In the formidable world of potential employers and “adult” jobs, being straight out of college can seem like a detriment. You lack the experience agencies are looking for, which subsequently means you lack the ability to gain said experience. This can be frustrating and, at times, discouraging. But there is a way out of this slump. You need to understand how to leverage yourself and your tech-saturated college experience to let potential employers know that you’re coming into this position with much more than just a diploma and bright eyes.
In the digital agency world, being freshly graduated can actually be a positive. You are part of the generation that knows better than anyone exactly how important and effective the digital experience is. Your next step is to use your personal knowledge of digital to make yourself the most hirable and least expendable jobseeker out there.
Do your research.
If you know that you want to be a part of the digital movement, learn about it. Educate yourself on the stats. Use a CMS system to publish something digitally, even if it is something as simple and user-friendly as Wix or Wordpress, these experiences will help you and give you some foundational knowledge.
Leverage your knowledge of digital.
Consider the position you’re in. You grew up in a digital world, you are a native digital user. Navigating through various forms of social media and web traffic is old hand to you. Because of this, you know what today’s online consumer is looking for and the ways in which they are looking for it. Don’t be afraid to speak up and mention this fact.
Present a multitude of ways in which your knowledge and experience (even though it may be scarce) can be useful. Be able to co-manage an account and articulate yourself in meetings, but write copy in your free time. Or learn the basics of back-end code, but have a working knowledge of Adobe suites and current design trends. If you are great at one thing, good. But if you are very good at many things, it takes the cake.
Defy the stereotype.
While some think your peers have set a bad standard, it is up to you to prove how and why being a millennial is actually a huge plus when looking at digital agency jobs. You are the target consumer. You are the mystifying demographic. Because you know first hand what it is like to consume media and advertisements digitally, you can provide insights on how to identify digital marketing trends that will most appeal to people your age.
Be willing to work hard and climb the ladder and do the grunt work before you expect a pay raise or a new title. Show that you are different and though your peers may have set a bad standard for behavior and expectations in the workplace, you are not them. You understand them, but are not them.
Use your technological intuition and market yourself. Set yourself apart, be willing, have a working knowledge of the many components of digital agency work. Don’t let this intimidating new phase in your life stop you from going after a job you love. You were practically born to work in the digital space and you can help make your workplace better. Just don’t forget to pay your dues.