I was recently asked on Twitter if I could do a post about my life after uni and how I got my job etc and so I thought, why not!
I know how difficult it can be after university, having spent pretty much your whole life studying and then not knowing what to do and even if you want to carry on in the career you studied for at university, so this post is going to be a little about what I did and my tips for getting a job you want!
My Story University:
| ^ My plaque in Tate Modern
< At my graduation!
I graduated from university in 2011 with a Photography degree. Uni holds some of the best memories of my life and I had an incredible time, studying something that I had real passion for and loved doing. Doing an arty subject such as photography might be seen by some as a lazy subject but it was tough, as any subjects are! As well as dissertations, classes and essay work we studied a lot of conceptual photography & art, had to develop concepts and ideas for projects, hold exhibitions for our work (3 a year) as well as give presentations about our work.
Half way through my degree I started my blog. I’ve always had a big passion in makeup (I worked as a colour coach (makeup artist) at The Body Shop for 5 years whilst studying) and I wanted to start writing about my favourite products and sharing my thoughts on the matter. I’m not an incredibly social person so it wasn’t a problem juggling social and work/blogging life, I just got on with it and enjoyed it. I also landed a job as a photography intern at Tate Modern. I was one of their official photographers for their events and workshops for 2 years and even got to exhibit one of my photographs in the Tate.
Again – this meant that I didn’t have time to party but I was allowed to photograph in the Tate after hours – I didn’t care!
(If you google image search my name then a couple of my photography shots come up – even one of a nude male model at a lifedrawing class I photographed for the Tate)!
A few examples of my wedding photography!
After university I moved back home with my parents in Essex (a tough thing for any wild creature to do after 3 years of freedom) and started the dreaded job hunt. I still wanted to work in photography and landed a freelance photography job for a very popular classical music company, documenting their projects over a period of around 5 months.
I also started photographing weddings for a little bit of income and I LOVED it. I have photographed three in total (I don’t really have time anymore). It’s hard work – shooting for 8 hours solidly (only breaking when the guests are eating) but it filled me with complete joy being a part of someone’s special day. (I’m going to pop some of my wedding photographs up on fromkatiewithlovee.blogspot.com so stay tuned for that)!
I also started applying for internships and small jobs, mainly art based. I landed a job as a freelance Styling, Hair and Makeup researcher for a fantastic online brand where I spent my days researching my favourite photographers and makeup artists for an online database. Around 6 more freelancers were hired at the same time and we worked together, however I was called back a few weeks later to do more (by myself) as they loved how hardworking I was. (Not boasting at all, but if you are passionate and hardworking enough then it does pay off).
Around the same time, I also saw an online application for a blogger to have a meeting with a new start up beauty company. I went along to the meeting and put in my honest thoughts and opinions about what a beauty website should be like (from a bloggers perspective) and they too called me back to do a weeks more work with them. (This site has now launched and is called BaoBella.com – a lot of the website is based on my ideas and input so check it out!)
How I got my full-time job:
My first full-time job
After months of doing freelance jobs like those above, I saw a friend (gh0stparties, you babe) tweet about an internship she knew that was going. I tweeted her, got the details and applied. I went in for the interview and got the internship with Gleam. I interned for 5 months and was then made into a full time employee with a brand spanking new job title in January. I have been working at Gleam ever since and ADORE IT. The opportunities it has given me are fantastic and I learn more and more every day (I’m even getting the hang of how to work out percentages, despite being horrendous at maths). I also get to spend my days with great people and help to manage YouTubers who I have been fans of for a long time, so I count myself very lucky!
I know how difficult it can be to job hunt and how at times it’s depressing, and your self-confidence then drops too because of it, but my best advice is to keep busy. Take every little opportunity that is thrown at you and do it; say yes! There have been lots of other things I haven’t mentioned in this post – like the fact that I also taught drama to children ages 8-12 for a year (the year that I was jobless after uni) and also act for the same theatre company whenever a job comes up (I love acting and went to a stage school growing up). These extra little bits and bobs on my CV have shown that I am reliable, enthusiastic, committed and passionate about the creative industry.
I’m sorry about how long this post is – but I hope it has been interesting and helped (inspired?) a few of you out there? Do let me know if you have any questions and I will try and answer them to the best of my ability!