How to survive your first media job

I’m 24 years old working as a Media Manager on one of the most demanding accounts in Australia. When people ask how old I am they are automatically in shock as to how I’m a manger, 24 and still manage to get the occasional breakout and listen to One direction and Justin Bieber #Bielber4life. Throughout my university degree I interned, I felt that by giving up all my spare time and slowly digging away at my social life that this would lead me to a job straight out of university, and it did!

I’ve been very lucky to work with some of the best people in the business who have taught me a thing or two about managing and working in media. I have also worked with a heap of newbies who have jumped off the graduation train and into the pits of co-ordinator life and often look to me to give some form of advice to help them get through it.

Working in media has taught me soo many things from learning how to negotiate your way through situations to knowing how to work a room. Now for all my fresh university graduates or students who are still in their first, second or third year of Communications, here are some of my tips to surviving your first media job!

  • Dress to impress – You will find when you walk into your agency on your first day people are walking around in Jeans, Converse and more than likely have a topknot of some sort. Working in media is quite casual because let’s face it we’re cool. My tip and I’m still doing this 3 years later is dress to impress! Always be the person everyone looks at and thinks damn they look good. Don’t get me wrong jeans, connies and a topknot is great but I save those outfits for Fridays, which are casual but I only wear this when I have no meetings or publisher lunches (I will explain publisher lunches soon)
  • Working a room – On your first day more than likely your Executive or Boss will take you around the agency to meet everyone. You will meet 10 Jessica’s, 3 Michael’s and 4 Holly’s and basically after your first introduction to the first team everyone looks the same. Top tip take look at the person’s desk phone it will 9 times out of 10 have their name on it, so when you go back to ask a question you look like a boss for remembering their name.
  • Grab a coffee – Anyone that knows me knows I’m awkward and extremely quiet at times meaning I miss out on making those connections with people from the start. What I have learnt in media is that people cannot function without coffee in the morning. So what does this mean? This basically means that there will be a few people who have their favourite coffee places around the office; they will all go together to grab their soy latte’s and cappuccinos. My advice even if you don’t like coffee go with them! This will allow you to join a group and get to know people better and it’s a daily ritual so you’re guaranteed to speak to someone at least once during the day. If you’re not into coffee like I was when I first started get a latte with one sugar it does not taste at all like coffee.
  • Bonding with Publishers- Publishers are the people who you interact with most in your first few years in media. These guys are your media contacts they are in charge of selling you spaces to place your ads and every single media type has about 10000 of them. A key example would be if your client were a Luxury fashion brand and they want to have ads in magazines, you would be speaking to your magazine publishers most likely on a daily basis. A word of advice is to build connections with these people, they are always extremely helpful and friendly and it’s a great way to make connections outside your agency. Publishers will always go above and beyond to get your clients business and it’s their job to ensure you’re taken care of. What this means is that you will be taken out to Lunch on a Friday, get your nails done, have an afternoon of drinks at the most fabulous bar in Sydney so enjoy it! But in saying this always be grateful and follow up your catch up with an email saying thank you this build’s relationships.
  • Media Freebies – From Magazines, chocolates, movie tickets, concert tickets, lunches to trips interstate media offers its loyal employees an array of goodies. My friends always tell me that I don’t work hard because I’m seen checking into great restaurants on a Friday, or I get free tickets to a movie while I am extremely lucky I do work my butt off! There have been times when I have been at work from 7am – 10pm getting work done. So when you do receive these perks grab them! But as I mentioned before always be grateful.

I hope my 5 little tips have given some insight into how to survive in media.

Let me know your thoughts and if you have any tips or tricks to making a splash without drowning!




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