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Digital marketing is still growing. The global digital marketing and advertising industry is will have nearly doubled in size from 2020 to 2026. What does this mean for you? Well, certainly there are some key digital marketing roles that are going to be important to you in regard to keeping up with trends. However, now too, these key digital marketing roles can help you survive and thrive in 2023. Yes, even in a recession. Digital marketing encompasses search engine optimization (SEO), content, virtual events, social media, influencer engagement, email, digital advertising virtual events, and mobile marketing. There is also considerable and rapid growth in marketing technology and analytics. This increased digitisation has led to an increase in the need for digital marketers. Many companies are struggling to find qualified professionals. Does your company have the goods?   Can be in-house if you have time to hire, or you can outsource to an agency but these are the key roles you need to help manage your business marketing through the recession.            

Key Digital Marketing Roles: SEO & SEM

Search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are two different but complementary digital marketing tools. They both help improve your website traffic through search engines. For a full breakdown of the differences, read this article: SEO vs SEM differences. Today, we are more concerned with why you need SEO and SEM specialists to help your business thrive in 2023. SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies. It relies on organic methods rather than SEM which relies on paid ads. SEO is a great way to survive the recession, and even be in a great position when it's over! It is not the quickest to show result however, so it is good to also look at SEM strategies. But you don't want to pay anything, "there's a cost-of-living crisis". We hear you. If you are seriously about riding out this storm, you will need to invest, but invest wisely. By turning to experts who have the experience and the time you can spend a little on the best placed and most target ads backed up with an SEO optimised website and keyword-rich content. Using SEO and SEM together can increase your visibility, give you some quick wins and conversions as well as setting you up for long term customer engagement and attraction.

Content Marketing

This is closely related to the SEO section above. Producing regular content is part of the SEO strategy.   It has been shown that regular and relevant content improves brand loyalty and gives you a way to carry on delivering value to your clients. If you have the time and enjoy writing then there is nothing stopping you from doing this. Or, perhaps you have members of your team write content every so often. You wouldn't be alone in doing this. But here are some reasons to hire a professional (or use an agency). Professional writers improve your SEO. They are skilled and qualified to quickly write keyword optimised content. They can produce it regularly and topics will be cohesive and structured. This will keep your website up to date and looking slick. Poor quality writing looks unprofessional, and even if you or your staff are great writers, if it is a side project to a main job it is not going to get the care and attention it needs to work for your marketing. Your time is valuable so leave it to the professionals.

Key Digital Marketing Roles: Strategists & Analysts

Understanding the key metrics and how your ROI will look in regard to SEO, SEM, Content and more is, again, something you can do yourself. However, when resources are strained, it is more sensible to employ the services of a professional to get it right, faster!  Letting your marketing fall by the wayside in a recession opens up gaps for your competitors to fill. With a good strategy and ability to analyse what's working you can be the business to fill those gaps.  An expert in-house hire or an agency can provide you with this, leaving you free to do your job with less stress.   

Survive And Thrive in 2023

The tools are out there, and so are the skilled workers who can help you use them in the best way for your specific business and needs. For more on how marketing can help you through a recession, try these articles from our blog: How Will The Recession Impact Remote And Flexible Work In Digital Marketing And Ad Agencies? How Will The Cost Of Living Crisis Impact The Marketing Industry?  

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Performance reviews are a formal evaluation of an employee's work performance and ultimately assess their strengths and weaknesses. A common misconception is that they are only beneficial to the business. However, while performance reviews do offer insight for managers, a properly managed review is an opportunity for you to gain feedback and identify goals. It is a chance to voice any issues or concerns and discuss opportunities that might be available to you. It may be a time to discuss a pay rise, although we will revisit this later in the article. Performance reviews often take place annually, towards the end of the year. There can be a lot of anticipation! This article will look at how to prepare for your performance review and what to expect.

Prepare A List Of Your Achievements

This is no place for modesty in a performance review. In some companies, your annual performance review might be your one big chance to showcase your accomplishments and progress. Where a good manager or managing team should know their employees well, particularly in large teams or agencies there may be example of your efforts in projects that slip through the radar. It is inadvisable for example in a team project to be constantly making a point of your role in it and how you contributed to the project success throughout. But you can do this in your performance review.  Take some time to reflect on your year. Consider your goals and responsibilities and write down things you were part or, things you are proud of and any other achievements that demonstrate your skills. This can seem like a daunting task, so make use of your calendar and emails as well as refer to notes, presentations and other documents that can back up your performance.  Using numbers and being specific is always advisable too. For example, if you work in an advertising agency you can look at how much revenue a campaign you launched brought in.  You should also consider things you have learned and personal accomplishments too. You could even use emails or testimonial-type feedback from colleagues, managers or clients to further show your value and positive relationships with people you work with.   

Be Prepared To Engage With Your Performance Review

It can be uncomfortable to listen to feedback about yourself  - constructive or otherwise. For this reason, you should be open minded and be prepared to receive comments on your performance. It is often uncomfortable for the person giving the feedback too. So, the more professionally you handle yourself, the better. While you are noting your accomplishments you might want to think about your own areas of improvement. Be as honest as you can with yourself and you will be prepared to hear it and you can prepare to respond. Some handy tips for responding professionally are as follows:
  • Do not respond defensively, and try not to get flustered.
  • You should calmly ask for examples if you aren't sure what situation they are referencing.
  • If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask if you can think about the feedback after your meeting and resume the discussion later
  • Own up to mistakes
  • Ask for suggestions of how to improve
You employer has a responsibility to handle your performance review in a certain way too, it can be just as uncomfortable for them! If you are an employer, you can get some tips on how to deliver an effective review here. While your performance review is about assisting your progress as an employee and team member. It is also your chance to discuss your expectations of the job and your ambitions for career progression.  Remember you can ask for advice on how to track to ensure you are doing your job well, and ask what your employers goals are for the company and for you! This will help you understand what is expected of you and see if your daily duties fit within this. You may find you are leaning into another role or taking on too much work. 

Use Your Performance Review To Clarify Your Goals

Are you happy with your current role and career path? This is your time to discuss what your options are for moving into new departments or roles.  It's ok if you don't know the answer to 'where do you see yourself in 5 years?'  It can be helpful to think of skills you want to learn or if you'd like to manage people or be responsible for a new development. This can help you figure out you next few steps and give you something to work towards and measure progress against throughout the next year!  Your superiors will be able to advise and perhaps give you examples of how what you want has been achieved by others in the past.  It can feel daunting to ask for things you want directly. However, your performance review is often the perfect time to tell your boss what you want to achieve. This can include a raise or a promotion.  Be aware though, when it comes to the timing of your performance review, chances are the annual budgets will have already been set so any positive outcome will likely be delayed to the following year. This is a good opportunity to get the ball rolling. In your discussion about your goals and achievements you can build the case if you believe you are being underpaid. 

Fair Warning: You Might Not Get What You Want Straight Away

Many people say they would find it helpful to receive feedback throughout the year. Open the channels of conversation with your employer and don't be afraid to ask for a meeting if there is something you want to discuss.  Being prepared and professional are the key takeaways for your performance review. But in regards to things you ask for, you might not get what you want straight away. You might find your goals don't fit with the company's immediate goals. Or, there isn't time or space for a certain request to take effect immediately. Don't be discouraged.  Work with your manger to set mini-goals or stretch goals that will set you on the right path.   If you enjoyed this article, you might also find these posts useful: How To Ask For A Pay Rise Making A Marketing Career Plan And Sticking To It      

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The incoming cost of living crisis is set to be a bigger threat to businesses than the pandemic.  Rising energy, food prices, petrol and the highest inflation in more than 40 years are affecting all of us in some way.  When it comes to business, the marketing budget is often one of the first to be cut when an economic downturn hits. To those in the industry, this is very frustrating.  Marketing is often seen as a discretionary expense, difficult to track and justify especially when a particularly good marketing strategy and expenditure is likely to be quite high.

This way of thinking is outdated and ultimately flawed. If businesses can keep marketing sustained during a recession, there are opportunities for brand growth during and after the economic downturn.  This is good news for marketers.

 

Cost of Living Increases Force Businesses To Lower Budgets

The biggest challenge for all marketing businesses over the next few months will be brands cutting their marketing spend. There are many factors at play here, including a government campaign earlier in the year to ask brands to cut their marketing expenditure. It is well known that consumers believe cutting marketing costs is the best thing to do when face with a crisis. The government directive played up to this. What is for sure is that consumers believe that cutting marketing expenditure to drive prices down is exactly what brands should be doing. Obviously, this could have a huge impact on marketers. 

Customer Confidence Crisis

As we head further into the cost-of-living crisis, customers perceptions of their own financial situations are worsening. The lower the level of consumer confidence, the less likely people are to spend money on non-essential items.  This leads to a dip in economic activity and when people begin to be more careful in spending, the resulting drop in sales creates a drop in advertising ROI compared to before. This is why bosses look at marketing and advertising as the first place to cut back spend. Marketers should both be investing carefully in their own brands, and advising their clients to do the same.

What Can Businesses Do? 

Businesses should be looking at reviewing all their spending during a recession. But when it comes to advertising and marketing, drastic cuts aren't the answer. You should look at filling gaps in the ad market rather than dropping out of it. When other businesses cut spend entirely, the whole market becomes less competitive leaving you ad platform space to fill!

  •  Reallocating your spend in this way means you can increase the return on investment by using platforms likely to give you better results
  • If you aren't targeting your recession marketing, you are wasting money
  • Optimising PPC and paid campaigns are an excellent way to get measurable results
  • Paid search campaigns help you target customers who've already started the buying journey (more likely to buy!)
  • By using programmatic advertising, you can make this easier

Recession Can Be Managed With Good Marketing

Historically, businesses that continued to invest in their advertising saw more growth than those who didn't. Keeping up regular communication shows genuine interest and care for your clients. It also strengthens client connection. With digital marketing, there is also an expectation that a brand should share its purpose clearly, and include strong social responsibility communications to clients and employees.
  • Build new strategies
  • Think outside of the box
  • Invest in ideas that will provide the lifeline your business need
Digital marketing requirements were accelerated by Covid-19 and the digital ad industry is becoming a lifeline in crisis marketing and futureproofing for businesses. Don't fall behind! For the best digital marketing and ad agency creatives for your team, get in touch with Dotgap today.    

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As we edge closer to a recession, many Britons' feelings are echoing those of 12 years ago. In 2010, 9 out of 10 Britons said they would consider leaving the UK for a life abroad. More recently, the coronavirus sent a lot of ex-pats home, and when the borders began opening up, many people were keen to restart their dreams of relocating to other countries. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a similar situation yet again. While other countries may seem attractive, the current impending recession is set to be a global one so there are many things to consider if you have your heart set on moving away. Changing jobs can still be a great way to find new opportunities for job growth and career development. But while we have talked about the benefits of moving jobs before, changing jobs in a recession presents a different set of challenges. A recession occurs when economic productivity is rapidly declining. Recessions increase your chances of losing your current job and do make it more challenging to secure a new one. Many young people will try and find a better-paying job in times of economic instability. If you are employed, think carefully before you leave, and read this article for advice on relocating for work in a recession.   

Financial Considerations Are Even More Important When Changing Jobs In A Recession

First things first, you need to make sure that you are fully aware of all the local regulations.  Look into your sector to make sure there are enough opportunities. This is especially important if you are planning to become self-employed in a new country. If you are investing or retiring abroad, you will have to make sure your income or savings will really be enough to cover your expenses. Currency fluctuations can really impact your move abroad and affect your ability to live comfortably in your new country. If you do decide to move abroad during a recession, you really have to ensure your financial situation is strong enough to cover the costs. Do your research into all the potential costs and how to keep them low! We would recommend you secure a job before moving. Many companies will offer assistance with visas and even offer a relocation bonus. If you haven't found your job yet, start looking for a job asap and make sure it will pay you enough to cover your daily expenses.  

Choose Your Location Carefully

Choosing the right location for you will depend on the kind of work you are looking for. Whether you are looking for a job in digital marketing, starting your own business or investing will all influence your options. You also need to consider your age and whether you have children or not. Many countries have complex and expensive visa requirements. Australia and New Zealand are still among the most popular countries to move to. There is a booming digital marketing and ad agency economy over there and no language barrier. However, we are facing a global recession. That means Australia and New Zealand are likely to be facing similar strains in recruitment. Some less traditional locations you could consider are Poland or the Czech Republic. While they do suffer economic problems the living costs are relatively low and there are digital marketing opportunities available for English speakers. Whatever you choose, make sure you do your research and don't rush into anything.

Changing Jobs In A Recession Requires Consideration of Lifestyle And Living Costs

If you do your research and have realistic expectations about the country you are moving to, you should be able to change jobs and relocate during a recession. The most important thing to remember is to be realistic about what you can afford and be prepared to have a different quality of life from the one you're used to in the UK while you settle in and find a job. Dotgap works with companies in the UK and Australia and we have been committed to keeping media professionals doing what they love throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so through the recession. If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy these articles on our blog: How To Find A Job When Jobs Are Scarce: Navigating A Recession As A Job Seeker 3 Ways To Optimise Your CV For International Job Search

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There are more people than ever working in remote or hybrid roles. But what impact will a recession have on this 'new normal'? News of an impending global recession has many remote workers worried they will be the first to go. While it is certainly wise to be prepared and ensure you are doing what you can to remain a valuable member of your workforce, it would appear that remote workers could actually help businesses retain staff and save money through a recession. Since employees were all sent home in March 2020 employees have discovered how flexible working has improved their stress levels and in many cases improve productivity. In fact, recent data even suggests that fully remote teams are surpassing the productivity of on-site teams, with hybrid workforces performing particularly well. This article will provide a brief look at a couple of key points from this discussion to help put your mind at ease.

Remote Workers Save Money: The Aim of The Game During A Recession

Remote working doesn't just save employees travel costs. Downsizing office sizes can save companies tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds (GBP) per year. On top of the saving in rent, the cost savings also come from equipment and building maintenance, repairs, and utilities. Even companies which offer their remote workers money towards their home set up or internet see an enormous saving. So what does this mean for the return to work battle? Over the last few years, workers have gained leverage in the jobs market and digital is no different. In a recession, employers generally look to reduce their headcount. This will shift the market from candidate-driven to client-led with the power shifting from jobseekers to those hiring. This represents a challenge for recruiters but remote roles could be the way to turn the situation to their advantage. Businesses need marketing, always so there will always be a requirement for digital marketers and working remotely can help cut costs.  

Recession and The Workplace Proximity Bias

There has always been a thought that those who seldom visit the office to work and, as such, have little direct physical contact with their managers are more likely to be let go.  In the current economic climate, the question has taken on a new urgency, are the remote employees more likely to be on the firing line?  Unfortunately, data on this issue are almost non-existent. Never before have there been so many remote workers. While prejudice against remote workers may not be a manager's intention, it is difficult to imagine fair treatment when some employees are always physically close and some are at home. Given the benefits hybrid and remote work has shown so far though, it would appear that workplace proximity bias could become a thing of the past.   

Good News For Digital?

The digital marketing industry has shown no signs of slowing down, and while we certainly expect things to change as employers and individuals strive to cut costs, businesses are increasingly realising their online presence and digital marketing are vital in growing and retaining their customer base. By supporting remote work, digital agencies can keep people employed while saving money themselves. Hybrid and remote work is to be embraced and is proving to be a viable model for workplaces now and in the future. Digital agencies can lead the way becoming adaptable and flexible enterprises that can rapidly adapt to new circumstances while continuing to design and deliver services to customers. Dotgap is here to keep media professionals doing what they love! Get in touch today to find out how we can help.

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New job anxiety is very common. In the media agency and digital marketing industries, you might find new jobs and roles that are thrust upon you regularly.  If you are feeling anxious about your first day at a new job, you are not alone! It is totally natural and valid to feel this way. There are many reasons to feel anxious about a new job and these might not always be clear, or the same, for everyone.   Your anxiety symptoms can be managed using these three simple tips. But, please remember, if your symptoms persist or are causing you problems daily, and affecting the way you usually live your life you should seek further assistance

Preparation Can Really Ease New Job Anxiety

A new job can mean a new commute, or a new schedule. Remote work means there is often one less thing to worry about if you suffer from anxiety- no getting lost on your way to the office! It can mean a total change to your current schedule though which can exacerbate new job anxiety. So, what can you do. Make an effort to prepare everything you need for the morning, the night before. Prepare lunch and your outfit, tidy your desk. If you are leaving for your job, place your packed bag by the door. Small steps like this put you in control and free up your time in the morning helping you keep a clear head and feel confident. First day nerves can increase you feelings of imposter syndrome and make you feel insecure. When your first day nerves get the better of you it is easy to lose sight of why you are there. The first thing to remember, is that you have beaten the competition to this job. You have been given it for a reason! Before you start, take some time to go over the job description and remind yourself why you want it, and what your responsibilities are. Keeping this sense of purpose will help guide you through your first day and remind you what to expect. So, take some time out beforehand to go over the job description for your new role, and remind yourself of your responsibilities. That way you’ll be able to go in with a real sense of purpose, not to mention know what to expect as the weeks progress. Focussing on the day-to-day aspects of the job role can help distract you from your nerves.

Don't Expect To Know Everything

You have already showcased your skills at interview. They have reviewed your experiences and qualification and you have been selected for the job. Do not feel as though you need to know everything right away. Your employer will expect you to ask questions and be unsure of things at this stage... it is your first day after all! Key skills in digital media jobs include willingness to learn and communication so utilise these skills in your interactions throughout your first day and the weeks to come. Minor errors are part of the learning process, just make sure you take accountability for your actions and learn from any mistakes. Hiding things or trying to pass blame is unprofessional. Remember: You've passed the biggest test already! Keep reminding yourself of this and stay calm and confident.  

Deep Breathing For Anxiety

Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system which helps calm and relax you. It is the opposite to your body's 'fight or flight' response. When anxiety or overwhelm get too much, your brain is trying to protect you and the subsequent overthinking is trying to prepare you for what might be about to happen. If you feel panicky before or during your first day, try switching to deep breathing for a few minutes to help activate the relaxation response. Try this short exercise now and see how it makes you feel: Sit still and upright. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly. Breathe in long and slow for four counts, paying attention to the belly expanding, then breathe out for a count of six, feeling the air leave your lungs and deflating your belly fully.

Use Resources To Help Your Anxiety

When you work in digital marketing, you are often required to wear many hats. This can add to your new job anxiety. Make use of any resources your company can offer, communicate if you are overloaded and don't be afraid to ask for help. When you have a lot of different responsibilities and tasks on the go, a 'brain dump' is a great exercise to clear you head before getting on with your number one task. Simply write down everything running though your head (it doesn't have to look nice or be grammatically correct). This allows to you make a note of anything you may need to come back to, allowing your mind to focus. Good luck in your new job! If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these posts on the Dotgap blog: How To Interview Well: Top 5 Dos and Don'ts  7 Tips For A Successful Day At Your New Graduate Job If you find anxiety impacts the way you see yourself, others, and your world, it may be a good idea to find a mental health professional to talk with. 

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The Bank of England has predicted the UK will enter into recession in the last quarter of 2022. Limited spending leads to little economic growth and unfortunately, recruitment is an area which will feel this hit sooner and harder than other industries. In spite of this, the world keeps turning and recruitment is still necessary during a recession. Even though candidates are likely to be more reluctant to leave their current jobs, plenty of candidates will still be graduating from university and looking for work. Some workers will be faced with the reality of redundancy or reduced hours. Recession recruitment then will play an important role in many lives. So, what can you do to navigate the recession as a jobseeker? When there is an economic recession, finding a job can be a challenge. Successfully securing a new job requires patience, determination and the willingness to adapt to new working conditions and processes. Learning how to find a job during an economic downturn can help you navigate any potential challenges with patience and expertise. In this article, we discuss what a recession is, explore how to find a job during a recession and review some tips to help you during your job search.   

Update Your CV To Stay Ahead In A Recession

The most important thing you need to do, you can do right now. Updating your CV should be part of your job search anyway, even in a booming economy there is fierce competition in the digital marketing industry. To elevate your chances of getting noticed, you need to update your CV and establish your personal brand. You should clearly and effectively communicate your knowledge, skills, abilities and experiences to your potential employers. Focus on your skills. When job opportunities are limited, the competition becomes even more fierce so it is important that you put together a strong cover letter to accompany your CV. This will help differentiate your application from other candidates. Your CV should demonstrate your work history, skills and any relevant achievements. For graduates with limited work experience, check out our previous blog post on how to demonstrate your value to potential employers. You can include any technical skills such as computer programs or any additional languages you speak. Just make sure you would be comfortable speaking those languages in the workplace!  

What Areas Of Media Remain Lucrative in A Recession?

If your chosen career or industry does not thrive during a recession, you might need to consider looking for work elsewhere. Temporary jobs or those with transferrable skills to your dream career can help you gain valuable experience and build your CV for future job seeking. Some industries which tend to be recession-proof include education and law.   Luckily, there are areas of the media industry which are proven to be recession-proof. Performance media offers the lowest risk return on media investment and so it is the safest form of advertising there is. Anyone with a website offering can justify highly quantifiable expenditure through performance media channels. We have already talked about the following areas being among the most in-demand marketing roles this year: 
  • PPC Search 
  • Paid Social Media 
  • Programmatic 
While temporary jobs only last for a specific amount of time and may only include limited job responsibilities, performing well at a temporary job can help you expand your professional network, which may assist you in eventually finding full-time work in your desired role.  

Level Up To Keep Up

In the highly competitive digital marketing and ad agency industries, you may find you have access to a wider range of jobs when you learn new skills. You can find many free resources online including podcasts which discuss the skills you are interested in learning. Spend some time determining if you need to brush up on certain skills to make yourself more marketable - it might be a brand-new skill or something you haven't utilized in some time.  Review job descriptions for jobs in your field and industry, keep up to date with new technologies and trends and you can make yourself a more employable candidate both in the short term and when the economy picks up. Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning and Google Analytics are all great resources.  

Networking (Always Networking!)

We've said it before, and we'll say it again! Networking is such a powerful tool. Seek out like-minded professionals and research events, both in-person and virtually. LinkedIn and Facebook both host professional groups and the opportunity to comment and engage with people in your industry and beyond. You can make use of both personal and professional social media to signal that you're open to new work opportunities. make sure you perform a social media audit to make sure you are putting out the best image you can.  Connecting with and contacting people within your professional or personal networks is helpful when there is a recession as they may know about job opportunities that are not advertised online. Step outside your comfort zone and make yourself visible. If there is a thread, share relevant information as well as your own personal experiences and expertise. You never know where what doors that engagement may open up in your professional career. 

Act Now To Get Ahead

There is no time like the present. For more helpful articles like this one, head to the Dotgap blog: Upskilling And Why Is It Important For Me Why Is LinkedIn The Ultimate Career Tool Dotgap breaks the traditional digital recruitment agency mould and have a more thoughtful, considerate approach. We know the industry because we have all worked there ourselves. Get in touch today to see how we can help you.    

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In honour of World Mental Health Awareness Day on the 10th October, this week's blog post will consider how to evaluate your work-life balance and offer some ideas on how to improve your sense of well-being. Work-life balance has been a subject of discussion for decades but it has become much more so following the pandemic lockdowns and subsequent shift in remote /hybrid working not only in digital industries but beyond. During the lockdown, many of us experienced more time at home with remote working and the many benefits of this such as no commuting and being able to spend more time with family. Many companies have kept this freedom with remote working and hybrid working options but what does this mean for our work-life balance? Even though we are a couple of years into this shift, it can be difficult to adjust. Working from home can make it difficult to set boundaries and it can become easy to normalise working long hours or being under extreme stress. Our assumptions around work and what is expected of us easily become deep-rooted unless we take a step back and review our situation

How To Self-Check Your Work-Life Balance

Perhaps you've gotten used to feeling a certain way, or maybe you feel as though something is off. This is normal. Media careers are notoriously difficult to keep and set boundaries in due to the nature of the work and company cultures. Here are three steps you can take to evaluate how you are doing in your work-life balance:
  1. Stop and step back. We usually wait until a big life event, such as a loss or birth before letting ourselves reflect on our lives. However, it is important to consider how you are feeling and what might be causing it. For example, is there something making you feel stressed or causing you unhappiness? What are you prioritising and what are you missing out on? Figuring out and being aware of your feelings can help you work out what changes you need to make.
  2. Weigh it up. Once you know what is wrong you can think about your priorities and what needs to change. A good example of this is to work out whether needing to work on weekends is worth losing out on your free time and social life. Or, is working long hours worth losing out on family time?
  3. What are the alternatives? Is there anything that you can do within your working routine to adjust to your new priorities?

What Can You Do To Improve Your Work-Life Balance

If you work from home, a great first step you can take is to make sure you take a phone break. there are plenty of mental health benefits to limiting your exposure to the blue screen light last thing at night and first thing in the morning. In regards to maintaining a better work-life balance, taking time away from your phone will help you draw a line between work and home.   Try to work smarter by prioritising and try to avoid getting caught up in unproductive tasks and distractions. A good way to do this is to set time limits to spend on tasks and take regular breaks. This is particularly hard when you are working from home but try taking at least half an hour for lunch and get away from your desk if possible. Visit the gov.uk website for information on your legal break requirements.   If you can, consider keeping track of your working hours over the course of a week or a month to give you a better idea of how long you are actually working. Make sure you factor in time spent outside of your normal working hours where you might be worrying or thinking about work. This will be a good indicator of work-related stress. Keep track of your working hours over weeks or months rather than days. This will give you a better picture of your work-life balance.    Finally, always talk to someone if the expectations and demands of work are too much. Your manager and employer need to know where the pressures lie in order to address them. 

What Can Your Workplace Do?

It isn't just your responsibility to find a balance. Your workplace and employer play a role too and have certain responsibilities to look after your well-being. They should ask their employees about this and be responsive to ideas that could improve the work-life balance of you and your colleagues. It is down to you to communicate your needs if you are under too much pressure.    A good employer will foster a culture of openness and train managers to spot signs of stress. It is becoming more and more expected now that people should have flexible and remote working options wherever possible and provide the infrastructure to make this workable for all parties.   They should increase support for parents and carers so they can continue working and also allow for the use of relevant support services or counselling during work hours as they would for medical appointments.   And finally, just as you should step back and review your situation every so often, so too should your employer, taking time to regularly review your situation and workload with you to make sure it is achievable.

Work-Life-Balance Is A Cycle

Maintaining your work-life balance requires regular check-ins and effort from employees and employers. Work-related stress can seriously affect your ability to perform well in your role and can have a serious impact on your mental health.  Make sure you know what you are entitled to and communicate with your managers.   For more tips on working from home, check out 7 Simple Tips To Tackle Working From Home on the NHS Website.   Mental Health.org have some great tips on how to reduce stress.   If you are struggling with any mental health issues please seek help from friends, family or the NHS urgent care helpline.

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October is Global Diversity Awareness Month. So, this article revisits the topic of diversity in digital industries with a look at the huge benefits that can be gained by actively taking steps to make your business and hiring processes diverse, inclusive and equitable. This month is a time to remember and celebrate the positive impact of diversity in culture on society as a whole. Diversity and inclusion are essential in business today as a healthy variety of people from different backgrounds and cultures provides us with the balance of voices and diversity of thought that we need.   With a team of diverse employees, you will have access to more creativity and wider skill sets. Plus, more diverse ideas for solving business problems, which will help your company grow. Another incredible benefit of diversity in tech is simply having more talent to choose from.  

Benefits of Diversity in Digital Businesses

The key skills and core functions of digital agencies are communication, creativity and making connections. This section will look at how all of these can be improved with greater diversity in the workplace. 

Innovation and Creativity

The greater the diversities represented in your workforce, the greater the scope for creative ideas and unique innovations. Having a working environment filled with employees of different backgrounds, experiences, knowledge and skills contributes to a bigger potential for new ideas. as. Plus, a diverse workforce can help all employees feel comfortable sharing ideas which should mean your business has a broad scope of ideas and reflections from society as a whole, giving you the benefit over those businesses operating with 'one voice. 

Diversity in Digital Provides a Range of Skills

Any employee you hire has different skills that they can provide and help to enhance a business. By having an inclusive and diverse environment, you are allowing for a wider perspective and more ideas to be included in problem-solving and  development.

Better Understanding of Your Customers

Having a diverse and inclusive team will give you a better understanding of your audience and customers. the more diverse your employees, the more your business and promotions will reflect the diverse backgrounds of your intended target audience. As a business, this also presents a great opportunity for growth as the more you learn about different groups of people you might find a wider audience and be in a great position to target or tailor your marketing toward them. 

More Talent To Choose From

If the business encourages diversity and inclusion, then when it comes to finding new talent there is more to choose from. You can focus on the skills a person can bring and boost the growth of your business as you take on only the best talent. Remote working is another great assist here as accessibility and travel distance can be eliminated in a remote working environment. 

Increased Happiness Levels

A diverse and inclusive work environment will not only benefit your growth and your customers, but internally as well. Working in an environment that promotes diversity and inclusivity will make employees feel happier to be at work which will reflect on the work produced. 

How Can We Improve Diversity In Digital Businesses?

So, how can we continue improving diversity in digital industries? From a recruitment perspective there are lots of things you can do in your day-to day and hiring processes, try some of these to get you started:
  • Embrace hiring people with an unconventional professional journey 
  • Embrace hiring people after a career break
  • Check your own biases - don't pretend you don't have them, we all do!
  • Be flexible in your offering, i.e. flexible hours and remote offerings
  • Leave the jargon and in-jokes out of job specs, write accessible, inclusive copy.

Diversity In Digital Has A Long Way To Go

Diversity in the workplace has been lauded as a huge benefit for businesses for decades. Aside from being a good business with equitable practices at its heart, there is no reason not to promote diversity. However, embracing these benefits requires more than just hiring processes and monthly meetings. There is a greater need to reshape structures and power dynamics. You can read more on this here. For related content, you can check out these previous dotgap articles: Is Digital Diverse Enough? Media Agencies Under Scrutiny How To Improve Your Diversity For Clever Recruiting Dotgap is an agency with a difference. We are a team made up of digital marketers and so we understand the roles and industry like no one else. Are you looking for your next challenge? Whether you are a candidate looking for work, or a client looking to fill your next vacancy, get in touch today. 

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Recently, we've been talking a lot about how to get jobs, perform well in interviews and utilise moving companies to your advantage. However, given the current economic climate and cost of living crisis, many people are looking for stability and assurance they will be in work and able to pay their bills. Upskilling enables you to strengthen your position, improve your skills and develop new ones. In times of economic trouble, employers may focus on retention and fill job vacancies internally, making it a crucial time to upskill for your career growth. So, whether you are still looking for a new job, or staying where you are, you can secure your position and increase your chances of success by upskilling – in digital, there is no such thing as knowing too much!  

Upskilling - How To Do it

Effective upskilling involves the combination of internal skills and external resources. Depending on where you work and what your current working situation is, you should be able to use a mix of your company’s training modules as well as your own creativity to your advantage.  With so many of us working from home now it can be difficult to leverage company resources in the same way. So, whether you’re aiming to make a move, increase your pay or just make yourself more versatile, here are some of the top ways to upskill remotely, or fit it into your new hybrid working.

#1 Make it a part of your routine

If you are trying to fit in upskilling around working from home, it can be really challenging. By the time you've done your work it can be really hard to stay at your desk and commit to learning. But, here's the thing. If you don't commit to it, you won't do it. Try starting small, half an hour before you start your working day for example, or a quiet hour after your evening meal.

#2 Listen to podcasts

This seems to feature a lot in tips and blogs online and for good reason! There is a wealth of great information out there now, easily accessible and easy to fit in your life. You can listen to a podcast at the gym, on the bus, doing the washing up, or while working. Check out some of these upskilling podcasts as see what you think.

#3 Read industry news and books

While many books are available online to listen to know, podcasts aren't for everyone. Try subscribing to industry newsletters or magazines and looking for industry-related books you can enjoy with your coffee.

#4 Try out new technologies

Take the opportunity whenever possible to have a go at new technologies. This might be something you get the chance to do at work or something you need to take on yourself. The truth is, even non-tech roles require a certain amount of technical proficiency in the digital marketing world. There are usually free tutorials for many platforms which aren't too time consuming or labour intensive.

#5 Use online course providers

There are so many courses available online now. Udemy and LinkedIn Learning provide thousands of course options for a reasonable price - LinkedIn offers a one-month free trial. Google Analytics Academy and Codeacademy have free courses available and both provide fantastic insights for those working in digital industries.

#6 Attend virtual events

Even though we are back out in the world there are still plenty of online events and conferences which allow you to attend from your own home and connect with people around the world. A great way to learn and upskill without leaving the house - saving you time.

Upskilling Is Futureproofing

With virtual options and free courses available, if you are thinking about upskilling for any reason, there really is nothing to stop you. Just don't overload your schedule. Start with small and manageable learning and see what works with your lifestyle. Don't forget to ask your employer if there is something specific related to your role or company you want to learn - they may be able to share excellent resources with you and might even give you time to learn in your working day. For more content like this, head to the dotgap blog!

 

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We would love to hear from you if you are either looking for a new job in the digital media industry or if you are looking to find talent and hire people from the digital media industry.

We work mainly with media agencies, advertisers, media owners, marketing agencies. technology companies and creative agencies.

Send us an email and we will respond as soon as possible.

If you want to speak to someone, feel free to call during normal working hours: Monday to Friday 0930 – 1800