Finding Opportunities in Secret Places — Featuring FYI Member, Courtney
When the job boards and reach-out emails ain't cutting it — where do you go to find opportunities? Your EXISTING network, Honey! Opportunities lie beneath the surface, you just gotta dig around in your address book and build relationships with your industry network.
Reach out to your existing network and see if they have or know of any work/potential opportunities. You often forget how powerful your existing address book is — so hit up these points of contact:
- Your University Tutors and Lecturers
Yes, PAID opportunities do exist at your university when you have left. You could become a visiting lecture and teach students your skills — which is EXACTLY what FYI Member Courtney did, just check out her story below. I absolutely LOVE this as a potential opportunity. You have spent 3 years+ learning and defining your craft and now you can teach and guide others... Being a young, relatable breath of fresh is exactly what, I believe, universities and courses need, so the demand is always there.
- Industry Lecturers
When I was at uni we had lots of visiting industry lecturers that already had a huge existing network that could help you get the word out! So contact them and see what you can do.
- Existing LinkedIn Connections
Have a look through your connections and ask away Honey! You never know who they know or what external connections they have. Make it super easy for them to understand your background and experience — so make sure your LinkedIn profile is perfected and pitch your current situation. Check out these FYI Linkedin articles that will help get your LinkedIn game tip-top:
How to Make your LinkedIn Profile INDUSTRY Attractive
Get Yourself Some Killer Testimonials!
10 Mins a Day Keeps the Unemployment at Bay...
7 Things Your LinkedIn Note NEEDS
- Previous Employers
We often think that when we leave a role, that's it. But a bridge is never burnt unless there is a valid reason! So hit up your previous employers and see if they have scope for any more work.
TOP TIP: An employer may not be able to take you on fulltime, so suggest that you could work on an ad hoc, per project or part-time basis! This is also a great idea if you are still at university; you can work and study simultaneously. Whilst I was at Uni, some of my friends worked 1 day a week for a brand which was approved by our tutors. I also got a once in a lifetime role at Marie Claire Runway, which meant I couldn't make some days at Uni — but I spoke to my tutor and he was like you absolutely have to take this! So always talk to your tutors to see what is possible.
Okay Honeys, this is one seriously secret spot. Basically, influencers REALLY need help with returns, putting stuff on Depop, reply to DM's etc. I am in the process of making this a thing on FYI — but for now ... have a think about who you would like to help (start with possible influencers in your area), reach out to them and offer your services! Who knows what could happen. Keep me posted on any traction!
COURTNEY'S STORY — 'HOW I LANDED A VISITING LECTURING ROLE THE YEAR I GRADUATED'
Having recently graduated from the University of Chester where I studied Fashion Marketing and Communication, I was thrilled to have been asked to come back as a Visiting Digital Fashion Lecturer for my course. Jasmine asked me to do a little write up on how I managed to bag it and a few tips I would pass on to others…
During my three years at University, I constantly put myself forwards for every available opportunity I could, which led me to be President of my course. This responsibility allowed me to create and develop some amazing relationships with the other students, both younger and older. Alongside this, I also put the idea out about creating and developing the course's social media channels. I believed, due to the lack of previous promotion, the course wasn’t given enough recognition and publicity it deserved as a relatively new course in the North West. I used the platform to exaggerate the fact that we are more than just a small start-up but in fact a new, hi-tech course full of movement makers. Using my initiative and building this social media presence made me an important asset to the course and allowed me to develop a long-lasting relationship with my lecturer. Alongside all of the above, I believe I was a good role model to all existing students - always there if they needed help with their ideas, digital issues or general life!
I believe the above is what led me to be selected as a Visiting Lecturer this year, alongside being recognised for my excellent knowledge and skill with Adobe Creative Cloud. I will be leading sessions with the new intake Class of 2023. My main role will be to teach the basics of Photoshop and InDesign, leading workshops on typography, collaging and digital styling in order to develop their understanding of the platforms – which were used in every single module of my degree.
- Don’t be scared to put yourself forward for every opportunity, never leave yourself in a position where you wished you’d have applied or attended.
- Put 100% into everything you do, a positive attitude is key.
- Network with all students and staff at University, you never know when they may need a favour from you – it's all about developing long-lasting relationships which may lead to opportunities in the future - CV building!
- HUSTLE! I spent nearly every minute working during my three years, and it’s paid off, I was recognised for my commitment and dedication to my degree.
Did this help Honey?
If not, just post your question in the FACEBOOK GROUP and we will answer it within 24 hours. Better yet — you may even get other members responding with their prime knowledge!