How to develop the digital career you want

Caz at Brightec
Helping young people in our digital community is really important to us at Brightec.

For some of the team, this aim is driven particularly by thinking about hopes for their own children; that they wouldn’t be discounted from a job they are drawn to based on their qualifications/or potential lack of.

We like to think we’ve got a pretty good eye for spotting people in our community that have something extra to offer and enjoy helping to grow talent and enthusiasm. We love to welcome these people in to our office to gain experience in our working environment.

This got me thinking about how I got here; the people that saw something in me that opened the path to jobs I didn’t know I wanted, and the advice I’d give to someone currently looking for a job, whether it be their first out of uni, a change of career or going back to work.

So how did I get here?

I’m stubborn, it’s a family trait. I decided I didn’t want to go to uni because I wanted to be different. My two sisters are older, smarter, more logical, clearer on their career path... you get the jist. So, I didn’t want to go to uni and get the ‘not so good’ marks. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but, I knew what things I liked and what I was good at; writing, being creative, daydreaming, imagining.

It was my best friend’s mum who questioned my choice. She took my friend and I out for lunch, which wasn’t something we’d done before. My best friend knew she loved science, she was good at it, she knew she wanted to do BioMedical Sciences at University. (She actually switched course 3 weeks in, completed a degree in biology and then went back to uni a year later and has just qualified as a doctor, but that’s her story.) ‘So what are you going to do?’ her mum asked. I shrugged, ‘Get a job I guess’.

But doing what? I didn't know. What did I want to do? I didn’t know. It went on. The summary of this discussion was, why didn’t I find a course that sounded interesting and spend 3 years learning something I was interested in? (University was much more affordable in those days.) Again, I didn’t know, but that answer, for once, was productive. It could help me choose a career that I would like.

I quite easily settled on a Publishing course. I’d wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember. I loved reading. I loved writing. I loved creating, getting lost in my imaginary worlds. Due to small numbers on that course, I was forced to do a joint honours degree and based on my love of writing, and that the two seemed to go hand in hand, I chose Creative Writing.

For the first time, learning felt easy and fun. I couldn’t read enough books, learn new things quickly enough or get enough answers to satisfy my hunger for more knowledge. Through the modules, I found more things I was good at; talents and skills I naturally possessed. My passion for words (and perfection) naturally sat with editorial work and that’s how I chose the jobs to apply for once I graduated.

My first job was awful. I was made redundant along with half the staff after six weeks but I was determined that this disastrous start to employment wouldn’t pave my future. I filled my calendar with work experience at places I wanted to work whilst I applied for other jobs as an editorial assistant.

Why Do You Think You Were Selected Among Other Candidates?

I was by far the least experienced candidate but my next employer liked that. They liked who I was and they saw that someone young was a pair of enthusiastic eyes to change, improve and grow how their company worked.

I stayed with that company for five years, being promoted through various roles from editorial assistant to journalist. My editor was scatty and I, without realising, took to organising him with my constant questions and need for organisation and schedules. I’ve always had a strong sense of responsibility and I evolved my role by taking it upon myself to make things happen, to schedule things, to work out new processes (often by trial and error), to make sure people actually spoke to each other. To me it was common sense, to them it was game changing.

Someone else in the company noticed my ability to organise what would otherwise be chaos. Between them, the production manager and the editor hatched a plan. It was only when they put the suggestion to me, that I join the production team, and I responded ‘Yeah, sounds great, I know loads about the production side from my publishing degree’ that they realised my background. It seemed that potential employers look at your CV but from the moment you’re offered an interview, it is your personality, your visions, your intentions and your goals that count.

For the next two years, I created schedules, organised three teams, asked silly questions, coordinated various newsletters and magazines, liaised with suppliers, advertisers, journalists, editors and I loved it. But I eventually got bored because things worked better than they had done before. I realised that the fear of moving on and not having the safety net of ‘this is my first job, I’m still learning’ didn’t exist anymore. I was ready for a new challenge.

What can you recommend on putting on your CV?

Your CV needs to leave no doubt for the reader that there is something you are passionate about. At Brightec, we all have at least one hobby that we’ve taken further. Outside of work, our team is made up of musicians, songwriters, a heavy weight lifter, a yoga teacher and a children’s writer. We love to learn and potential employees that display a level of drive in their personal lives will always stand out in a pile of CVs.

It is important to remember that skill isn’t everything. To an extent, knowledge can be learned, taught and nurtured but personality and a person’s core beliefs are less fluid. I believe I got my job because I was a good fit for the company and its culture.

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