A Foot in the Door

Time to get down to the serious bit. An education doesn’t guarantee you a career anymore, especially when it comes to the creative industries. The top jobs are about as rare as finding a tenner down the back of the sofa, with even the less coveted positions being hotly contested.

Don’t blanket email

It should go without saying, and yet here we are. You’ve heard your tutor say it over and over, you know you shouldn’t, so just incase you were thinking of ignoring their advice, we’ll say it too – do not send a blanket email to every agency under the sun. Do not address it “To whom it may concern”. Do not say how you’d love to work for “insert agency name here”. Do not collect £200. Do not pass fucking go.

it doesn’t have to be perfect

Sometimes, you just need to send that email and see if you get a response. It’s one thing to check the spelling and grammar of an email, but holding it back because you’re not sure whether to sign off with “regards”, “all the best” or “cheers” is just procrastinating for fear of rejection. As a man in a film once said*, “sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage” – well, pressing send takes just one.

Have a presence

Yep, I know, it’s 2016 and every man and their dog have got a website, but if you’re doing well you might be getting a handful of hits a day. Make it discoverable. Put it a link in your email signature, pop it in your profile on social media and post it out every couple of months when you update it with new work.

One size doesn’t fit all

Being unemployed doesn’t mean you’re on the back foot. It gives you options. It means you aren’t tied down. Try out different working environments, get placements, get a feel for where you’re able to thrive. The world’s your oyster, or maybe just that postcode. That amazing small studio you absolutely love might not be all it’s cracked up to be. That in-house job that you never saw yourself doing may end up being the most rewarding you ever have. It’s all just a matter of perspective and experience. Be patient.

It’s about the journey, or something…

Not everyone walks into a job right off the back of graduating and there can be tricky decisions ahead. Do you hold out for a job at an agency you hold in highest esteem? Moving to London seems to be popular? It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Even the wrong job can be the right job. Every opportunity will have its own valuable experiences, with some it might be apparent right away, while with others it may take a while to sink in.

Get social

So you’re in, congratulations. Now to navigate what’s becoming something of a trap door and it’s one that a lot of our recent placements have fallen down like a piano down the stairs. Don’t underestimate how important it is to socialise with everyone. We get it, the internet is a wonderful place, full of cats being scared by cucumbers, cats falling off stuff, cats sitting like humans, cats in small spaces, and also there’s some other stuff. But the people that you’re spending eight hours a day with are sat around the dinner table, having intellectual conversations and tackling the big issues like “Can you freeze a bubble?” or “What happens if you make an ice lolly out of jelly?”.

work hard and be nice to people

Yep, here comes the cliché and it would be wrong to end on anything else. Forever immortalised in poster form by Anthony Burrill (and then subsequently ripped off…), there’s a reason it’s so popular, adorning walls up and down the country, it’s bang on. Nobody ever got a bad reference for working hard and giving it their best and nobody’s getting sacked for being polite – it’s the absolute least you can do.

Once again, hit us up on Twitter with any questions. Until next time…

– Rick

*Yes, that man was Matt Damon in We Bought a Zoo, but of all the people you want advice from…

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Dear Younger Self