Blog Series: What To Do After The NCTJ’s

It is a great relief to be back here typing, instead pouring over Law or Public Affairs books. I am pleased to say that I have completed my pre-entry NCTJ exams and just have to wait on my results to see if I am a qualified journalist.

Now the course is over and I feel reasonably confident I have done well, my attentions turn to finding a job. But, as we all know, the journalism industry is an extremely competitive one and I am sure there are hundreds of people across the country in the same position as me. But do all of them have a plan?

Looking for a job can be an extremely daunting experience, especially if you have no income to fall back on in the mean time. It is well-known that a potential journalist, just like any future employee, needs to stand out from the crowd. This can be increasingly difficult given the number of people applying for positions these days.

So over the next week I intend to share with you what I think are the best ways to keep yourself active in the media market in the hope of securing that coveted first job. And as an amateur journalist myself it is definitely the path I will be taking to try to secure myself a position in the media.

Over the next five days I will look at the below points in more depth but for now let me introduce them as a brief top 5 list.


Its free, its easy and it can be whatever you want it to be. Its also probably the easiest way to get yourself noticed.


Once you graduate or qualify, tell people. Stay in contact with people from your courses as well as you never know what they could do for you down the line.

Keep a Portfolio

Having something to show for your time in education, although unlikely to be vast experience, is very useful in interviews and meetings. Keep anything you write that gets published and present it well.

Make Yourself Available

If, like me, you are earning a living outside of journalism and are trying to break in, make sure you are available for any work experience, interviews or jobs that are offered to you. Missing out on something because you have no holidays left and can’t pull a sickie will only hurt you.

Be Patient

Remember the current state of the job market. Something may not come your way immediately but if you are good enough to pass the NCTJ’s or to get a degree then someone will recognise your talent eventually.

Well those points complete the mantra I will be living to from now on and I hope you all feel the same, if I have missed anything please feel free to leave your comments. It really is great to be back blogging and I look forward to writing more for this series.

See you tomorrow!


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