Tuesday, 26 November 2013

How Do I Find a Job in Media? - Our Graduates Reveal the Secrets

How do graduates in digital media find that crucial first job? And the second? And how do you build a career? Last friday a dozen Bucks graduates who are currently working  in the creative industries came back to their alma mater to talk to our undergraduates about what it takes to find work. They They discussed many things, but the recurring theme was employment - and how to find it. Below are some of their tips for graduates looking to find work.

1. Turn up on time 
A number of members of the panel mentioned good time keeping as important, which is as much as to say - be reliable.

2. Don’t be a d**k
No-one wants to work with people they don't like. Be nice!

3. Don’t smell bad. 
Try not to smell like a hangover. 

4. Learn to blag it – but not too much. 
Be confident, and try to say "yes, I can do that". But don't promise to do anything you know you can't pull off. No-one likes to be let down, and Producers will not forgive you if you make them look foolish. Be protective of your reputation - it's a small industry. 

5. Surround yourself with people who like doing the same stuff as you do
Be part of a community of artists who enjoy doing the same kind of work. You will learn from them, and they will learn from you. You might even set up a company together.

6. Work for free or for low wages – but not for too long 
Be willing to do work for modest sums, or for travel expenses, or just for the experience - in order to break into the industry. Unpaid internships can lead to a job. 

7. Contact as many companies as possible
Expect rejection, don't take it personally. Do your homework, research companies that need your skills; offer to help them out for low wages or for work experience - it may lead to a job.

8. Offer to help out on a shoot
Film shoots always need bodies - offer to help out. Again, you'll probably be doing it for free, or for travel costs, but this can be great experience.

9. Create your own mystique.
Find the thing that you do well, and get known for it. Make people feel confident in what you do. Like the sound guy who walks into a room, taps on a table and listens for the echo. It means nothing – but it looks good

10. Watch out for what’s on your FB page
People looking to employ you will check you out, so make sure your public profile isn't embarrassing. Your hilarious views on politics may make your friends laugh but it might cost you a job.

11.  Be really good at what you do
This is the obvious one. If you are not confident in your work - who else will be? 

12. You’re only as good as your last job – and your next job.
As a freelancer you will be judged on the last thing you did. Make sure everything you do is completed to a high professional standard. 

13. Ask not what your client can do for you, ask what you can do for your client.
Clients are looking to you to solve their problems, not create more. Try not to be too needy or high maintenance. Be a problem-solver not a problem-creator.

(Editor's Note: To see more about how we're taking active steps to help our graduates find work, check out our latest commercial project for Rocketseed, and our short film done for a global aid agency. For more information on working as a freelancer, check out our recent post on Portfolio Careers.  For advice on careers, check out our guide to animation careers here, and also take a look at this map of digital studios - a great place to start your search for work in the business.)

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