Growing up the Sharp Electronics building has always been part of my local landscape. Travelling into Manchester on the train it was a recognisable landmark of my journey but more as a derelict unused building. These days the train no longer runs and has been regenerated into our new tram system connecting our city better than ever. This is also true in regards to the Sharp building as it has also been regenerated and evolved into the place I’m currently starting a work placement for SharpFutures, working for the Sharp Project. It really does feel that as my landscape is changing around me in local area, so are my opportunities. I will be writing a blog to give an insight into what it is like to undertake a placement with SharpFutures, what I learn through this experience and what opportunities it presents me. It will involve the typical day to day activities of the people around me, hopefully showing what an asset this space can bring for young people and Manchester as a community.
At SharpFutures we’ve recently recruited 8 placements for a 12 week course, which consists of workshops, masterclasses, content creation, real-life creative briefs and become part of the SharpFutures Talent Pool and support network.
Welcoming this first cohort of placements which consists of 8 people varying in many different areas of interest such as graphic design, production running, scriptwriting, social media marketing, the list goes on.
As a part of my work with SharpFutures I have been involved in a number of workshops that have been organised for the 8 placements to gain them an insight in to the industry and to also give them advice. The first workshop i was involved in was on Content management and curation.
(Marketing Exec and Web Developer) involve a big chunk of time working through content and managing it from the SharpFutures Blog, to the website and the Social Media.
The second workshop I did was with Lauren Hira, we hosted a workshop to show and discuss all the activity that SharpFutures gets up to working for clients and on our own social media presence, we also went in to how it has become a skill very much in demand at the moment.
It has been a really interesting learning curve hosting the workshops as only 2 years ago, I found myself in a very similar seat to them. I remember that first workshop on Social Media Marketing I attended at SharpFutures as an Apprentice in my first month, not exactly sure of what Social Media marketing consisted of or how it could be utilised for a business. Just in 2 years of learning on the job and much of my own time being spent on researching into all the newest discoveries and innovations of the Social Media world I now find myself confident enough to share my knowledge. I know from my own experience, learning from someone actually in the industry is much more advantageous compared to learning from a book published 5 years ago. A lot of the content and advice in that book may now be bit out of date compared to the real world, with things such as Facebook and Twitter constantly adding features and innovations you have to keep up with the changes to stay on top. Being able to pass on my knowledge felt quite rewarding, although it’s now more important than ever to stay on top as I potentially have 8 competitors chasing me…
Reiterating what Danny has said,
. As it forces me to take a step back and look at the work we do on day-to-day basis more objectively . It’s also made me appreciate how much I’ve learnt over the past 2 years and not assume knowledge when talking to others.
As everyone seemed to respond positively to the workshop I’m planning to hold a workshop on using WordPress as a blogging/portfolio platform to promote yourself as a creative individual. We’ve already taken the placements through setting up and using Tumblr as way of displaying and sharing their work. But I think WordPress provides a more succinct and professional platform much like a real website, although slightly more limited than a full WordPress website; it still looks professional and can also help develop coding and design skills.
The first thing you need is a dedicated skill, ambition and an idea of the career path you hope to take.What are your strengths? What is your talent? Can you illustrate a logo or a design a website? Take stunning photographs, write compelling copy or create animation?
Whatever your skill, an absolute must is a digital portfolio. Whether it’s a showreel, blog, website, YouTube channel or any other audio / visual representation of your work, Employers or Clients want to see results, style and creativity. If you haven’t already got one, go and make one. There are an abundance of free tools available such as:
and too many others to mention.
If you have got this far, you are already on to the next step…It’s all about the content…
The SharpFutures team and myself love this creative approach of presenting a CV. A Curriculum Vitae is traditionally a piece of paper with the mind numbing name, date, age, experience etc. If you are applying for a position in the creative digital sector then there is a high chance the Managing Director or whoever is handed your CV will have a creative flare themselves, therefore it wont hurt for you show your creativity from step one. We recently came across a blog post mentioning a great example of someone using creativity to give themselves the unique selling point and competitive edge.
Leah (the woman who created the creative CV), was given the brief to ‘create a piece of persuasive advertising with you as the product’. She then did exactly this in such a creative way it has taken the attention of people across the world, not only the business applied for. Since this creative CV she has had numerous interviews and job offers as a result of adding an interesting twist to the traditional Curriculum Vitae. If you want to see the full blog post you can view it here.
Also, take a look at some more of Erin Gloria Ryan’s blogs here.