Gen Y vs. Mass Communications
I always get asked by eager recent college grads about the job market in communications, it’s so difficult to come up with one single answer and unfortunately very little guidance on where exactly to turn for a gig during these tough economic times….Here’s a note I typed up for a guy who approached me on LinkedIn about his younger brother, who recently graduated but is finding it difficult to get a job…It was the best advice I can offer to anyone seeking jobs in communications (more specifically radio and TV based on my background)…(deep breath) Here goes…
Hi (name withheld), thanks for reaching out for advice in the mass communications industry. As I do with many college graduates, I try to provide the best insight on radio and TV that I possibly can without painting the picture as totally bleak. It’s no surprise finding a job in this economy is difficult. The communications industry is fueled by larger corporations that are in tight budget situations at the moment, considering that local and national advertising is the backbone of many media outlets, the advertising market is still slowly rebounding post recession. While the recession was at its worst point, jobs were eliminated left and right. This has created a dismal outlook for new job seekers, because so many qualified individuals are now displaced. With all of that said, it brings me to my next point, depending on his/her skill set, I recommend that he/she sends their resume and whatever portfolio that he may have (video, audio, writing samples) to stations to seek part-time entry level positions “just to get in the door”, if radio or TV is their preference.
Radio stations may occasionally seek board operators, promotions street team members, or part-time receptionist duties. TV news stations have entry level spots in video editing, news production, or master control. It’s one of those situations where you get in the door, even if part-time and slightly removed from your immediate goals, just get on board and work hard to get ahead. The more flexible you are the better your odds of landing something full-time. Networking is a big factor too, always make professional colleagues and never deem someone as an enemy (the more people you know and the more people know your professional potential, you open yourself up to landing a comfortable job). Reading the industry trades to find out moves and changes is something that I make a point to do daily.
Another beneficial thing for a recent college grad to do is to think beyond traditional. Mass communication has grown to include social media marketing, web video, blogging, and just about anything internet related. Focusing on those avenues is essential and cannot be ignored if you want a competitive advantage over the next person. Taking additional classes and studying on electronic media and all of its capabilities is something to do in the “down time” while job seeking. All of this is easier said than done, I’ve worked in the business 10 years now, I’ve done everything top to bottom in radio and TV to some capacity..Am I where I want to be in my career even with the experience? No. Are doors magically opening up? No. Do I still have to compete, stay on top of the changing industry and work hard to impress? Yes. Sorry for the lengthy response and I hope this gives you some guidance.