A few things I have learned so far…
…about working towards a career in Marketing, Advertising or PR.
Opportunities do not appear from the heavens
Yes okay there is such a thing as luck, but luck is very rare in this industry in regards to opportunities. Competition is huger than huge, everybody in the marketing communications industry are seeking out internships, work experience and of course, jobs. Every single one of these people have a formal CV. Now, imagine you are an advertising or PR agency looking for an amazing employee. Do any of these bog standard CV’s scream HIRE ME? No. Which is why your 10 minute effort to gain that internship or job has not presented an opportunity. It is very cliché and said a lot (but this is because it is true), but seriously you need to use your initiative. Think outside of the box. Make people think. If you want to work in PR, if you can’t make people talk, maybe a new career choice is on the cards. Work hard and take the time to beat the rest and you probably will.
Do your research
I know too many people who are pursuing a career in marketing/advertising/PR but cannot roll recent campaigns or advertisements seen or liked from their brains. If you are going to go into an interview, 100% they will ask you to talk about why you want to work in this industry. This is where as a candidate you should be so excited to answer because you have TOO many things to say rather than scared because you know an awkward silence is about to follow. Campaign, The Drum and Marketing Week are all online sources that can keep you up to date about the industry on the go and at home. Just watch TV and listen to the radio! Indulge your surroundings, you never know what might inspire you.
Don’t allow yourself to become disheartened too quickly
Although working towards a career in Marketing, Advertising or PR can be hard, don’t let rejection and lack of opportunities get you down as soon as you realise it’s true. As with all things, it takes time (and a bloody lot of effort) to even get your foot through the door. Honestly though, when you do finally make a break through, even an email from a potential internship employer or a new contact on LinkedIn becomes exciting. Keeping on the ball, doing research and maintaining a “can do” attitude will ensure that you will get recognised It may not be today or tomorrow, but giving up before you hit the jackpot just seems like a waste.