Every now and then you’ll have one of those ” I feel really old” moments. You know how it goes – Go to a bar on any given friday night and everyone looks about 12 years old – that sort of thing. Okay – I know I’m only 30 (and 3/4) but there’s lots of people younger than me these days (and I found a grey hair the other day).
I had one of those moments last week when I got asked to present a talk at the University of Canberra to a group of marketing, advertising and tourism students. A careers talk! Does that mean I finally have a career?. Have I made it in life? Quick call my mum and let her know – maybe she’ll stop hassling me about ‘am I earning enough’ and ‘is business going okay’? Yes mum – I have a real job and everything is fine (how’s retirement by the way – can’t wait to get there!).
As a matter of fact mum, I now share advice with students about how they can find employment and turn their degree into a job – you should be proud. So here’s my tips for final years students at the University of Canberra on…..
How to Get a job in tourism or marketing (or both)
- Take and make opportunities for yourself – because no one will do it for you.
- Everyone at Uni gets a degree – are you getting noticed for anything else?
- Get work experience in a related field – and do lots of it. It’s unpaid but it’s priceless.
- Use the “I’m a Uni student” line as often as possible because once you graduate you won’t get any more work experience opportunities
- Aim to stick in a job for around 2 years – you will get good experience and training and then look at the next opportunity
- Apply for and win awards – nothing helps you stand out like an award.
- Invest your ‘free’ time in building your own personal brand locally.
- Don’t run away from Canberra too quickly – build a skill base here and then head to Sydney, Melbourne or London and you’ll get paid heaps more.
- Want a job with us? – make sure the interview isn’t the first time I am meeting you.
- I hate reading CV’s – I much prefer Googling you and seeing what the web tells me. Silence means you are boring and have never done anything worth publishing on the web.
- Show people you have a good attitude, you can use your initiative, you have common sense, a sense of humour and you can use your initiative. Anything else you can be trained on.
What you need to do now:
- Work out how much time you have left at uni – split it between work, study and work experience
- Quit your irrelevant, Friday night drinking money, weekend job and go and get one in a more relevant industry
- Identify 4-5 places you would like to work and contact them to do work experience or just to introduce yourself. Don’t mass email them – ring and say hello.
- Get involved in any extracurricular activities on campus that will help you build your experience and profile.
- Start building your experience portfolio, your name in the industry and your professional profile.
- Go and change your privacy settings on facebook – if I am interviewing you – I will do a background check first!
- Start a blog about what you know, get onto LinkedIn and start optimising your professional profile.
- Don’t wait, don’t complain and get on with it!
As you might have worked out these would apply to most people in any town and any stage of life, but it seems a lot easier to go back to your old uni and feel important for 30mins – sharing pearls of wisdom as someone who has been there and done that locally.
I’m very much still doing it – so will make sure I update this post in a few years with everything else I know between now and then.