Despite how much I am partial to a
rant occasional moan about work, I know that I'm actually really lucky to have my job. Sure, working in marketing at my local newspaper is hardly the glamourous girly magazine job that I dreamed of, but still I'm doing the role I wanted in the industry I wanted to be in. Although the publishing industry is extremely challenging at times, I do love my role - creating marketing campaigns, planning events, working across lots of different topics and meeting lots of different people. My favourite project so far was creating a 'Win A Wedding' competition, and to attend the winners' special day and see all my hard work mean so much to someone was an incredible feeling. And besides, there's still time to break out of local news and into glossy mags!
I'm by no means a career expert - but since leaving university in 2012, I have managed to get several interviews and been offered a fair few jobs (but ended up staying put after all!). So if you're thinking of a new career challenge in 2015, but are struggling on where to begin, here's my two cents of advice.
If you're looking to start out in a new industry, just get as much experience as possible. If you're lucky enough to be able to afford to intern - DO IT! I, however, wasn't in a financial position to work for free, so I got experience in other ways. I found a part time internship doing whilst earning money working in retail. I also did freelance bits & bobs, such as helping my friend market her Zumba classes, which looks impressive on my CV, and of course being a blogger has provided me with many skills that interviewers have found interesting.
2. The job hunt
Finding the right job site (or sites) for your industry is so important. There are so many specialist ones out there, for example, I always look to Wired Sussex for marketing/journalism jobs in Brighton, but it's also useful to be signed up to the big sites, like Reed or City Calling, for updates straight to your inbox (oh and obviously always check your local newspaper too!! :-)!)
Don't be too put off by job ads asking for years of experience. Sometimes other qualities (such as, in my case, writing and marketing my own blog) can substitute for years of in house experience. Create an ace CV that you can send out with your applications, but write each covering letter seperately, tailoring it to the company/position you're going for. I always try to start off with something interesting or relevant to their company - maybe a blog post I wrote about them, an article I read in their publication etc. Once, I applied to a video production agency, and made my CV into a short film. It definitely pays off to think outsite the box.
4. Dress to Impress
My boss has told me many a horror story about disasterous interview outfits she has seen. Spaghetti straps, see-through Primark leggings, leather pencil skirts... they're just not appropriate! I'm a big believer in using your style to make yourself stand out and show your creativity, but you HAVE to play it somewhat safe. My number 1 tip? Invest in a smart coat - it's no good being in a perfect outfit if you rock up at reception wearing a scruffy parka over the top - first impressions count!
5. Don't Give Up
So by now you should be sat comfortably behind your new desk, new business cards fresh from the printers. But if it takes a little while longer, don't give up hope. Negativity shows, and can lead you down a spiral of rejections. Just pick yourself up, learn from it, think of it as their loss, and start again.
As for me in 2015? We'll have to see. I'm looking forward to organising a health & beauty exhibition, then maybe someone at Women's Health will wanna hire me...?!
What's your day job? Are you lucky enough to be working in a job you love, or still waiting for the right opportunity to come up?