A career working in the media is something that many graduates dream of. Unfortunately, there are often more graduates of media degrees than there are jobs you can just walk into. Many companies in the film, TV, and digital media industries are keen to take on graduates with proven work experience. This is why it is so important to get involved with real-world projects before your degree is over.
Beyond this, you can consider taking an apprenticeship or unpaid work experience placement. Alternatively, work your way up from a position within a respected firm that might not be quite so hands-on. Reception work, PA work, and other administrative positions give you the insider’s point of view. Serve your time, then find the right opportunity to get involved with a real project of interest.
In the meantime, make sure you’re keeping your skills and tech knowledge up to date. Continue to fill your show reel with credits and interesting footage. Publish some of your personal projects to your own website or blog. Keep doing it – this is all evidence of experience that employers are keen to see.
Of course, there are other opportunities overseas that you might be interested in pursuing. Companies like source me regularly post job opportunities. Some are for the seasoned pro, others are more junior or assistant level posts. It’s important not to waste opportunities to apply for as many jobs as possible. After all, this can sometimes be a numbers game. Push through any knock-backs, and keep hold of as many contacts as you can! Networking is also very important in your media career.
Don’t forget – the media is an all-encompassing term. It applies to offline and digital media. In fact, many jobs in the media would require experience and knowledge of both approaches. You would need to be comfortable operating the tech for events as well as live TV or streaming broadcasts. Perhaps you are involved in design or other creative work? Check you know the tech specs for different platforms and formats.
Problem-solving and technical setups are another huge part of any media career. Make sure you keep a detailed record of the projects you worked on. If you can wow a prospective client or employer with your methods to overcome different challenges, your lack of experience might not matter as much. What CAN you do and can you PROVE it? This is what counts at the interview.
Can you bring new ideas and different technologies to a role? Employers are often looking for people that are “future-proofed”. This means they need to rely on you to keep their company at the cutting edge of new industry developments. Show how you’re interested and learned, and you’ll jump to the head of the line for a second interview.
It’s definitely an industry that relies on who you know and not always what you know. If you don’t yet have a lot of people connections, then you must demonstrate you have a lot of tech connections to bring something valuable to the role. What can you do today?
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