As the world tentatively emerges from lockdown, Covid-19’s economic fallout is yet to be reckoned with. Millennials and Gen-Z could be forgiven for feeling a sense of despair. Student debt, house prices, competitive job markets: these were worrying issues long before the pandemic forced us into quarantine. Covid-19 has just brought them into sharper focus.
But when there is creativity, and passion, and belief, there is hope. That’s why, for season 2 of the Contiki podcast, Out of Office, we’ve been speaking to two of the business world’s brightest lights for their expert advice.
In this fascinating episode, Pip Jamieson – founder of The Dots – and Marley Hughes -Linkedin’s Relationships Manager – share their thoughts on what the future of work will look like, and how young people can stand out from the crowd in these uncertain times. Here are a few highlights:
Pip Jamieson - Founder of The Dots
Pip Jamieson is the Founder & CEO of The Dots, a professional network for people that don’t wear suits to work -dubbed ‘The next LinkedIn’ by Forbes. Pip was named by The Sunday Times as one of the Top 100 Disruptive Entrepreneurs innovating in their respective fields & by Ad Week as one of the 41 trailblazing leaders having a positive impact on the world.
On the first steps to ‘doing your own thing’
“I’ve had so many ideas over the years. But the reason that The Dots stuck was it was the one idea that just didn’t go away. There was a real world problem that was waiting to be solved: workers just didn’t operate in the same, white collar ways. The idea didn’t go away becauase that problem didn’t go away. So my advice is: firstly, what’s that idea that’s in your head that doesn’t go away? And the second thing is JUST DO IT – as Edison said: genius is 1% inspiration 99% perspiration.”
On overcoming obstacles
“I am very dyslexic. I started off struggling, and struggled throughout school. But then I realised it was a superpower – nearly 40% percent of CEOs are dyslexic. If I see problems I want to design solutions.”
On following your passion
“I’m blessed because I found my dream career. There’s an old Japanese saying that says that your dream career is when you combine what you’re paid for, with what you’re good at, and what the world needs. You can’t find that straight away: it’s just about learning about yourself and what you’re good at and what you’re passionate about. That takes trial and error.
Throw yourself into things you’re interested in. I was in a tech role in MTV, and I applied for head of marketing when I didn’t really know what marketing was. Why not? I thought – it can’t be that hard. I’ve always pushed myself out of my comfort zone – you can’t succeed without trying new things.”
On standing out in a post-covid world
“It’s a tough market. There are less jobs: freelance jobs in particular have gone down massively. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. There’s been a huge uplift in remote jobs, which I love. It opens doors. Now you can work for a company in NY whilst being based in the UK.
The tech industry is thriving as we move more virtual. You don’t need to be a technologist to work in these fields. Don’t fixate on a certain industry. Think more laterally about how your dream industry can relate to tech.”
You can hear Marley’s advice on how to pitch yourself for you dream job, as well as further thoughts on women in tech and the post-pandemic workforce, by listening to our podcast now.
Marley Hughes - Relationship Manager at LinkedIn
For over two years Marley Hughes has been the Relationship Manager at LinkedIn. Marley helps to drive and develop talent acquisition, employment branding and recruitment marketing strategies.
On young people struggling to find work
“My younger sister just graduated and had a job offer rescinded due to Covid. The advice I’d give is be patient, keep trying and don’t give up. My sister is reaching out on LinkedIn, getting conversations going, asking for advice…you might not get the job you envisioned out of school, but what are the stepping stones to your dream job?”
On skills you might not know you have
“It’s a tough time for recent grads, but the great thing about young people is that they’ve mastered things like video technology, mobile, social media. They have skills that older generations don’t have, skills you might not even think are real skills. Stuff you take for granted like mastering an instagram grid? These are important in this fast-changing world.”
On how to pitch yourself for your dream job
“Go for it and apply, but I highly recommend reaching out to the person who is in charge of that role. Is it a marketing role? Who is the VP of marketing? Build a human relationship. For the interview, I don’t really like the world pitch. Ask lots of questions, the more you know about what they’re looking for, the more you’ll learn about whether it’s something you actually want.
Ultimately, people like to talk about themselves. If they’re talking about themselves for 15 minutes, they’ll have a positive experience. If there’s one book I’d recommend it would be Hiring and Getting Hired by Lou Adler – it gives a perspective from the candidate and the hiring manager. It shows you what they’re looking for and the best practises you should follow.”
On making the ultimate LinkedIn profile
“Be authentic, don’t be afraid to be silly or show your true personality. Ask for recommendations from you friends and colleagues: it adds credibility that people are willing to vouch for you. New grads can ask for recommendations from professors or study groups, the fact they’re willing to speak for you may be as important as who they are.
Aside from that, there are lots of things to google that can help improve your profile, from using the right photo to writing engaging summaries. One thing I will say is: make sure you always write in the first person!”
On standing out in your interview
“Spend time thinking about your unique story. Our brains are wired to remember stories. The hiring managers might not remember the bulletpoints on your CV, but they’ll always remember an interesting story. ”
You can hear Pip’s advice on how to crush virtual interviews, as well as further thoughts on women in tech and the post-pandemic workforce, by listening to our podcast now.