Five Ways to Stay On Top of Your Career in Comms

 Written by Alexandra Russell, Communications Grad and Creator of The Media Girl


For the current graduates navigating their career pathway or those with a few years in the communications industry who are between jobs, it can be challenging to keep motivated and positive at the best of times, let alone during worldwide isolation. That being said, often the best way forward is to work on the things that we can control and utilise the extra time on our hands to our advantage. So to help you combat career stress and anxiety here are five ways you can make yourself as employable and experienced as possible, stay connected in your industry, and be ready for a career in communications.



1. Answer the Question: Who are you right now?

It is very likely that you already have an established direction and good sense of self however it’s still important to re-evaluate things. From attending university, to undertaking a new internship, to starting a part time job your experiences change your career goals and desires.

Perhaps you’ve found a passion for Digital Marketing in your Communications Degree, or are interested in getting involved in organising events after volunteering at a PR agency. It is important to better understand your personality type, what soft and hard skills you have to offer and how you operate the best. You can do this by completing online personality tests such as the 16 personalities questionnaire (which is free) or simply DIY by making a list of questions that get you to deeply reflect on yourself as a worker e.g Do you prefer working alone or in a team? What time of the day are you the most productive? What can you work on to improve your skill set?



2. Research your field

Now you know who you are and what you want there are jobs to be found! Even if prospects are quieter than usual career wise it is highly useful for you to find out as much as you can from your industry. This means looking at things such as what entry level positions ask for from applicants, or which companies have internship programs that can lead to further employment. Other factors can be if a job advertisement asks for you to have experience in certain industry standard programs (e.g Excel, Google Suite or Mail Chimp) and if you can use them well enough without excess guidance or supervision. At the end of the day it is not possible to know everything about everything. But the more you keep an eye on your industry and understand how it is evolving the more you will be able to not only become a more well suited applicant, but a more knowledgeable and proficient employee when you begin work.



3. Learn, Learn, Learn

 This was mentioned in the previous point but there will always be new things you have to learn when working. If you are looking for a career in Social Media, Communications, PR or Events there is an incredible amount of crossover between these fields and they often have to work together in order to create something. So even if you aren’t wanting to venture into another field, you need to still learn about what it involves and how you can adapt your skill set to work in it should you ever find yourself in that situation.

If the Social Media Coordinator is busy on a project can you create a product flat lay on a photoshoot until they have arrived? Or do you have an understanding of ROI (Return on Investment) when creating a video campaign for a company as an editor? There can be a lot to wrap your head around and there’s no guarantee you will be asked to complete tasks outside of your job description but often understanding the goals and desires of each area of Communications helps you to do your best work because it allows them to do theirs. There are youtube videos, blogs, instagram accounts, free online pdfs and plenty of other resources to educate you. Oh and don’t forget about the mentoring and industry professional feedback that is available through Gusto Careers!



4. Update your online profiles and Resume/ CV

All of these new skills and knowledge are fairly useless if you have not updated your resume, Linkedin profile or other platforms that employers find you on. So get out your most recent resume and dust off the cobwebs. For the new positions you add are there ones that you can remove as they are outdated or irrelevant to what you are applying for? Can you get a recent employer to endorse you on Linkedin for skills you demonstrated to them? It can be as simple as rereading your CV over and over again to change any awkward phrasing, double checking that all of your website links work and that there are no careless typo’s that are deterring employers from your impressive application. Even using the correct “your” can be everything.



5. Get to work

 One of the best things you can possibly do is create as much work for your portfolio as you can and you don’t need to have your full time dream job to do this. Whether it be starting a blog, editing a video shot on your iphone, picking your favourite brand and practising copywriting for them you are showcasing that you are willing to do the work and keep sharpening your skills in your spare time. This also shows creativity, discipline, passion and most of all determination. So plan out your days as though you were at work and get started. Oh and make sure you can easily show employers all of your hard work on a website, instagram page or in a well presented PDF. 



Remember that anything you do during this time is beneficial and that however long it takes, you will land an opportunity. Even if it means creating them yourself for a while.



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