How Do I Go About Getting Into The Media Industry?
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
The possibilities are endless when it comes to the media industry, you can work in advertising, journalism or even film production. So once you’ve decided which sector you’d like to work in, how do you go about getting into the industry?
Well we’ve spoken to some talented individuals in this industry who have provided us with the answer to this pressing question.
Role: TV & Film Editor (factual and entertainment)
If I was to give any advice for getting into and being successful in the broadcast TV and film industry it would be to network, network, network. It's a cliche, but it really is about who you know. Join the Facebook job groups and career support groups, follow the people you admire in roles you aspire to be in on Twitter and Instagram, join the group's where you will feel safe and supported whether that be the LGBTQ, Black or Asian communities etc. Go to the meet ups, reach out to production companies and individuals, who make content you admire. Add your credentials to professional booking websites like "The Talent Manager" and "LinkedIn". Join forces with other people in the same entry level boat and create a collective.
When I was struggling to find work, me and some friends created a group where we shared opportunities amongst ourselves. When one of us couldn't take a role because we were already booked, we would put the others in the group forward. Sharing opportunities and making sure we were on code with the rates we were requesting helped us stay employed and paid relatively well. The TV and Film world is very transient and mostly based in the world of freelance, so develop your ability to approach people and make professional relationships in short periods of time. The industry is very cliquey, so you literally have to talk to everyone and make yourself known - you want to be remembered, but remembered for all the right reasons.
Role: Trainee Journalist at ITV News Meridian
Your long term goal might be to work for a large media organisation, but getting your start at smaller companies is a great way to build up your skills if you don’t have much experience. There’s room for flexibility and you might be able to take on more responsibility straight away, which will build up your confidence and trust before you apply to larger organisations.
Role: Location Marshall/Screenwriter
The best advice I have for getting into the media industry is to contact agencies directly. This can be via email or a phone call. I contacted numerous film companies saying ‘Hey I’m a young person who wants to work in the film industry and just wanted to enquire if you have any entry level jobs available or even opportunities’ after doing this a couple of times I was able to secure a job role as a location marshall.
Monir El Haimar
Role: Digital Content Creator at CareerEar
When I started, I applied to hundreds of jobs that didn't get me anywhere but a lot of rejection letters and a lot of wasted hours. I tried a different direction and it led me to get into working for Sky and Channel 4 and some fun movie sets!
First of all, degree or no degree, be prepared to work for free or little money if you are just starting out. The media industry is a fast-moving place where there is little patience and hundreds if not thousands of people all applying for the same job, so 'how the hell do I stand out from the rest?' you ask.
Well, first off I would recommend signing up to The Mandy Network, this site posts thousands of production based jobs where you will get a chance to work on low-to-no paid sets. They’ll pay for expenses only, but will give you first-hand experience that looks great on your CV. I was doing this and working full-time at a bar. Whilst it was exhausting it levelled me up quickly to working on paid sets and not having to work at a bar anymore!
If you are looking for something not entirely production based I would recommend first of all taking courses. I took a course in adobe premiere and after-effects, which was helpful with getting me started. I was working in a theatre and offered to edit friends' performances and this helped me quickly get seen and used by more and more people. That was when a friend put me in contact with a documentary team who asked if I could assist an editor on a documentary where I learned what professional editing looked like, and then continued to get free-lance work after that!
What we can learn from this is that the media industry has such a broad spectrum of opportunities, there are many paths for you to take. But to be successful in this venture you must be proactive and keep pushing forward, even when faced with rejection. If it’s what you really want, use this passion as your drive to reach your desired goal. This will allow you to secure your role in the media industry as proven by these talented individuals.