A lot of my blog posts start with conversations, if I was still in uni I would 100% be penalised for not crediting my sources. People I chat to on a day to day basis inspire me more than they know. More often than not it will be throw-away statement or a sentence that they had no idea resonated until they read my blog. But on the rare occasion, like today, a blog post is inspired by the whole subject of a conversation.
I was talking to one of my friends who wants to get into the world of broadcasting and she was asking me to spill the secretsssssss. She wanted me to tell her how to get a job in media. Break. It. Dowwwwwwwwwn.
I don’t know the answer to that question, I know that me being in my position isn’t just a fluke, I know that it was plan to be able to do what I do for a living. I’m not particularly lucky and I work my ass off everyday BUT I have never assumed I have the answers. It’s part of the reason I don’t do a lot of talks. I feel like a fraud if I’m honest.
However, in the comfort of my own home, sitting on my own sofa with a mate; I realised I know a liiiiiiittle bit and what’s knowledge if it isnt shared? So what I have done, is put a list together. I do want to say that this isn’t foolproof but it’s compiled of some the things I have learnt on my journey and wish I knew/ did when I first started.
I hope it helps x
It is never too late to start… Ever.
In the world of presenting I think I sit right in the middle- age wise. I decided to pursue this as a career quite late. I think. I was in my mid twenties with a degree I didn’t know what to do with and a burning passion to not work in an office. For those that are lucky enough to know what they want to do when they are 12 YAY GOOD FOR YOU! This one is for those of us that didnt! It is ever too late, in fact I have found that a lil bit of wisdom goes a long way in this business. (I can’t believe I am referring to my mid twenties as old but.. such is life lol)
Don’t expect too much, at first anyway. Yes it is true that sometimes there is an explosion and someone is catapulted to stardom, that isn’t the case for everyone. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, firstly I think it is important to go through the stages. I am sorry if you were expecting some kind of ‘hack’ getting a job in the media or short-cut to the top. I have come to find that it really isn’t a straight forward process, or at least it hasn’t been for me. I do believe that with a lot of hard-work and a little bit of luck you (and me both) will reach the goal.
Watch you… Not me, or anyone else for that matter (I am going to be honest; it took me a while to realise we are all different and learn to embrace that) Of course you can be inspired by the presenters who have come before you. It is impossible to not admire the OG’s such as June Sarpong & TRISHHHAAAA (got to give Trish a shout out)
But there is definitely a difference between admiring and imitating. You’ll never get to where you want to be if you live in someone else’s shadow, so step out into the sun and shine (: More often than not it will be the things that are unique to you that get you THAT job.
This leads me on to my next point so very nicely:
Be yourself. If you’re funny; be funny. Serious? Be serious… Let that resting bitch face take you to the top! If you have the ideas SHARE THEM it doesn’t really matter what is ‘popular’ right now because chances are it won’t be next year and you’ll be stuck doing something you actually don’t like. I don’t know how many times I have wished I was willing to eat bugs/ able spit a fire freestyle/ pretend I love eating pot noodle. But the point is I’m not/ I can’t/ I don’t and that is ok. Because what I DO bring to the table isn’t only real; it is what makes the jobs I do right for me.
Don’t limit yourself, of course spreading yourself too thinly isnt a great idea but a couple of ‘slashes’ in ya bio is cool. For me; being a presenter is a lot more than just filming or just doing my radio show. I am a DJ & a writer (here at least) as well. All of these things compliment one another. If your heart is set on being on TV thats good, but try not to have tunnel vision. Knowing what you want is fabulous but sometimes you find things you love on the way there. Be open (:
What you dont need is an agent (not at first anyway) don’t get me wrong Ellen is one of the best things thats ever happened (Ellen is my manager) but I was presenting before we met. Early in my career I didn’t have any need for an agent and you won’t either when you first start out. An agents job is to help you, yes for a fee but more than that they develop you as a talent. You kinda have to have something to develop. Something to get their attention in the first place
You also don’t need to be verified on social media, or have millions/ thousands of followers. That will come later. What we need to keep in mind it the job we are doing; if you do that well the rest is just a symptom of success
Just do it! Start even if no-one is hiring you at the moment. Interview your mates/ family, start a podcast, buy a ticket to a festival and interview the punters (these are called voxpops.) Start a Youtube channel. Start a blog (WordPress is free and fabulous)
Just do it.
Wanna DJ? start mixing! Ask friends to teach you/ use their equipment. Start saving for your own, remember you have to be willing to invest in yourself. If you don’t why should anyone else?
If you are worried about money; you don’t need an expensive camera or mic to begin recording content. Your smartphone, you know that thing in your hand? That is good enough for now! Just start, today.
Enjoy it! Most presenting careers don’t last forever so once you do get to a position in which you feel successful you HAVE TO ENJOY IT. You have to remember when you coud’ve only dreamed of being on radio, or playing at festivals and revel in it.
I feel like nowadays we are so focused on whats next we really don’t appreciate the now. I remember when I would think of a new radio feature every day because it was fun, or film myself doing strange things because I found it hilarious, only recently have I gotten back into that. You have to enjoy what you do ESPECIALLY if it is in the media because this business is so harsh. Count your wins twice as much as you L’s
I know this may not have been what you were expecting with a ‘how to…’ but like I said: there really isn’t a quick fix or sure way to the top.
I am still very much on my journey and hopefully with a lot more hardworking I will meet you up there (:
P.s I shot a fun lil pilot with BBC Three earlier this year called You’ve Been Shamed have a watch and let me know what you think x