Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tom Evans

We recently had a talk from Tom Evans, who gave a 'Top Tips for Getting ahead in the Digital Industry' talk.

Tom has spent 8 years in the industry, and is currently a creative freelancer. Bellow are the tips he shared with us regarding pursuing a career in the digital industry. Although some may seem to contradict themselves, collectively the tips were both informative and inspiring:

1. Specialise.

2. Diversity - don't specialise too much.

3. Don't expect to get a job instantly.

4. Work experience is awesome.

5. Work experience can also be rubbish.

6. With work experience, be sure to make an effort (ask questions, make an impression).

7. Don't expect your first job to be glamorous.

8. Practice being fast.

9. Keep learning.

10. Think about what you want (research as there are more roles than you know).

Tom advised us to wait until you are ready to go freelance. This seems to be the general view shared also by digital tutor Antony Ward. He spoke how it can feel more creative for some, but not necessarily everyone. He advised us to learn to talk and write intelligently, and to be able to discuss our ideas. He explained that recruitment agencies can be 'iffy' as you don't know what they are doing on your behalf. It is also important to be proactive, and not to wait for work to come to you. This could be Blogging, entering competitions, setting up websites etc. He also advised us to network and meet interesting people who could potentially offer jobs in the future. He advised against working with friends, and to always agree a price upfront. Finally, he told us to enjoy ourselves and not to give up.

We have been very fortunate to receive talks from people who have found success in the industry, and have shared with us their journeys and wisdom on getting ahead. It seems that finding work is never an effortless and straight forward venture. You may find yourself doing less glamorous work and having to work your way up to a job that your are happy in. It seems that the ultimate outcome is to be able to work as a freelancer, although this isn't necessarily the case as some may prefer working within a company with support from a team. It seems that experience from working within companies is valuable in improving your skills as a practitioner, and making friends within the industry who could later offer you work.

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