There is no doubt technology is expanding and evolving at a rapid rate – with the likes of Samsung releasing ‘Gear VR’ in 2015, Netflix becoming one of the most popular TV streaming platforms since their inception in 2007, mobile apps redefining service industries including the retail sector and taxi service industry (Uber anyone?), and newsprint being a thing of the past.
The evolution of technology, and the creative industry, will not slow down which means we have to be the ones to keep up with each new program, social media platform and piece of technology. So, how can you upskill in an industry that is experiencing major shifts every year?
As a student who recently graduated from a Bachelor of Communications, I’ve had the opportunity to complete three internships which I am immensely grateful that I found. Before quarantine, I was finishing my third internship and starting to look for my next opportunity – until the world changed forever.
I found myself sitting at my laptop, wondering how I could keep my skills relevant during this time. The idea came to me while I was browsing YouTube, when I remembered that I was subscribed to some talented content creators who I had learned so much from.
So, I decided to compile a list of budget students’ and graduates’ ways to upskill and be prepared for that entry level job…
1. YouTube tutorials
In a world of modern technology, why not log off Netflix and look up a few tutorials instead? The opportunities to upskill on YouTube are endless. These are a couple of my favourite YouTubers that will make you feel like you’re back in your Camera, Lighting and Cinematography class:
- Curtis Judd uploads new videos every week teaching you how to elevate your production’s lighting, sound and camera quality. Curtis is like your personal mentor –except you don’t have to pay him to teach you! I guarantee he is worth subscribing to, and that will save you a lot of money you might have spent on a new course because he is the course himself.
- Renowned photographer Aaron Nace runs PHLEARN – a channel dedicated to all things photography and Photoshop to help you go from amateur to professional. PHLEARN uploads a variety of videos to help you understand the complex world of photography and editing without spending too much money on a short course. It’s like having your own personal teacher.
One of the best ways to learn new skills is to look up a business or company you would like to work for or a person who inspires you. Send them a friendly email and tell them you are a recent graduate who would like to pick their brain about the industry and how you can grow. Offer to meet with them during their lunch break or when they are free at a local café (once social distancing restrictions are lifted of course!).
I know sending an email to a stranger is daunting (believe me, the first time I did it, I freaked out), but there are positives to doing this: you meet new people, you grow your professional network, and you learn something new from a person who has real experience in the creative industry.
LinkedIn is a great website to start with – you will find many media and communication professionals signed up to LinkedIn. Trust me, you will be surprised by how welcoming people on a networking site can be to graduates and students. Don’t forget, they’ve all been in your shoes at some point.
3. Join an online network dedicated to helping students and graduates
There are many businesses and organisations that are dedicated to helping you navigate your way into the creative industry. Below are some of my favourites that I can personally vouch for how amazing they are to students, graduates, and newbies:
- The Mentorship team is passionate about helping you build your experience and strengthening you resume and cover letter writing skills. They also offer a range of creative projects you can sign up to if you become an active member.
- The Australian Network on Disability is a fantastic not-for-profit organisation. If you have anxiety and depression like I do, then you’ve thought about (and possibly dreaded) what the workforce will be like for you. You might be wondering if employers are inclusive of people with visible and invisible disabilities. Well, wonder no more! Australian Network on Disability work to help students with disabilities get that competitive edge through their Stepping Into Internship program. They also have an amazing initiative called the Positive Action towards Career Engagement mentoring program, a.k.a. PACE. I met my mentor through PACE who I speak with every week. Once you complete your four-month commitment to the program, your time with your mentor doesn’t have to end there. Who knows, they might just become a trusted contact who you can turn to for advice in the future!
I have personally found all these resources valuable in helping me upskill and connect with new people, and I’ve had the pleasure of both receiving and giving advice on my journey to find full-time work in the communication and media industry – and all of that without spending a dollar!
From a fellow graduate, stay safe and enjoy the time you have upskilling!