So it’s been almost a week since the end of #MyDigitalCareer and I feel its probably time to put my thoughts to paper (or the online equivalent of paper anyway).
Now for those of you who don’t know – which may well be many of you, the #MyDigitalCareer event (the brainchild of London-based Cloudnine Recruitment) was aimed at providing students and recent graduates with insights into social and digital roles, and advice on how to break into the industry.
At each evening’s talk (as the event lasted five days across a variety of London locations), twenty of the most influential and interesting leaders and practitioners in the Social Media & Digital industries, including: O2 Social Media Manager, Rachel Kneen; Associate Director at Edelman, James Poulter; Head of Social and Community at The Guardian, Laura Oliver; and Salesforce digital guru, Jeremy Waite, author of “From Survival to Significance” (which I highly recommend by the way), gave us a breakdown of their experiences and insights into what’s important for those looking to follow in their footsteps before taking part in a short Q&A session prior to networking over drinks and nibbles.
I will admit, even before arriving last monday, I had high expectations of the event – not least because I knew Ketchum‘s Chief Engagement Officer, Stephen Waddington – who recently judged Behind the Spin‘s National blogging competition (in which I secured joint Second place) – would be one of the guest speakers.
These expectations however were far far surpassed.
As such, I thought it only fair to share with you my top ten key take-homes of the week. So, in no particular order (as they’re all great points to remember):
1) Read! Read journals, read blogs, read up on current affairs within whatever sector peaks your interest. As Jeremy Waite stated on Friday, “It matters most to be informed.”
2) Write; and (perhaps just as importantly) spellcheck. Not only does it demonstrate your interests, your industry knowledge, and your business awareness, but it is also highly regarded by both employers and their clients.
3) Be yourself! Without being loud or obnoxious (I mean how off-putting would that be), be confident enough in your ability to stand in a room and make yourself known for your deeds.
4) That being said, also be very conscious of what aspects of yourself that you present – particularly online where years-old drunken photos and ramblings can rear their ugly heads once more.
5) Pick a path but be ready to move with the times. Knowing what you love and going for it wholeheartedly is admirable after all, but we must not tie ourselves to one way of doing things in case it restricts our future growth. Time always changes things after all.
6) Network. Network. Network. This point in particular hit home for me as almost every speaker stated that every job they’d secured had been recommended to them via their networks.
7) Find a mentor; someone who will support, challenge and prove a helpful sounding board throughout your career.
8) Know that there’s no such thing as a work/life balance.
9) That being said, Learn how to say no, and try to maintain some semblance of one. That, or risk burning out early on in your career.
10) Stay curious. Whether it be about new trends, new tools, or new technology, staying curious will keep your knowledge, industry awareness, and skillset up to date and relevant. It is this (so they claim) that will set us apart.