Creative Futures 2013: Getting A Job in the Media


The Creative Futures event is under way at Glyndwr University. It runs until Thursday.

Yesterday I caught freelance producer Phil Hirst giving a ground-level talk, Getting a Job in the Media.

His message focused on how to break in to a media landscape he describe as, “Fast-moving, fickle and a challenging business to work in.”

It was a rather static presentation lacking visual punch at times, but he did offer some advice to undergraduates keen to find a foot in the door.

“Ask some searching questions about what you want to achieve. How you will turn that burning ambition into getting a job.”

Most noteworthy was a section on the importance of work experience.

He cited a recent BBC news story detailing the findings of the latest High Fliers study.

The report indicates there will be more jobs for new graduates in 2013 but warns that “… graduates without work experience will struggle to get jobs no matter how good their grades.”

I did plenty of work experience myself while at journalism school.

It was a mixed bag – from making tea at the now defunct Melody Maker to trips down to the cuttings library to research stories at the Mail on Sunday.

Some of my cohort went on to get jobs from their work placements. I didn’t. But the experience of being in the newsroom proved invaluable nonetheless.

I spent four months unemployed after graduation. Then I got a few freelance shifts and that led to a full-time job on a magazine.

I moved to London the next week.

Phil offered some top tips for working in the media as follows:

  • Make it count. Get that work experience
  • Make friends. Put yourself about. Open doors
  • Make media. Watch, read, listen
  • Make your own luck. Target your effort
  • Make it to the finishing post. Pick yourself up and go again
  • JFDI. Just flippin’ do it

He said: “These days, it’s what you know, what you can show and who you know.”

Do you agree? Did you find Phil’s talk useful?

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