I rarely find myself nodding in agreement with advice dished out by newspaper agony aunts, but Jeremy Bullmore, the Guardian's Dear Jeremy, had me doing exactly that on Saturday with a piece of advice that I think is spot on for anyone trying to kick start a career in journalism, PR, marketing or any other creative industry:
My 25-year-old son has struggled in the workplace since he
graduated three years ago (2:1 in English at Cambridge). He has done
work for a small PR company and had a stint as a chef, but still does
not have any real idea what he wants. He is job hunting and I am keen
to help him. He lives between London and Manchester so either area
would be good.
I wonder if he's hunting for more or
less any job that's advertised, or if he's dedicated himself to
something he's deeply interested in. I hope it's the second. He is
clearly intelligent and literate and he's interested in food. He also
knows something about PR. He should start from there.
make himself known to local restaurants: many are struggling to fill
tables at the moment. He should start a blog and bring it to the
attention of local newspapers. He should write daily about food,
restaurants, tips, hints: anything he finds of interest and that is
likely to be of interest to others. He'll know better than I would.
he can begin to make a name for himself, assignments should begin to
follow. It's most people's instinct to go searching for jobs, but
sometimes it is possible to invent them.
Speaking of Jobs, Headshift (my employer) currently has a range of positions open. Also, the Guardian is looking for a General Manager for the soon to launch Guardian Club and the Houses of Parliament have a number of potentially interesting web jobs listed, including Head of User Experience and Head of Engagement.