How do you Best Increase Your Chances of Making the Transition from Non-Digital to Digital Media Jobs ?
The other week I had some very interesting feedback from a Digital sector hiring manager (who is a client of mine) , relating to a very impressive media sales professional who is looking to move from a non-digital (or “old media” sector if you must), to a “pure” digital media sales role.
The feedback on him was very strong except for one key area – the amount of existing digital sector expertise the candidate has.
Not digital experience – as they knew that was lacking from the resume and initial discussions with me – but ‘expertise’.
Now in media sales, people change platforms all the time (and have done for decades) eg. Radio to TV or Magazines to OOH or Newspapers to Cinema etc etc ….it’s just a question of changing platforms isn’t it ? The sales skills are the same, the media industry knowledge remains relevant and even the contacts and key relationships may not vary enormously, so why is this ‘expertise’ such a big deal ?
Whilst the Digital sector is often accused (probably correctly) of wilfully adding to the layers of mystique that build up around “new media,” there is indisputably a lot more complexity to the Digital market compared to other media platforms. This would include
- Varying advertising models
- The huge array of ad executions
- The rate of change within the sector
- The lexicon of the industry
So what can you do if you want to migrate into Digital ? Well you could just keep interviewing and hope a company is willing to take a chance on you developing successfully. The problem here is that whilst you are developing, the Digital media sales company is paying you a wage and investing time, energy and additional money into you, all the while hoping that your arrival does not lessen their ability to make money. After all, time equals money and in the case of bringing in – and training up – new sales people, time equals money lost
OR you could invest in your own future and get as up to speed on Digital as possible. Take courses – plenty of them are relatively cheap and flexible; self-teach – not as daft as it sounds given the plethora of info on the web.
It is not so much that listing a course on your resume will make the difference, it is AT THE INTERVIEW that the magic will happen…….your ease with the jargon/terminology; your interesting opinions on industry issues; your insights into the challenges and opportunities ahead. These will all make the employer feel comfortable with you and therefore comfortable hiring you and putting you into this volatile and fast-growing digital market.
Differentiate yourself from the herd.