Devon Page was one of our top candidate who was placed as a Digital Planner at Carat, Leeds. Devon tells us why and how he has ended up where he is offering his top tips on how to get your dream job! Check out his story here!
I’ve personally had a lot of changes in the past two years. Starting in Scarborough and then moving to York for digital opportunities and now commuting to Leeds, I have always strived to move in a positive direction wherever life has taken me. It hasn’t been easy but the transition from instability from a career (and life) perspective has been rewarding and should give other people confidence to move towards doing the things they love.
My name is Devon and I have just started working as a Digital Planner for Carat Leeds on their newly formed Government Team. Carat as an organisation was definitely an aspirational move, their customer centric approach and investment in training really aligned with my personal beliefs and the prospect of working as a digital specialist there was a great feeling. The digital landscape has grown rapidly and continues to change the way people interact with the world and each other which makes now a very exciting time to be in the industry. The opportunity for personal development in Carat and the recognition inside and outside the Dentsu Aegis Network is really important for my future ambitions of becoming an expert in digital strategy.
The industry for marketers and advertising professionals has shifted from specialists in a very specific area to multi-skilled people who can work across different roles whilst still retaining a specialism. For example, an SEO specialist may be required to understand conversion rate optimisation and paid advertising. Apart from being adaptable there is also a need to continue to develop and learn, seeking out opportunities for improvement at every moment. To begin a career in advertising and marketing you should first understand the different specialisms available, how your unique talents fit into those areas and then speak to family and friends about any opportunities to practice your skills.
A career in advertising and marketing doesn’t always have to come from the traditional route (School – College – University). If you are passionate about the industry you can take self-initiated learning from free and paid online courses which are widely recognised and accepted by large employers. An up-to-date portfolio and a hunger to learn more will show a potential employer that you are serious and can prove your talents.
In fact, I have never been to College or University. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been heavily involved with education though. Before I left school I began my own learning, it started with a free course by Alison and progressed to working with local businesses and charities with their online presence. I left school to work full-time as an Apprentice, helping to build a £6.5m youth and community centre (The Street - www.thestreetscarborough.org), gain funding, raise awareness and promote services. At every opportunity I have taken courses and read articles to further my knowledge and prove my abilities. I am currently studying with CIM for the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing and hope to progress onto a Masters course in 2017. The constant learning and successful implementation of marketing both inside and outside of employment has meant that I have continually moved up the career ladder.
The exciting prospect of working in this industry is the relatively young age of it. There are plenty of new opportunities, tools and technologies that have yet to be discovered and companies are investing a huge amount of money to understand and use it effectively. Anyone can start and find a place in the marketing and advertising world, you just need to find your passion.
If you’re looking for a career in marketing, you don’t have to feel alone. Apart from the wealth of information online there are also agencies, such as The Candidate, who can guide you in the right position. Megan was very helpful when we first contacted each other. She was able to understand exactly what I was looking for in a career and my own development goals. I was recommended to the Digital Planner role at Carat and was delighted that I have the opportunity to have an interview with them. Luckily, I had Megan to personally guide me through the whole process and made sure that I was prepared for every question and task. I had to create a plan for a marketing campaign for one of Carat’s clients as part of the process which should be seen as a fantastic opportunity to show what you are able to achieve.
I think the top 5 tips for securing a role in this sector would be:
- Always be learning; find inspiration and set targets.
- Don’t be scared to try; learn, practice, evaluate and repeat.
- Grasp opportunities by the scruff of the neck; see everything as a step towards your goals.
- Prove your worth; keep a record of the work you do to show your talents.
- Network; it’s not always what you know (although that helps!). Recruiters and employers are now using online networks like LinkedIn to find candidates.
That’s it for now. I would love to hear your experiences and whether marketing and advertising is where you want to be. You can contact Devon on @DevonRPage.