A Media Career During Covid-19
A media career during Covid-19. We are all very aware of the devastating effects Covid-19 is having around the world. The terrifying rise in the number of cases, the increasing death toll and the economic impact globally is enough to cause sleepless nights for us all.
However, when we bring it home and look at the ripple effects beyond the surface of the health and economic problems Covid-19 is causing, there are also many other issues that we are having to face up to.
For students like me, who were about to embark on a new career, this is a very confusing and worrying time – we’ve gone from feeling excited a few months ago about exploring our career opportunities – to worry and anxiety about what our future may hold.
All our dreams and aspirations are on hold and potentially even on the line, dependent on the longevity and outcome of this pandemic.
Media Career Planning and Exploration
For me personally, I have spent the past two years as a student at North Kent College, working hard to gain an extended Diploma in Creative Media and Production and Digital Journalism. When I found myself planning my next steps at the beginning of this year, I never thought something like this would happen and leave me (and thousands of other students) not knowing what the future may hold for my media career.
I was excited and looking forward to exploring all the different opportunities available, many of which have now unfortunately come to a halt. Of course, this may not seem important in the grand scheme of things but having worked so hard over the last couple of years – to now have such an uncertain future is scary and a lot to comprehend – on top of other worries that the pandemic has brought about, I was now worrying about securing a media career during Covid.
I have a predicted distinction grade for my final project at college. However, with the closure of my college and the charity I was creating a marketing campaign for, it has put me in a difficult situation and at risk of not achieving this grade at all.
At college, my tutors were on hand whenever I needed them, working from home means contacting them about issues we are facing is more difficult as they are stretched thin so cannot provide the level of support I am used to or need right now. Many students across the UK will be facing exactly the same issue.
Lack Of Roles
Another issue is that a lot of media companies are simply not recruiting, indeed many are either cutting current staff hours, laying them off or putting them on furlough. Existing job placements have also been put on hold or are at risk of not going ahead at all, and even if they are still available, they will often require a certain grade at college level, which at this time many students are not guaranteed, meaning they may not be able to start the media career during Covid they had been hoping and planning for.
5 Ways To Improve Your Position
Despite the uncertainty for many students on how this pandemic will affect our future media careers, it doesn’t mean we need to sit around doing nothing – there are opportunities to improve our position and help our chances of recruitment in the media industry in the future.
- In-depth exploration
There is the temptation when just starting out to jump at the first available job opportunity within your chosen profession or start searching without fully considering what you want to do. You can take advantage of the slowing job market and additional time by finding clarity on what you really want to do within this field.
Are there specific areas of media and marketing that appeal or interest you? What do you definitely not want to do? Think about where you would like to work, what their ethos is and if it’s important to you, connect with people within those organisations and consider what your ideal starting role and job title would be. This will help you to streamline your approach to job searching in the future and help you to research and connect with the right people now.
- Keep looking for job opportunities
Even though we may not be able to meet prospective employers face to face for interviews, some companies are continuing with their hiring process over the phone. It’s harder to make the same impression with a phone interview as you can miss certain social cues which tell you if the interviewer liked or disliked something you said. However, it does give you a chance to write more detailed notes which you can refer to and ask the right questions.
- Start networking
Make yourself visible online. Attend virtual networking events, relevant webinars and join professional groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to connect with people in the industry. Eventbrite is a great place to research and look for relevant online media events and webinars to attend.
Create your own content and contribute articles on a regular basis. Publish them on relevant platforms such as LinkedIn and Medium. Ask relevant questions within forums and add your own opinion to topics discussed. This will show active participation and interest which if done right, should hopefully impress prospective employers.
- Find a media mentor
Mentors play a crucial part to young people looking to develop a career in the creative industries. Research how you can connect with volunteer mentors who can help provide you with invaluable help and guidance.
Media Careers In The Future
It’s hard to predict just how much of a blow this will have long term on the media and marketing industry, how the global pandemic will affect and change working processes within it and what opportunities there still may be in the future.
In the very early stages of the pandemic, an survey by Marketing Week found that 86% of UK based marketers delayed or reviewed their campaigns. Without doubt, COVID 19 has had a enormous impact on many marketers and their campaign planning.
However, in a recent survey of more than 35,000 consumers globally by Kantar it found that just 8% thought brands should stop advertising.
The vast majority of consumers do not think brands need to stop advertising during the Covid-19 outbreak, although they do expect companies to think about their tone and messaging, and communicate around values in their PR and ad campaigns.
In addition to this, advertising tends to get much cheaper during crisis, which means there are opportunities for businesses to market and promote their products and services in a sensitive and relevant way.
Marketers can adapt their strategies, realign their budgets and look for the most cost-effective and relevant channels to keep communicating their messages. Indeed, some companies such as P&G are ramping up their spend stating that this is not a time to re-trench and noting that the worldwide increase in media consumption was an added opportunity in “doubling down” on brand visibility.
The government have also committed a large budget to advertising – which could prove vital to keeping some publishers and outlets afloat during this period and hopefully able to recover and continue trading once this is over.
The rise in panic amongst many students who had planned to go into jobs within the media after this year of college is understandable. Many will be feeling increased anxiety levels over an uncertain future, heightened by having to cope in tandem with self-isolation, loneliness and boredom.
Taking the time to research, put together a plan of action, network and connect to the right people, will not only help to keep you busy and focused right now but also provides an opportunity to put yourself ahead of the competition and help set up your media career during Covid and in the future.