Careers advice: how to land your #DreamJob

By Jul.25, 2016

Careers advice by Alex Mellor, Medley Co-Founder

Alex Mellor, Medley Academy Co-Founder

You’ve done it. You’ve finally done it. Three years at University have come and gone in a flash. You’ve spent thousands of pounds, you’ve endured thousands of hours staring at PowerPoint presentations and you’ve spent what felt like thousands of hours in the library, juiced up on Red Bull. But, it’s all amounted to something. You’ve got your degree! But what’s next… Are you looking for some careers advice?

I joined a highly successful social media start-up – Social Chain – pretty early on. During my 18 months at the company, we hired A LOT of staff. I watched the company grow from 6 to 40+, all of these staff members were under 28 years old (the average age was 21). When we hired, we never ever went off academic credentials, who had the ‘best degree’ from the ‘best university.’

We hired based on drive, determination and knowledge of the space.

Here are four tips from me on how to use the summer months to gain the advantage over fellow graduates and to land that dream job:

1. Find something you are passionate about

In July, Ash and I did a guest talk about our #passion4digital for MSc Digital Marketing students, one bit of advice we shared was –

Time is the most precious commodity we have, don’t waste yours at a job you hate.

The modern world is so rich with opportunity that you no longer have to conform to traditional paths. If you love spending your time on social media, if this is your passion, look for a job where you can do this – if you can’t find one, create one.

If you cannot find or create a position doing what you love, or you don’t yet know what you love, then look for an environment where you can unlock passions you have not yet discovered. Many companies these days place a heavy emphasis on culture and creating teams of likeminded people. Find a place that has a great work culture and people you aspire to be like and try to get your foot in the door there. The rest will take care of itself.

2. Continue to learn

University of Salford Graduate C by Samuel Otigba

University of Salford Graduate (C) by Samuel Otigba

Sure, you’ve worked hard for 3 years, you deserve a break. You do. But, why not try to absorb as much knowledge as you can along the way. One thing I hate is ‘dead time.’ Time spent travelling, on trains or even walking.. where you are not being productive. I try to listen to podcasts during this time or I listen to music (relaxing is productive too) but make sure you do something to give yourself the edge.

Here’s a few examples especially for those thinking about your own start-up:

  • The Tim Ferris Show
  • TedTalks
  • How to Start a Start up (for you entrepreneurs)
  • Start-up Podcast
  • The Art of Charm (Social Science / Psychology )
  •  The Gary Vee Show (Marketing)

3. Start to build your network

start to build your network

The most valuable thing I’ve learnt about careers advice, since starting my own company (www.medleyacademy.co.uk) is the value of networks. I am the first one to complain about how awkward it can be, stood on your own at a networking event, I’ve been there many, many times but those first few are a necessary evil. Once you put yourself out there, you will begin to reap the rewards.

More than just attending events, such as the Creative Entrepreneur – next one is on the 23rd November 2016, actively seek mentorship but be selective about who you seek out, make sure they are in your industry and try to use your existing network to gain an introduction. If you cannot get an introduction, politely approach them, via social media or otherwise, but make sure you do your research and find out what they are about beforehand.

4. Work on your personal brand

This one careers advice tip links to all of the above. It’s never been so easy to make a name for yourself and to become a thought leader, all you need to do is put in the hours. Begin by identifying your key interests and then read around your subject – become an expert in your own right. Next, create content, begin to form your own opinions and share these with likeminded people.

For instance, if you are interested in Marketing, use social media to find other people who are interested in marketing and converse with them, write blogs around the subjects they are frequently discussing, build your network in this way, grow your following and your influence. See an earlier blog post on how to use twitter to find a job from your fellow MSc Marketing student Jennifer Faughnan.

Careers advice

If you spend the next few months working on these four things, you will come across as passionate, driven and knowledgeable. Most importantly, you will have learnt a host of new skills and met a ton of new people, whilst your competition has been watching movies and drinking sangria on the beach. I know who I’d give the job too.

What do you think about the above points? Do you have a different view? Please share your thoughts below or get in-touch on Twitter!

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