If you haven’t signed up for some of our fabulously informative Careers Unlocked sessions yet (we’ve got more throughout October and November 2017), can we ask what, exactly, you’ve been doing? We’ve organised jam-packed events at Go Think Big and other spots in London which are seriously bringing you the knowledge when it comes to music, film, media, radio and apprenticeships. So instead of dreaming about having a career you love, come along and see how to make it happen instead.
You’ll also get the chance to hear about how industry professionals and freelancers cracked their chosen career path and made the most of their skills to get ahead. And you’ll be able to mingle and have a munch during our food-filled networking sessions! Could we make these days any more enjoyable? Probably. But we ran out of budget so this is about as incredible as it gets. (But we deffs think it’s enough).
At our recent Music Unlocked event we were lucky enough to hear from music geniuses like;
- Mark Adams – Music Director at The Box Plus Network
- Rees Hitchcock – Creative Planner and Izzy Lee-Poulton – Account Executive at FRUKT
- Sam Slee and Amy Smith – Sponsorship Team at O2 Music
- Alexa Cruickshank – Director of Communications at The BRIT School
But if you missed out, there’s no need to worry, we were busy taking notes for ya. Plus, there’s all those other sessions coming up too, remember? Here’s what we learned about how to make it in the music industry from this one though…
Amy Smith from O2 told us that being persistent (and a bit of a pest) can actually pay off. “You just need to be really proactive. That’s annoying to hear as everyone thinks they are being as proactive as possible, but don’t be afraid to pester people,” she said during her presentation. “I end up giving people jobs because they just keep emailing me. It works! I remember the ones who keep pestering me. Keep pestering and it will work in your favour.” Good to know, right?!
Make short-term sacrifices for long-term gain
Mark Adams from The Box Plus Network started in the music industry aged just 17 and 21 years later, he’s the music director at his dream company. Mark was full of knowledge and told us that he took a job at the very bottom in order to get his foot in the door. “By chance I knew someone who knew someone at Boxplus. They said they had this position for me but it was working Friday nights and Saturday nights 8 at night until 8 in the morning. I had to compromise my party instincts and think; do I want to have a job that means I can work in the music industry or do I want to go out and party? But once I started there I never left.
Keep your dream company – not your dream job in mind
Alexa Cruickshank started with a drama degree before moving to the National Youth Theatre and then The BRIT School. She advised the attendees not to try and be like everyone else in their approach to hunting for work and to go with the flow when it comes to jobs. “Know yourself as well as you can and find your own voice, find what makes you different and then try and build on that,” she explained. “I never thought I’d be Director of Communications at The BRIT School – I didn’t really know what job I wanted, but I knew the kind of organisation I wanted to work for. So young people should do their research about brands and companies and then see where you can find a job. Get into an organisation you love first, then navigate yourself!”
Work two jobs if you have to
Amy and Sam from O2 told us that they had to work hard to get where they wanted. Amy encouraged everyone to “Really put in the work” and explained; “I had to work in my parents store as well as working in a low level job in the music industry when I started out. I did that for about a year, going back and forth between my home at the weekends and London in the week.” Izzy from FRUKT echoed that sentiment but reminded people that they should “know how much they’re worth.”
Take your headphones out
Yep – it might sound contradictory to wanting to work in the music industry, but you should actually listen to less music. Why? Well it’s all about being tuned into your environment, as Alexa explained because we often miss out on interesting and potentially useful conversations around us because we’re always listening to music or podcasts. “Take your headphones out one journey a day, and get plugged into your environment,” she said. “Keep your mind as open as possible and listen to what’s going on around you, because you never know who you’ll end up sitting next to, or what you’ll hear one morning.” A good reason to eavesdrop on the tube, then.
Don’t be afraid to get involved
Mark emphasised the importance of speaking up in a work environment, noting that his company loved hearing fresh ideas from new recruits. “Be an ambassador for the company – that’s very important” he said. “Allow yourself the freedom to say ‘I’ve got an idea’ and bring it to managers, bring it the MD – don’t wait six months if you’ve said it to people. There’s no such thing as a bad idea…Have an energy because it’s contagious! For me part of the reason for my success is that I’ve loved the company from a young age and I’m passionate. I was ambitious, and creative and even at my old age I still am! I want to see more, I want to do more and we want to hear from people like that.”
Don’t give up
As Rees Hitchcock enthused, getting into the music industry is partially about persistence and passion. “Don’t give up” he said. “Just keep applying and reaching out to people and you will make it.” Inspiring words indeed!
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