A career in media could constitute many things. With the advent of technology, the field of media has exploded into numerous subfields. These include, and are not limited to, filmmaking, journalism, publishing, radio and TV broadcasting, the internet, digital and interactive media, and illustrations.
Since most of these fields are always expanding, they make for vast employment opportunities with the added benefit of working in a fun, interactive workplace. It can get quite intense though, so it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
If you like a fast-paced, high-pressure work environment that is constantly evolving, a career in media could be the right calling for you.
1. Developing Your Interpersonal skills
No matter which industry you are trying to target, the importance of working on your communication skills cannot be understated.
All companies wish to employ individuals with strong interpersonal and communication skills, irrespective of their industry. This ensures that there are fewer lapses in communication and ultimately minimal disruptions in operational workflows.
You can be both creative and extremely competent, but your best qualities will fail to shine if you lack the means to communicate your ideas. Confident interactions with your coworkers ensure that your skills and talent come to the forefront and establish you as a dependable and skilful employee.
Since the media industry is generally fast-paced, communication lapses need to be avoided at all costs. Being responsible for your company missing out on deadlines is really not ideal. Therefore, working on your people skills will be the first step in preparing yourself for a career in media.
2. Building a Social Media Presence
It is the digital age and you’ve got to get in the loop; no two ways about it. In the media industry, it is becoming increasingly important to have a social media presence. All companies actively strive for it and that isn’t surprising. Statista reports that as of July 2018, there are about 4.12 billion internet users all over the world. Of these, 3.8 billion are active social media users!
The digital population is only expected to rise in subsequent years, so you cannot avoid social media forever. Potential employers will expect you to be well-versed in developing an online brand, so try building your outreach organically and sincerely.
Remember, whatever you post online – even a trivial story – will have the potential to be shared around and register your brand in the minds of your readers. Therefore, building a more personal relationship with your following will construct a positive image of you and your company.
3. Gaining Basic IT Know-How
Like needing robust communication skills, being technically literate is going to be vital everywhere in the employment world. The media industry places extra emphasis on this because it has a stronger link with technology than other industries.
Having digital skills like photo editing and HTML up your sleeve would give you an edge in many ways. Being proficient in technical skills makes you a better problem-solver. You also become a fast learner and minimize your dependency on others for complicated tasks. As companies continue to upgrade digitally, these transitions are considerably less intimidating for individuals with prior IT skills.
Research which skills are high in demand and relevant for your ideal job. Equipping yourself with the right mix of these will boost your resume and help you stand out from the enormous heap of applicants that you will have to compete with.
This means companies will have an easier job training you, saving them both time and resources. Figuring things out at your own pace often results in more impactful learning and enables you to use your skills more efficiently once you venture into the world of media.
4. Honing Your Capacity for Research
Media careers are constantly evolving. The norms of the industry could become obsolete in a matter of months if a better convention comes around. That is precisely what is happening in the media of late.
An interesting example is how programmatic marketing in the media industry has replaced humans with robots for buying ads. Automation has taken centre stage in the media industry and modern solutions are becoming more and more predominant.
Brands are using augmented reality and virtual reality to provide a more interactive way for their audience to be exposed to their adverts. These are all exciting developments that did not exist a decade ago.
In this cut-throat race, being up to speed with relevant technological advancements and fresher approaches will help you stay ahead of others and enable you to contribute to the maturation of your company. Coworkers will also view you as well-read and could ask you for advice on similar matters.
5. Being Open to Experimentation
Creativity and quirky campaigns have often elevated a company’s image in the eyes of its target audience. This often means that companies are looking for individuals with unique ideas who aren’t afraid of taking risks.
Experimenting and playing around with unusual ideas more often than not brings a brand greater visibility and more recognition. For this very reason, media professionals regularly tread unfamiliar waters and evaluate how they can better catch the attention of their audience.
The confidence to take risks comes from having faith in your skills and believing that you are capable of bringing exceptional ideas to the table. Experimentation also implies that things will not always go the route you envisioned for them.
Don’t beat yourself up over it. It is natural to be disappointed but don’t let failure bring you down. Keep devising new strategies and looking into other prospects. Failure doesn’t have to be counterproductive; learning from your mistakes will make you better at what you do.
Final Word of Advice
Media might seem like a daunting, gruelling mix at first but that is what makes it so intriguing and fun. It is not going to be easy starting out but if you stand your ground, the industry is very rewarding for promising talent.
Whenever you find yourself stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s always something new to learn and getting feedback from people who have been around for a while will help you polish your skills.
Believe in yourself and be ready to take up what this bizarre world of media throws at you. Good luck!