If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you probably know that I resigned my job last year. (Read my post about it here.)
I’d like to once again thank everyone for their encouraging messages – it really meant a lot to me to have so many people root for me. I am happy to report that I absolutely love my new job!
I know a lot of people are curious about what I do for a living. I studied copywriting at The Red & Yellow School and graduated in 2011. (You can check out my interview with the school here.)
I then worked in the advertising industry for a year, realised it wasn’t for me, and jumped over to the digital industry. There I found my place as a content producer and social media manager for a local retailer. I absolutely loved the brand I was working on, and it was difficult to part with it. But I have found a new adventure!
I am now working as a Digital Consultant at SconeTent, a digital agency in Greenpoint. We’re a really small team, but I love our dynamic.
SconeTent in a nutshell:
— Anja van der Spuy (@AnjaWintour) February 9, 2016
RIP Timothy. pic.twitter.com/UxdfCyDgQY
— Dale Ferreira (@BadTennis) January 26, 2016
Okay we actually take shit seriously too, for instance Vaughn is a really talented photographer.
And Dale is a witty writer.
It’s been an interesting change to work with men. I’ll be honest: I don’t understand 99.9% of the sports comments. But I am learning – slowly. Just as they are learning that some days I will rock up at work wearing a T-shirt that says “The bags under my eyes are designer”, and other days I will wear a skirt that’s so dramatic, it could have its own reality show.
In the mornings I work in-house at one of the biggest retailers in Cape Town, an environment that fits me like a couture glove. And in the afternoons I join the guys at our Greenpoint office, where I work on a cute pet-related brand. I’m pretty lucky that I get to work on two brands that I feel passionate about. We all know that my heart is occupied by dogs and pretty clothes.
I don’t think that I am a pro job-hunter, but I picked up some tips and tricks last year that I wanted to share with you.
1. Put yourself out there
Let’s be honest, job-hunting is scary. Hitting ‘send’ on an email that contains your CV is pretty much the same as jogging nude down the freeway during peak traffic. But the one thing I learnt last year was that it’s absolutely crucial to put yourself out there. The more people know that you are in the market for a new job, the better. Tweet about it, put it on Facebook, get a megaphone and shout it from a balcony – get it out there!
2. Make sure the online version of you is presentable
That photo of you funnelling at Tollies in Stellenbosch in 2006 is only 2 clicks away for a prospective employer. And you may have forgotten that joking misogynist tweet you posted 4 years ago, but Google hasn’t.
Google yourself and make sure nothing incriminating pops up. Delete or hide any sif photos on Facebook and make sure that your Twitter won’t haunt you like it did Trevor Noah.
3. Update your LinkedIn profile
Look, I have made no secret about the fact that I find LinkedIn more mundane than a chipped mug containing lukewarm water. But it’s an SEO-juicy website, and will be the first thing a prospective employer sees when they Google you. So even if you don’t use it actively, make sure that it’s up-to-date and your profile picture is presentable.
4. Get an online portfolio
If you are job-hunting in the creative industry, be sure to have an online portfolio. Behance is a great easy-to-use website, but you can also build your own WordPress site. If you want to be extra fancy you can register a domain with Afrihost. Oooh!
5. Make sure your CV is error-free
Yes, we’re all human and it’s easy to make a typo. But it’s imperative that you take all the necessary steps to avoid having any spelling mistakes in your CV. Ensure that your spell-check is on and get someone else to proof read it for you. Better safe than sory.
6. Write an engaging cover letter
The sad truth about job-hunting is that your CV will likely land in an inbox that’s filled to the brim with job applications. So how do you set yours apart? You write an epic cover letter!
This is probably an easier feat for those applying for jobs in the creative industry, but I truly believe that clever copywriting has the power to make your CV rise above others.
Without turning your cover letter into an essay, make sure that it includes a little bit of information about you, as well as why you think you are the perfect candidate for the position. Because I was applying for jobs in the digital industry, I added Internet jargon and hashtags to my cover letter – I’m #sassy like that.
7. Be prepared to talk about money
I still remember the first time I was asked for my salary expectation in an interview. I was fresh out of college and had 0 clue what to say.
Now, five years later, I understand the industry better so it was less painful when the question surfaced in interviews. Think about it beforehand, do some research (you can check out this salary calculator) to be sure that you are able to answer this question with grace.
8. Don’t burn bridges
If you are leaving your company because you are unhappy, it’s really difficult to not hand your resignation in with a Photostat of your middlefinger. Even though it will feel good at the time, it will 100% catch up with you later in life. The industry is way too small for you to not run into your ex co-workers again. You may even work with some of them again in the future. Leave your current company in style, and you will never have to hide at an event because your ex-boss is there.
I hope this helps you to find the best job in the world!