Firstly, apologies for the late post…! Things just got in the way but Monday’s delayed post is finally here….
I haven’t done a life update in a while so I thought that this post was needed! I am currently sat in my University library drowning in deadlines. Drowning in deadlines whilst holding on to the fact that it is Easter in just two days time. Just two days…..I have found myself situated back in the library….you know I am manic when I seem to live here. But it will all be worth it in the end!
This year is going so fast. After Easter, I only have three weeks of second year and exams left. It is crazy to think that I am so close to starting my placement now. It still hasn’t sunk in that it is now in TWO MONTHS. My dream will actually become a reality in TWO MONTHS. It was only the other week that my Timehop reminded me that it was a year ago since I went to the PRCA Careers in PR event in London. That is where it all started and a year later I am almost ready to start my placement in London. In PR. Ahhhhh!
It’s that semester when people are starting to panic about not having a placement. Quite a few times, I have been asked ‘how do I get a placement?’. From writing this blog and expressing my love for the industry, I guess that I seem to come across as somebody who ‘knows how to do it’. But in reality, I am only on my own journey finding out how to ‘make it’. So when thinking about how to approach this question, I decided to list what I have learnt so far from blogging, my uni journey and finding my placement…..
1. Everybody is different
There is no right or wrong way into the industry in my opinion. You see others being successful doing other things and wonder whether you should be doing the same. But the thing is, I find it is a personal journey. Everyone’s journey will be different. My journey has gone the way it has gone so far because this is me. I am a sociable person, I love networking and I always think ahead. I loved my work experience and it is this which pushes me to achieve and pursue my dreams. I don’t feel that I would be where I am without choosing to take that work experience path. I don’t feel that I could’ve strongly believed that this industry was right for me.
But the thing is, that is my journey. It doesn’t mean to say that that is the fail safe journey that will work for anyone. Find the part of the industry that you’re interested in and immerse yourself. Be something different but most importantly, be you. As Andrew said in the very first #ThursdayThought, he values attitude over and above qualifications.
2. Don’t forget who you are
It is so easy to look at someone and think ‘they’ve got it sorted I should do the same’. But the one thing about standing out is that it is so important to be you. I constantly look at others blogs (Marcel and Orlagh..!) and think, should mine be more like that? But my blog is me. My ramblings. My interests. And it helped me to stand out in my interview. So just be you. Something about you will stand out, you’ve just got to find it.
3. It’s not going to be easy – step out of your comfort zone
The job market isn’t easy. But don’t let that stop you. My work experience journey wasn’t easy. I don’t live near London and walking up to somebody in a conference and asking about work experience was a big thing for me. It took a lot of guts. I had to go completely out of my comfort zone. I went from a small country town to a big city. I went from one year of a PR degree straight into a PR agency. I tested myself. But really, it wouldn’t have happened or I wouldn’t have gained the opportunities if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone.
4. Blog, blog, blog
This is one of those things that everyone goes ‘yeah, yeah’ to, but blogging is a brilliant way of showing your interests around a subject. It is one of the biggest pieces of advice that I could give to somebody. Having this blog has allowed me to network and really get involved in the industry that I am interested in. See what the professionals are talking about and what is going on. Building up a network. Not only this, but it has really improved my writing skills. Once I had got over the initial ‘what if everyone hates my post’ attitude, it began to came naturally and I found my voice. It has allowed me to build upon my writing skills and I can see the difference already. And then finally, it is something you can show. An online CV. A glimpse into what you are interested in and who you are. Something that you have done and makes you different. Yes, there are times when life takes over and the posts dwindle off, but having this blog is so rewarding and I recommend starting one.
5. Take opportunities
Don’t be afraid of taking opportunities. I’m one to talk, I know. A year ago, things were very different. And even now, have to remind myself of the benefits of utilising opportunities. But the thing is, without doing what I did in first year, I would not be where I am today. You never know who could be at that next conference or guest lecture and the doors that can open for you as a result of that.
So the thing I’ve found about entering an industry is that everyone is different. This is just my journey. The decisions I have chosen to make. It doesn’t mean to say they are the right ones – I haven’t even made it into the industry yet. What I am trying to say is that I am no expert. But right now, I am proud of everything that I have achieved.
Proud of the fact that in two months I will be starting my dream placement. Don’t get me wrong, I will be a nervous wreck on my first day but I can’t wait to see where this takes me. Because the thing is, everyone’s journey will be different.
The biggest thing to remember is to be passionate. Find what interests you and makes you different. Find that passion and embrace it, who knows where it could take you.