimetres; across 75% of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre. If your tyres don’t meet the legal limit, you’re going to have a get some brand new shiny tyres to make sure the car you drive is safe.

If you’re from West Yorkshire like me, Ossett Tyre House in Wakefield* (or Wakey for you Leeds/Wakefield readers!), offer a service where you can reserve the tyres you need online, so you don’t need to make a online payment, and pay for the tyres during the fitting. They do the fitting at their Ossett deport, or they do a mobile fitting service to the wider West Yorkshire area.

I’d love to know if there any any other nervous drivers out there!

*Collaborative post; all words are my own. Legal limit information is taken from Ossett Tyre House website.
FIND ME ON: Twitter |  Instagram: @katiebearx