From the news desk to ad agency: Tips from my career transition.
Career changes aren’t always easy, but sometimes they’re necessary. I studied journalism throughout high school and college – I love writing articles, conducting interviews, editing videos, and informing a community. During my senior year of college, I had the opportunity to work part-time as a news producer in Syracuse. By the time I graduated, I had a leg up on my peers, as I already had professional work experience. It soon came time to decide whether to stay in the Salt City and become a full-time employee or transition to a larger market. Ultimately, I decided to go big and moved to Buffalo. I went back and forth with my decision to leave the news industry to pursue a career in advertising, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision. So, four months into my new gig here at Crowley Webb, I have some advice for anyone thinking about making a change.
Talk to those who know you best.
I spoke with my boyfriend, parents, and coworkers – really with anyone who would listen – about my desire to explore a new career path. We discussed what I wanted out of a new job and what I didn’t want, too. We talked, and talked, and talked some more. Lean into those who know you best.
Do your research.
I knew I wanted to give marketing and advertising a try, so I started searching for open positions in the field. I frequented LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and many other job-seeking sites. If I found a position I liked, I made it my goal to learn everything I could about the company. I wanted to know how many people work there, how many different departments they have, if they invest in their employees – I wanted to find out if I could be a good fit.
Network with the employees at a company you’re interested in.
It may feel a little creepy to slide into someone’s DMs on social media, but LinkedIn is all about networking, and that’s exactly what I did. I messaged the employees at companies I was leaning toward to ask them questions. The person I reached out to at Crowley Webb had a very similar background to me – local TV news – and I used that as my icebreaker. After some exchanges, I not only felt more confident in making my transition to an ad agency, but I also felt sure that Crowley Webb would be the right fit for me.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
You know what they say when you assume – so don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Remember, you’re working at a brand-new job, maybe even in a brand-new industry, so you’re not supposed to know all the ins and outs right off the bat. Three things that have helped me become more confident in my position so far are: speaking with my supervisor regularly to check in on my performance, asking for a second opinion before sending an email to a client, and learning from mistakes when I do make them.
So, if you’re thinking about making a change, maybe this is your sign. (PS we’re hiring!)