Waiting for yet again another delayed flight out of Brisbane airport, I begin to reflect on the past 4 days. Following on from the incredibly inspiring 3 day staff conference for Red PR at Spicers Hidden Vale (where I was lucky enough to learn from social media god Jeff Bullas) I wonder –
How in the hell did I get here?
How did I manage to land a contract position as a Social Media and PR Executive?
Thats when the thought for this blog post arose. I know exactly what I did, and as someone who was – until this week – struggling for a position in the Media Industry, it is almost my duty to help other graduates and interns struggling for work find their dream jobs.
So here are my 5 steps to landing your dream job:
STEP 1. CLEARLY DEFINE YOUR DREAM JOB
Research what it is exactly that makes you tick. What do you like to read about? What do you enjoy? What about the media industry really interests you- are you more focused on the marketing or PR aspects? For me, I thoroughly enjoy reading up on vintage and second hand fashion, live music, travel and upcycling. I enjoy the social media landscape, and I love learning and researching new ways in which brands in these areas can communicate and truly engage with their consumers through content marketing on social media platforms.
STEP 2. MAKE A LIST OF YOUR 5 ‘DREAM’ COMPANIES TO WORK FOR
Research the Media agencies/brands in your area. Read their websites, their blogs, take a look at their social media sites and understand their company culture as well as their client portfolio and professional skills. What companies would you LOVE to work for ? Specifically match your interests you discovered in step 1 with the interests of the agencies/companies you research, and you will find your Top 5.
STEP 3. COLD CALL FOR EXPERIENCE – Yes, sadly I do mean unpaid experience.
Upon graduating from University, we were spoken to by a professor from the University of Queensland who had conducted a survey in 2012 on the time it took for graduates in the media industry to gain paid employment. The majority of students said it took 1 year of unpaid work experience before they were able to gain paid employment. Sad, but true. So once you have found your Top 5 Companies/Agencies – email them! Ask for experience. Explain why they interest you and why you want to work for them. Regardless of whether you can provide 1 day or 5 days a week, it is rare that a company will turn down an offer of free assistance, especially when you demonstrate why you chose to email them, over their competitors.
STEP 4. BE PERSONABLE
NEVER begin your email with “To Whom This May Concern” – find a Senior Account Manager within the agency who has had experience in the sectors and industries you are interested in, and email them. Explain that you’re dedicated to succeeding in the industry, and you believe that they will be able to help you begin and develop your career. Making an email personable will set you apart from the influx of emails they receive on a daily basis.
STEP 5. INVEST IN YOUR OWN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
It sounds cliche but it’s true – Practice makes perfect. Research your industries, begin your own blog, practice your writing. Who will invest in you as a communications professional if you won’t invest in yourself? Taking the time to really understand the industry will be reflected in the quality of your work, but will also assist you when it comes to interview time- whether it be for a position advertised on seek or for a position at one of your top five companies.
It takes courage, determination and the will to succeed to make it in this industry, but I truly believe that if you put in the hard yards, you make the effort, and you honestly want to launch a successful career in communications, these steps will help you achieve this.
It worked for me.