Leeds Graduate Freya Labram tells us how she got her job and shares her tips and advice for students and recent graduates.
As a Content & Community Manager, I always struggle to explain to people what it is I actually do. I work for a website called JobisJob, which lists job offers. You may have heard of it. Our main market is in the UK, but we’re actually based in Barcelona, Spain.
So what do I do all day? As Content Manager, I put together articles, studies, press releases and infographics to go on our website and other people’s. I write a lot about finding work and the labour market. I go back through our databases of job offers for inspiration about trends (data mining). In a way, I guess you could say I’m a kind of online journalist.
Then there’s the community (social network) management bit. Everyone thinks they know how to run a Facebook page, but it’s actually quite a science – you need to know things like the correct format to upload photos in so they look good on the page.
I arrived in Barcelona three years ago speaking no Spanish and with very little to offer except a BA in Philosophy and a TEFL certificate. I started work as an English teacher. Although foreign language teaching is highly entertaining, it wasn’t for me and I needed a change.
By now, I’d learnt to speak Spanish. I enrolled in a Master’s degree, and found part-time work in an apartment rental service. I spent all day writing descriptions of apartments, entering data and touching up photos. It was deadly boring (once you’ve described one apartment, you’ve described them all) and the pay was abysmal, but it taught me how to use Photoshop.
I moved up in the world and got a full-time job for another apartment rental service. I was still doing my Master’s at this point, and it was hard graft. The pay was marginally better, and I was writing for the blog and running the social networks. I had a great senior colleague who I learnt a lot from, and when the opportunity to work for JobisJob came up I was ready to go it alone.
I seem to be uniquely made for this job. I have a very short attention span, and while other people would be put off by the different tasks – one minute I’m crawling data, the next writing an article, the next making an infographic – I love the variety and creativity it entails, and the fact that the field is changing and developing all the time. Who says working in an office has to be boring?
I’ve always helped people with copywriting and editing – from doing the odd bit of proofreading and translation and writing up my teaching notes to pulling an all-nighter and helping a mate reword his thesis at the end of my university career. I feel that what I do now is an extension of this.
My greatest piece of advice for new graduates: don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re a failure if you don’t instantly attain a glittering career. Overambition is a killer, and a good plan B is essential – you’ll get far further by starting small and working up than by aiming too high and overshooting. Do something – anything – and the rest will fall into place.