After years of studying and working towards qualifications, are you still unsure of exactly what you want to do? Do no jobs you have ever heard of take your fancy? Well, despite the recession, new jobs are being created all the time. Real World unearthed a few new players in the job field – one of them could be
just the thing you’ve been waiting for.
just the thing you’ve been waiting for.
In 1964, Bob Dylan sung that ‘the times they are a-changing’. If he’d written those lyrics today, he may well have been talking about the current job market. The advent of new technology and social media have left an indelible impact on the current skills required for companies to be successful. It’s inconceivable now for most businesses not to take advantage of the likes of Twitter and Facebook to promote and publicize themselves. Terms like SEO and UX, unheard of a few years ago, are now the buzzwords of our generation.
For many current graduates these skills are vital for career development, yet they aren’t necessarily taught at university. Moreover, in many sectors, the goalposts are shifting. Journalism, for example, usually requires specific qualifications to break into, but thanks to websites such as Blottr, this may be changing.
Blottr, which describes itself as ‘a user generated news service created to empower anyone to break and make the news,’ are taking advantage of the rise of technology, relying on people at the scene tweeting, updating Facebook statuses and sending in photos to produce up to date content for them.
For some graduates, the fact that some professions are being infiltrated by amateurs is a worrying thing. But the flipside is that changing times forge a whole new sector of jobs. Suddenly companies are looking for SEO experts to make their websites more visible for example, or people with savvy social media skills to help connect with as many potential clients as possible.
Bethany Kehdy is one example of someone who has taken this step, albeit along slightly different lines. A year after starting a food blog, initially just “an obsessive hobby,” the credit crunch hit and the real estate office she worked in was shut down. Rather than viewing the situation negatively, Bethany says “I saw my unemployment as a great opportunity to pursue a new path and try to carve out a career for myself.” Of course, she is quick to admit that it was a gamble. “I didn’t decide to go full time with it on the basis that it was making a lot of money. Instead, I pursued it solely based on the fact that I imagined and saw great opportunities,” she explains.
Bethany’s blog has been such a success that she has just finished her first cookbook and now runs an annual food blogging conference in London, alongside organising culinary tours of Lebanon. For Bethany, the food blog has been a launch pad to further success. “It’s a great platform that’s gotten me involved in so many other things which have brought in the money. It’s pushed my life in a direction that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.”
So how do you attain the skills required to take advantage of these new possibilities? Well, for Bethany it was a case of trying to learn as much as possible on the job. “I researched online, I read every book I could get my hands on but, more than anything, I just practised. It was a constant struggle to improve but, at the same time, I noticed the growth very quickly. And, importantly, I was never afraid to delegate a job to someone who could do it better than me.”
For people looking to follow in Bethany’s path, her advice is “remember that new technology is moving quicker than you are which means you always need to be on the ball. But, more importantly, it also means there’s always another opportunity around the fleeting corner.”
Climate Change Specialist
For those of us who’ve always wanted to save the world, working as a Climate Change Specialist may be just the opportunity to fulfill those ambitions. Actually, there are loads of different jobs in this field. Local councils in the UK are hiring Sustainability Officers to coordinate their plans for a better, more environmentally friendly future. All you need is a wide range of knowledge of environmental issues and the skills to work with and engage others in implementing strategies to find resolutions to those issues.
Tracy Lane – Programme Director – International Hydropower Association.
The International Hydropower Association’s Greenhouse Gas Research Project has developed guidelines for measuring greenhouse gases around freshwater reservoirs, as well as a tool that allows organisations to predict emissions on water bodies in different parts of the world. The Climate Change Specialist is responsible for overseeing these products, and for working with IHA’s members, partners and other experts to ensure that the guidelines and tool are well understood and widely used. The job is a great opportunity for people with knowledge of water-quality and climate change issues, offering the chance to work with a diverse range of people and organisations, demonstrate a wide range of different skills to drive the project forward and take part in actual greenhouse gas measurement campaigns and related events across the globe.
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, plus a whole host of apps on your mobile phone – all are examples of the burgeoning influence of social media on our daily lives. Celebrities, campaigners and marketing companies are all desperate to take advantage of the mass of people communicating and enjoying these modern innovations and are looking for talented, young and ambitious employees to coordinate their use of these mediums. Specifically, they want to hire people with a good understanding of how these technologies work, the capability to keep up with new trends, great written and oral communication skills and – often – a sharp sense of humour.
Gareth Crew – Social Media Manager – Creative Jar
Sometimes the most important thing for an idea is knowing where it will really thrive. It may be on Twitter or as a series of mobile videos. As digital natives, we know how to engage today and tomorrow’s digital
consumer. The social dynamics and motivations of these ubiquitous spaces can vary wildly according to brand category, audience profile and other defining factors. Whether it’s generating debate, increasing awareness or monitoring and impacting sentiment or share of voice, we’ll keep the plan, measurable, focussed and appropriate.
With more offices becoming virtual, there are many employees who are no longer physically accessible, the workforce controller serves as “mission control” for an organisation – the job that an office manager would have done in a workplace – they need to ensure staff have the support and resources required to do their jobs. They are also responsible for all company technology as well as encouraging interaction amongst teams.
Victoria Wellington, Workflow Controller
At first it was a bit weird not having to deal with an office full of people – however, as a social media geek, I quickly learnt how to liaise with the whole team, get them onside and make certain that both them, and the company, know what they are doing. I couldn’t imagine going back into a physical office!
App/ Software Developer
Ever been ‘playing’ on your mobile phone and wondered where the app you’re enjoying came from? Well, soon it could be you developing those very same apps. Development goes beyond simple apps too – companies and schools are always looking to develop the systems they use on their computers and are looking for innovative people to keep them up to date. To have any chance of getting a start in this field, you will need a minimum of a BTEC in IT or at least an AS-level, although a relevant degree would be best.
Jason Liggi – Freelance developer – http://www.1-pixel.co.uk
As a Web/Application Developer, I help to craft software and web solutions to match a user’s requirement. This includes considering user experience, design and functionality. Every company in the world seems to have a website or an application nowadays (sometimes more than one!), so we’re never short of work as long as we are keeping up to date and on the cutting-edge in a fast-moving industry.