My First Day As A Social Media Intern: ‘Where’s the # key?’

Today I started my internship. Last night I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. The good thing about this being a social media internship is that I feel I can offer a lot – I’ve been on twitter a lot since being unemployed and so picked up a lot of tips on how to increase your audience. As I also found out, there is no full time social media employee, so I would have (pretty much) full control of the social media accounts, which is a lot of responsibility for an intern!

This morning I was welcomed to work with a 12 page document (!!) detailing the ins and outs of the job – the procedure, my targets, my tasks, which was a bit overwhelming for something so simple. There was so much I didn’t understand, and at the time my boss wasn’t in to ask for help. I decided not to worry about the jargon, and to clear my desk (which was full of old papers). My first question (embarrassingly) was ‘How do you turn the computer on?’.

After my boss came into work and clarified what the jargon meant, we found that all the passwords to the social media accounts didn’t work, and the only one I could access was the Twitter account. So all I did all day was respond to trending topics, find new audiences and tweet at the designated times. I was so worried whether I was doing enough work, whether I was doing it right, if I was varying the tweet content enough for our followers. ‘Maybe I’m not cut out for such a good job after all.’

It felt quite lonely too, because there was no other employee doing the social media accounts that I could talk to. The producer and researchers were off doing their own thing so I sat alone at the table. Once or twice we spoke and made passing comments, but it was hard being new and the only person doing the job.

Nevertheless, for the account I gained 50 odd followers and tweeted 8ish times, and my boss seemed pleased with me. Not bad for a first day I guess.

I Got The Internship!!!

I have bagged myself a three month internship as a Social Media Intern at a new online music channel where you can watch gigs live and on demand. The company are very new and are only officially in their second week! So it’s really exciting to be a part of it!

I originally applied for the Research and Script Writing internship, but when they found out about my blog and my pretty successful twitter account, and plus the fact that I my love for unsigned music acts, they asked if i’d be interested if I’d be interested in the social media side of things. Yes, yes, yes!!

I wasn’t too nervous going in, because I was so happy I’d actually been given an interview that I’d already felt like I’d got the job (haha). The interview itself was just like a chat, a chance for me to find out about the company and the project, and a chance for them to find out about me. So although I wasn’t nervous, it wasn’t anything to worry about anyway!

From what I understand, this company is full of opportunity, and there are loads of interns working there.

What a week! All this because I got sick of writing overly professional letters, took a risk and had some fun. If I could give any advice, I would say just be yourself in your cover letter. As long as you say why you’d like the job and keep on topic (don’t ramble about how your nan’s dog is on its last legs, how it’s such a shame and you’ll miss it loads) then why not put some personality into it?

My blog isn’t over yet! I’m going to keep blogging about my internship and keep you all up to date about what’s going on, how overworked but desperately poor I am, and maybe if I know of any vacancies!

Breaking the Rules

Over the last couple of days I went on an absolute application binge, spending hours writing letters, adapting my CV and trawling through pages of job vacancies.

For the last 8 months I have been applying for jobs and internships, and haven’t even been offered an interview. I worry about my CV and cover letter, because obviously they’re not doing very well. I think to myself, ‘I’m a writer, I should be good at this’. The best I’ve done so far is to get job rejections, which at the moment, is as exciting as it gets. Getting a rejection means that these CVs may actually be getting somewhere….

Well yesterday I spent all day writing these depressingly professional letters ‘Dear Sirs, I am interested….’ blah blah blah. Boring boring boring.

I decided enough was enough. I’m bored of writing these dull letters, and I bet the employers are bored of reading them. So why not make them fun? Its a risk, but being professional has got me nowhere so far, has it? I reckon that I might as well try and go for the employers’ wildcard choice, just to make myself noticed.

So I started writing fun letters. Here’s an extract from one of them…

‘For me personally, this job will give me the opportunity to do something with my life other than sit around in my pyjamas. Unemployment is boring down here and I am still in that naïve stage in life where going to work sounds exciting’.

Who knows if it will work? But I hope I will at least get noticed, which is more than has happened so far.

‘Are You Even Looking For a Job?’

Yesterday, somebody asked me ‘Are you actually looking for a job?’.

Well, I’ll be honest with you. No, I’m not. I really enjoy having no money, nothing to do and being looked down upon by everyone who thinks Uni is only worthwhile if you study medicine. Why would I want to leave behind this fabulous lifestyle?

I don’t think a lot of people understand the severity of the situation at the moment. They hear about there being only very few jobs about, but when they look on job websites they see loads of jobs listed. All us unemployed people must just be scroungers loving some time off.

What they don’t realise is the amount of people applying for every job. In February 2013, a new Costa Coffee opened in Nottingham, creating 8 new jobs. 1701 people applied. Obviously not every vacancy receives 1700 applications, but it goes to show how many people need jobs and how few are going.

Another factor people don’t take into consideration is that some employers turn people away because they are overqualified for a position. A close friend of mine is a recruitment manager at a local bar, and she regularly rejects applicants for general bar positions because they have a degree.

So to the Nosey that had the cheek to ask me if I was even looking for a job, of course I am, I’m bored and pissed off and sick of being miserable. I am trying my best. But what can you do when there is so much going against you?

What Hope Do I Have?

My auntie has worked for a neurological charity for many years being the only paid employee in her region. But a couple of years ago it was announced that the charity (which I’d love to name but can’t for legal purposes at the moment) was low on funds and therefore unable to continue her employment for much longer. So my auntie started her search for a new job and has filled out many job applications and been to several interviews since. However, she has been unable to find a new job to date.

Today, my auntie received her redundancy notice. For the first time in her life, she will be out of work.

However, being such an important part of the charity, she has a fantastic wealth of experience and knowledge that could propel her into any job. It is experience I can only wish I had. To back this up, she has two degrees and another 15 years of work experience. How could anybody not want to employ her?

If she can’t find a job, how can I expect to? I have no relevant work experience, the career I’m applying for is notoriously difficult to get into, and like I spoke about in yesterday’s blog post, no employers want to take the risk nowadays. And my auntie has been looking for two years, how long will it take me?!

I wish my auntie, and her charity, all the best in the future. Mine currently resembles a deep, dark abyss.

Young People Are Too Risky

Tonight I was watching Top Gear as I have done since I was a kid. It occurred to me that a program about fast cars is presented by old middle class men. I can’t lie, Jeremy Clarkson et al. are very entertaining to watch. Jeremy Clarkson is highly opinionated (a lot of which I disagree with) but it makes Top Gear the great show it is. However, these guys are all well over 40, surely they should introduce some youth?

Now I’m not saying that you should replace Clarkson, Hammond and May with three new, young faces, (we don’t want it to become Blue Peter) but maybe just one? It would diversify the panel of presenters and maybe throw in a fresh viewpoint. 

But why won’t the BBC do this? Like all other big businesses nowadays: they don’t want to take the risk. The current Top Gear lineup has proven to work, and it is probably one of the BBC’s most popular programs. They have used the same format year in year out, and the BBC seem to be worried that any risk would jeopardise it’s popularity. Therefore, they don’t want to bring in a new voice – they’re afraid that they’ll lose money.

It’s the same with Doctor Who. They announced the new Doctor today – Peter Capaldi – instead of taking the risk with a woman. Another one of the BBC’s safe choices.

I think this is why young people like me have so many problems getting jobs nowadays; if we don’t have specific work experience, no big boss wants to take the chance. Companies want to be 100% sure they won’t have any problems with their new employee, so they choose ones who are proven to work. This is such a shame when I know there is a wealth of highly talented young people, some who write blogs like me, who no-one will take a chance with.

The worry is, that with all these safe choices, how can we ever go forward, individually and as a nation?

I may be unemployed but I’m not desperate…

Today I was browsing Twitter looking for other unemployment bloggers (anybody know any?) and saw a job ad for a junior researcher on the Jeremy Kyle Show. This is a job I would probably be well suited to, as it is pretty much all my degree has trained me to do. I fit the person specification, I’d be good at it and it would probably open up a good career in the media. Why shouldn’t I apply?

Well, to be frank, I have standards. Personally, I believe Jeremy Kyle to be the most odious, condescending man, using the problems of disadvantaged individuals to fuel class discrimination. So I would never dream of promoting his values. But is that wrong? In today’s society, where jobs are so hard to come by, should I put my moral beliefs aside? (I’m pretty sure the Job Centre would say so.)

The problem is, the minute you say ‘I won’t do that!’, people assume you’re either work shy or a snob. I makes me feel so guilty, especially when the Daily Mail Wankers start moaning ‘we don’t pay taxes so you can have a moral code‘.

Then again, shouldn’t I strive to do a job that I love? I would probably work harder and better if I enjoyed what I was doing, and I wouldn’t be stuck in that depressing rut that most 30-40 year olds find themselves in 10 years down the line. Can you hear the Daily Mail Wankers calling again? ‘Great, we pay our taxes so you can have an easy lifestyle…

Maybe I should apply for it, it’s not like I’ll get it anyway…

Facebook for the Unemployed

I cannot look at Facebook any more. Every time I do it just depresses me so much. The problem with Facebook is that it’s one big competition to make your life look better than everybody else’s.

At this stage in my life, I’m in a transition period from education into the real world, and family, friends, other nosey people are keen to find out what I’m going to do next. The longer I don’t update anything about university results or job interviews the more they think; ‘Ooh Tash obviously isn’t doing very well…‘ while they’re all updating their statuses saying ‘Yay! I’ve graduated with a first!‘ or ‘Got the first job I’ve applied for… how jammy of me‘. Nobody posts statuses about how shit their life is, so the only news I hear is about how great everyone else’s lives are.

I’m not somebody who usually measures myself up against how other people are doing, but it’s hard when all the people around you are doing so well and you’re at a standstill. It’s a very lonely place to be. It’s especially hard when throughout school (ie. my whole life up til now) I was top of the class and good at most things. Whereas before I was doing better than was expected, now I’m at a slump.

I try not to post anything on Facebook now, so family, friends, and Nosies (shall we call them) kind of forget about me. I wish I could just evaporate sometimes. Then their attention won’t be drawn to my hopelessness, nor will they learn that for the first time in my life I am underachieving.

I am at a period of significant change, which is hard enough for me on my own, let alone while people are watching.

‘It will look good on your CV’

Since being a teenager, I have always taken every opportunity by the scruff of the neck and shaken it until I have got every benefit out of it. I have volunteered – coaching rugby to kids for three years, I have captained rugby teams, I have won awards for loads of stuff, had various part time jobs since i was 14 etc… And every time people have said; ‘that’ll look good on your CV’.
Well obviously it doesn’t.
I want to go into publishing ideally, maybe even something like copywriting or advertising, which are notoriously hard to get into. All these skills I have built up are just expected of any candidate nowadays. It seems that you must have job specific experience to be in with any chance of getting the job you want.
In all the job rejections I get, they always say – “you have a great CV, but there are other candidates with more experience” (erm you said in the job spec that experience wasn’t necessary!!!)
So how can I get a experience even if no one will give me a chance? WORK FOR FREE (or slave labour as the rest of us know it). And even then you only get it by chance (or if you know somebody at the company). And wouldn’t that be another thing that looks great on my CV…