When chasing your dreams, it is important that you are proactive. No-one is going to hand you your dream job straight out of university, especially if you don’t take the first few steps on your own. Firstly, do something. This should be in addition to your studies and related to what career you want to go in to. Fancy being a writer? Start your own blog! Want to work in television? Make your own films. Want to be an entrepreneur? Start your own business. And if you are willing to leave the comfort of your bedroom, volunteering is a great way to get experience and also give back to the community. Charities and other organisations are always looking for willing volunteers to help support their cause.
These are really simple ways to gain experience, and you don’t need to go through any application process or work long hours for free.
If you want to do something, don’t wait for someone to let you – just do it.
Secondly, having a strong network is also really important. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know” and unfortunately this is still true. But luckily, it is now easier than ever to get to know the right people. Get a Twitter account and follow people in the industry that you want to get into. You can even find out about opportunities including job vacancies and graduate schemes. Check out our other article on how to make the most of Twitter when looking for jobs.
LinkedIn is another great way that you can start to create your own professional network. Not only is it a networking tool, but you can use it as a platform to show off your skills and experience to potential employers. Take a look at our guide for using LinkedIn as a postgrad student.
There are several examples of people who didn’t just wait for their dream job, but actively did something about it. Radio 1 presenters, Dan and Phil, began their broadcasting lives on YouTube. After quickly gathering hundreds of thousands of subscribers, Radio 1 saw their potential and gave them a job. Dan and Phil weren’t even looking to present on the radio, but by being proactive, and putting their work online for all to see, their job found them.
Sticking with radio, but a little closer to home, DJ and presenter (and Manchester alumna) Hattie Pearson started her radio career on student radio. Her hard work and passion for radio secured her a Student Radio Award and a show on the XFM network. Not bad!
You should do the same, do all you can to get where you want to be. Create a portfolio of work in your own time and put it online, in the right places, for the right people to see. And what’s best is that you can do it your own way; you don’t have publishers or investors to please. Make the most of this opportunity, because you won’t get the chance to be so creative when you do have publishers and investors.