Career Development Archives - Ryan Lum
- Imagination. Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” The fellas over at Google had all the computer skills and knowledge they needed to have successful careers in some firm’s IT department–along with tens of thousands of other techies. What makes Larry Page and Sergey Brin household names is the fact they imagined there was a better way to search the web, and then they created it.
Ok, you can stop stressing…the worst is over. Lets say you nailed your interview (I’m sure you did!), now what? The next step in the job hunting process is to follow-up in a timely and memorable manner. Keep in mind I’m coming from an agency perspective and this will not always apply. Most of these tips would only apply to a creative position and would not be applicable to say a law firm position.
Here are my 5 tips for the post-interview followup:
I was 14 when I started doing freelance graphic design, website design and photography. It all started with designing and coding my first personal website. I remember back in the day we had to use Netzero to get free internet on our 28.8k modem which used our phoneline. Webhosting was quite expensive during the .com boom, so a lot of us had to use AOL, Geocities, Tripod and all those other free webhosts. These hosts allowed us to create a site on on their domain as long as it had ads. It was quite the time to grow up in.
Freelancing gave me many opportunities to gain more experience and it ultimately made me a much better candidate when I was applying for jobs. It also allowed me to maintain a source of revenue on the side. Although I still consider myself an agency guy, freelancing has taught me several valuable lessons. Without further adieu, here are my top 5 reasons why you should start freelancing (or start your own business):
When I first graduated college, I tried to figure out which route I wanted to go. Did I want to continue freelancing or did I want to go work at an agency. The choice for me was clear. I wanted to work at a smaller agency because it would be a good transition from the college world into the agency life. I also believe that in smaller agencies, there are more opportunities to make a difference.
I ended up working at a digital marketing agency almost straight out of college. With that being said, I present my 5 top reasons why you should work at an agency!
I recently wrote an article on my company blog on my Top 5 Photoshop Etiquette Tips. If you are looking to become a graphic designer for an agency, I’d recommend checking out these tips as it will make your transition a lot easier and will really impress your co-workers!
These tips will help anyone looking to improve their workflow when using Adobe Photoshop and I’ve found it really helps to keep files organized. So enough chat-chit (yea I Dane Cook Flipped that phrase), lets get on with the show!
Sitting here at my workstation sorting through over a hundred emails. At home I get to wear all sorts of hats. From being a freelance creative/developer to an avid blogger…it’s all about finding a balance.
Not only do I work 40+ hours a week at my full-time job doing web development / creative, but I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle (sitting at a computer 10+ hours a day just doesn’t do it for me). After work, I tend to go to the gym for 1-3 hours. I know, it’s excessive. On Wednesdays I take a boxing class that lasts a little over 2 hours which puts me a little after 8pm in which I will go get food. After working out ( I tend to work out 3-4 times a week), I have to eat and wind down..a bit. Unfortunately, this leaves me at managing my guerrilla marketing blog and tending to my freelance clients at around 10pm.
You are probably thinking, blogging? That doesn’t take THAT much time. You’re wrong. I’ve had the privilege in creating one of the top guerrilla marketing blogs and it has become internationally known. Creating content and a weekly basis if not more frequently takes a good amount of time (not to mention managing all the social media portals/seo/branding/etc).
Managing a personal brand image, a top guerrilla marketing blog, multiple freelance clients that have daily requests, maintaing a healthy lifestyle, and working a full-time job definitely has taken it’s toll.
Oh well, I’m starting off 2011 by being insanely productive (with the sacrifice of having free-time!).
After being in the industry for a couple months, I have used this ‘technique’ quite often already. When I was interning at the San Diego State University Entrepreneurial Management Center, my supervisor mentored me very well. One thing I really appreciated was the tip he gave me over lunch one day.
“Get to know people” he said.
He suggested that you contact directors, ceos, thought leaders and just ask them out for a cup of coffee or tea or even lunch. Why?
It is all about networking right? It’s the people you know. I always remember hearing this when I was growing up. So if the message isn’t clear by now…GET TO KNOW PEOPLE!
Now I never said it would be easy, but the payoff is well worth it. Often times the person might blow you off (which is understandable). They are busy, they actually have work to do! Don’t worry, keep trying. These kinds of people will notice that you are going the extra distance and REALLY want to meet them. Don’t be annoying, but be persistent and if you have to meet them at 6:30am…do it.
I could go on and on as to why you should set one up.. but I’d rather you just try it out and see for yourself. Be yourself with no hidden agenda except to chat with them on topics that are relevant to their industry and the work that you do. Above all, have fun and go out and meet people!
Trust me, you’ll do fine.
On April 6th, 2010 I set forth on a journey. I was unemployed, had a lot on my mind, and a dream. I told myself…I WILL get a job at an advertising / marketing company here in San Diego.
A couple weeks ago, I got several offers from a couple San Diego Advertising Agencies. I can now say that I achieved my goal and got a job a about 2 weeks before my deadline.
I shall now embark on another journey of turning 24 tomorrow. I will set another goal for myself..and a deadline. I invite you to follow my journeys!
How I Got A Job In Advertising In Less Than A Month
I’ve been going on interviews with several advertising agencies, each one being unique and different. I’d like to share my process with you and explain some of the DO’s and DONT’s of interviewing with agencies.
- Do Your Research. What makes this agency unique? Why do you want to work with them? In researching each agency, I found each one to be unique and exciting in their own way.
- Look Presentable. It is funny only because all the agencies I have visited have a more business casual/casual workplace; however, this is not a time to skimp on the details. Everyone else will be in suit/tie, so don’t give them a reason to doubt you and be professional.
- Question? All these interview websites say this is the most important question an interviewer will ask. In advertising, it’s probably the most important aspect; however, don’t fake it. Take an interview how you would take a meeting with a client. It is important to understand the people behind the desk and understand what they are looking for.
- Be Prepared. Have your resume, portfolio, maybe even a laptop. Have everything in order.
- Don’t go off-topic. You only have a short amount of time to meet with these individuals. Ask what is important and relevant. Portray the message.
- Dont Stress Out! These are people. Unless there is a bright white lamp shining in your eyes and you are bound to a chair…there is no need to worry. They have been in the same place as you. Speak with confidence and be proud of your work!