What To Do After The NCTJ’s pt 5 Patience


As a qualified journalist or recent graduate the final thing you need to do to get a job is stay patient, after all it is a virtue.

It is probably the simplest piece of advice that could be given to a recent graduate, but it is very important.

Things very rarely happen overnight and it could be a number of weeks or months before you get your break, but don’t panic you won’t be the only one.

Keep believing in your skills and your education and keep looking for jobs. Keep yourself fresh by blogging and networking in the mean time but stay patient, it will come eventually.

Try to keep yourself relevant during the time you are looking for a job, for example I enrolled on the NCTJ course to gain a further qualification and add another string to my bow. If you just look for jobs without keeping in touch with journalism you will only be hurting your chances.

Although it can be difficult if you are receiving knock backs or are just being ignored, stay enthusiastic as well. It can be easy to become pessimistic going into interviews after being turned down a few times, but put across your passion and your desire to succeed and, coupled with the things you will be doing in your spare time it won’t be long before you go from a qualified journalist to a paid journalist.

As I said at the start of this series I will be following my own advice as I hunt for my first job in the media, thank you to everyone that has followed the series and I hope at least some of it has been of use.

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6 Responses to What To Do After The NCTJ’s pt 5 Patience

  1. cleland thom says:

    Remember, too, to stand out from the crowd. If you go the ‘normal’ route (letter/CV/interview) you’ll probably get the ‘normal treatment’ – (no job).

    Do something different – stand out – get noticed. And make sure your CV is incredible. If it’s roughly the same as other applicants’, you’ll probably get roughly the same treatment – (no job).

    Email me if you get stuck or need (free) advice.

    • Matt Wiggins says:

      What would you suggest to guys out there as things they could do to stand out? Would a CV full of fantastic qualifications and work experience placements not be enough, for example?

  2. laraoreilly says:

    Completely agree. I finished my course in June and it took five months for me to get the starter role of my dreams. In the meantime I blogged, tweeted, attended events, went to many interviews, did lots of freelance, chased lots of late payments…but eventually it all paid off. It’s easy to get despondent but providing you do all the above, it’s bound to turn into something more lucrative further down the line.

    • Matt Wiggins says:

      Excellent comment Lara and thanks for taking the time to participate. It can be very easy to be pessimistic after a few rejections but patience and enthusiasm are key qualities for an unemployed journalist to have, especially a recent graduate who is supposed to raring to go.

      Can you elaborate on the events side of things? It is something that I have meant to look into but don’t really know where to start looking?

      • laraoreilly says:

        I’m no expert and haven’t attended hundreds, but I can give you some ideas on where to look:

        The Frontline Club regularly has relevant presentations, films, discussion groups and lectures (Although not many of these are free).

        Also, check out http://www.schmoozeandbooze.co.uk – a great event to get young journalists networking.

        Lots of Future of News Groups have sprung up around the country (Google “future of news” to find a relevant regional one).

        Universities with journo courses (Especially Kingston and City Uni London) often hold guest lectures that are open to the public.

        There’s probably many more examples of events and Twitter is a great place to keep an eye out for them, but those should get you started!

      • Matt Wiggins says:

        Thanks very much Lara. I will have a look.

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