Securing (and succeeding in) your first digital role

Securing your first role in the digital sector is a brilliant achievement but can also be daunting.  To make a success of it, and keep ahead in the ever-changing digital world, you’ll need to continually learn on the job and do additional learning in your spare-time to improve your expertise.

So, how can you prepare yourself for those initial few months? That critical probationary period when you need to prove your abilities?

Here are our Agent Academy top tips to make sure you stay ahead of the game in your new role.

1. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome First of all, everybody has experienced this, CEO’s, designers, developers, everybody! Imposter syndrome is defined as the ‘psychological pattern in which people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent often internalised fear of being exposed as a fraud.’ The key point to remember is that you were selected for this role from a pool of applicants. The company knows you are capable either because you have relevant experience or transferable skills that have been demonstrated at interview. You have already cleared the biggest hurdle and it’s important to understand that your employer has faith in you and believes you can do it.

2. Online Learning There are tonnes of fantastic and free, certified courses available which can help you out massively. We would recommend Google Garage which offers a wealth of free online marketing courses to help you get off the ground. Also, LinkedIn has its own learning platform called LinkedIn Learning which provides courses on most topics from Adobe InDesign to SEO and UX. LinkedIn Learning has a monthly subscription fee but provides the first month free and can offer discounts for businesses so this may be something that your employer would be willing to invest in to help you develop. Google Analytics provides a certification which is recognised by many employers and is usually always a requirement when applying for a digital marketing role. Another great certification to obtain is Google Ads which again, is typically a requirement when going for a digital marketing role.

Don’t forget about YouTube! There are TONNES of free video tutorials on YouTube where you can learn practically anything. Your employer isn’t going to expect you to be able to do the job seamlessly straight away but having these extra certifications under your belt will demonstrate your pro-active attitude and willingness to learn as well as help you with the technicalities of the role.

3. Staying Updated With the digital industry evolving at such a fast pace, it’s important that you stay current on relevant news and follow influential accounts on social media. Here are some we’ve picked out from Twitter:

@Campaign – Campaign is a global leading magazine for the advertising, marketing and media communities. As well as having a magazine, Campaign is a great source of relevant industry updates online, especially on Twitter.

@TheDrum – Similar to Campaign, The Drum has a magazine as well as it’s social meida content. The Drum posts about current affairs and how they directly influence the media, marketing and advertising. You can also sign up to their daily newsletter which provides creative and digital job opportunities too.

@SocialChain – Social Chain is part social media agency, part media house. The content Social Chain publishes is great for keeping up to date with industry trends. You can sign up to their WhatsApp broadcast which provides regular updates including breaking news, daily stats and insights.

4. Building Relationships It’s always a good idea to start building relationships with your team and a great way to do this is by shadowing or supporting the wider team at your company. This will give you insight into the organisation’s projects and how you can utilise your skills to fill in the gaps. It will also present opportunities for you to help out with other projects, allowing you to go above and beyond your own duties.

Building relationships will bring you comfort, some new friends, people to bounce your ideas off and receive feedback from. You can gather valuable knowledge from your team mates so learn to utilise them. It’s completely expected that you will ask for help and being open around this will show willingness to learn and progress. Seek as much help as you can now to put you in better stead for the future.

5. Events to Attend In addition to following relevant accounts online, it’s important to attend events to stay up to date and connect with the industry. Attending events allows you to network and create contacts with like-minded individuals who you may call upon or collaborate with throughout your career. Furthermore, by attending events you will be able to gain insight of the shape of the industry.

For example, you’ll quickly come to learn who the industry leaders are and who the relevant contacts are for certain organisations. We work in partnership with InnovateHer to run bi-monthly meet-ups focusing on digital and tech.This month’s theme for our meetup is digital marketing which will include keynote talks from expert speakers in this field.

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