gra-dult-hood n.

1. A stage in life between graduation and adulthood.
2. Gradulthood often involves jobs that don't fulfil a graduate's expectations.
3. A term coined during the recession.

A Gradult (not) at Work: The Media Industry

I’ve been promising to write about my experiences of trying to get into the media industry for quite a while now, and even today as I sit down determined to do it I’m still not quite sure how to go about it. At first, I tried to think of a clever analogy to describe my progress (there was a recipe for cheese soufflé involved at one point…*) but I think the real reason I’ve been avoiding it is because I just didn’t know what to say. There definitely isn’t a well-trodden path to that first job. I like to try and write about the positives of Gradulthood on this blog, but when it comes to the media industry, I’m hardly in a position to preach positivity when it hasn’t happened for me as of yet – ‘it’ being paid work. In the end, I’ve decided the best thing would be to write about what I’ve done, what I’ve learnt, and where I think I’m headed, in the hope that others can relate to it.

Having graduated in July 2009, I had one aim - to travel in South America. To do this I worked in a restaurant for 11 months, and I learnt Spanish. The ambition to travel also gave me time to think about what it was I really wanted to do in life. After speaking to various people and looking at the options for someone with a degree in Geography (BA), as well as taking into account my long-term ambition to work for the BBC, I was drawn towards research for TV programmes. I think that’s enough of a back-story, we can move on.

I applied for, and completed a work placement with the BBC on Question of Sport in January ’10 (brilliant experience!), applied for content production at BBC North in March ‘10 and then decided I’d put full focus into my media career when I returned from South America in September 2010. So, since September I’ve emailed more production companies than I can remember, and from these speculative emails, despite not getting a job as of yet, I’ve completed various work placements as well as having meetings with a lot of useful people about potential routes into the creative industries, amongst other things. Admittedly it’s slow progress, and there is an expectancy that you have to work mainly for free at the bottom of this slippery career ladder, but I definitely feel like I’m making some progress. The more people I talk to, the more enthused I am, and the more ideas I have for ways to get that first break into the industry. I’m currently trying to think of programme ideas to pitch to various contacts as a lot of people I’ve spoken to have said this can be a good starting point, but I won’t be revealing any of those ideas here I’m afraid!

The dream still remains to work in production for the BBC over at MediaCityUk, but for the time being I’m more than occupied with a restaurant job, this blog, the supposedly all important networking, as well as thinking up television ideas. Check back here in a few months to see if I’m still in such a positive mood about it all…


*Have you ever heard anyone say that getting into the media industry is just like following a recipe? No? Well that’s because it isn’t. You can’t just chuck together a few key ingredients of your life, mix them all together, maybe put it in the oven and wait for a fixed amount of time for that tasty end product.

*You can have all the ingredients in front of you, the latest Hotpoint oven, a Kenwood food processor, but if there’s one small part of the recipe/method that isn’t quite right, your soufflé will be as flat, lifeless and you won’t get the job you wanted in the media industry. Or we could just blame the recession I suppose.

*For the record, I’ve now idea how to make a soufflé so some information may be incorrect.

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