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Viewing posts categorised under: Health and wellbeing

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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Whether you are job seeking or have been headhunted, you are in a unique position to find out if a workplace is the right fit. This includes checking whether a company truly cares about diversity, equity and inclusivity. An inclusive workplace can look different for everyone. Here's our three tips on how to make sure your potential employer goes further than just ticking boxes.

1. Ask The Right Questions

Typically, a recruiter should be able to answer most questions you have. They work with the same companies over time and should know their processes and culture well. Think about what's important to you and pick a few key questions to ask. It is always a good idea to follow any phone calls with more detailed questions over email.  Here are a few questions to get you started: 
  • Do you take on school leavers and/or graduates as part of your talent pool development? 
  • What maternity/paternity cover is offered? 
  • If you are applying for a remote role, how does the company support inclusivity? 
You can usually find published information on gender pay gaps; companies will be proud of what they offer  Look at the company's recruitment strategy too. Are they asking for specific age, location and education information or are they taking steps to eliminate unconscious bias in recruitment? 

2. Be Specific About Your Needs

While you don't need to bare all on your CV, or divulge personal information in your interview if you aren't comfortable, it is important to express your needs to assess whether a company is ready to accommodate you. Consider talking to your recruiter if you are uncomfortable discussing anything at interview.

3. Make Connections

Check Facebook and LinkedIn for any groups or connections you can reach out to prior to any interview. People who currently work at the company or have previously worked at the company will be able to provide you with different insights into the working culture. They might also be able to offer you helpful advice for your interview.  Prepare some questions to ask and be candid, you want to find out information from behind the scenes. Try these examples as a jumping off point:
  • What do you like/dislike about working at the company. (If they no longer work there, you can ask why they left if it is relevant.)
  • How would you describe the company culture?
  • How would you describe the work environment?
  • What if any activities outside of work do you attend?
The answers to these questions can help give you more of a feel for day-to day life at the company and how deeply DE&I strategies are implemented.  

Company Culture: Trust Your Gut

What a company has published online, both on their website and social media provides key information on their DE&I policies. But it is important to dig a little deeper. You need to make a judgement on whether it feels authentic or not. Does it make clear, measurable commitments and report on progress? Check out sites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor for more information on company structure and any potential red flags. Twitter and industry news sites can provide more relevant information on potential employers. Are senior executives leading conversations? Your instincts are usually right. so, don't forget to ask, express, and do your research! For the latest in digital jobs, head to dotgap now.

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It can be a daunting prospect, to go back to work. From the perspective of the woman who has been home looking after children, it can be overwhelming and intimidating, depending on how long you have been out of the traditional workforce. Unfortunately, there is still a deeply ingrained bias within the world of work. It ignores the value-added skills a mother has, both innately, and learned from their experiences as a parent. At dotgap, we believe Motherhood is no reason to feel as though you can't go back to your career in media. Read on for our tips on how to take back your job. A mother is working at a stand up computer station with one arm around her young daughter

Why Is Media So Difficult To Return To?

Media careers are often hard-earned and low paid, with a lot of emphasis placed on work experience. Taking time away can make you feel as though you've lost the momentum you've likely spent years building. Both media and marketing are fast-paced industries, changing more rapidly than ever with new technologies and software being released all the time. A year or two out of work and you can feel really out of the loop! There are a lot of articles out there talking about using your time as a mother to take courses and learn new skills. However, motherhood is already demanding you learn, on the job, every day. So, how can you stay in the know?
  • Try to use social media to connect with other women in the industry or the company you are interested in. If you can find a good mentor this way, it would be invaluable.
  • Industry podcasts are a great way to keep on top of the hottest topics.
  • You could also set up industry news alerts on your phone so you get the latest information wherever you are.
A mother and daughter with down syndrome sit at a table together. They are playiing blocks of different shapes, sizes and textures

Talk About The Skills You Have Gained Through Motherhood

This is an important one. Don't shy away from the things you have learnt and tasks you have achieved while you have been working as a mother. Much like we talked about in our post about writing a CV in 2022, you need to be upfront and open about what you've done at home. Don't be embarrassed to use examples from your home life to demonstrate how you can juggle tasks and get things done. For example: Planning a wedding is not something we might think to cite as experience on a CV. It can, however, be a fantastic example of dealing with multiple suppliers and stakeholders, multitasking under pressure, and working to a deadline!

Time Management

Every day, mums have to look after other lives as well as their own. This ultimately means using the time in a day effectively. It is easy enough to fill a day with one person's needs, for example, eating, exercising, work, rest and play. But if you double or triple this responsibility you've got to be seriously good at organisation and time management. Prioritising tasks is a natural part of day-to-day life as a mother. This can be transferred to managing workloads or a team of people in the workplace.

Communication and Negotiation

As a mother, it is a natural and an instinctive skill to speak clearly and comprehensively, especially with young children. Instructions are given simply, and tasks are explained with patience and clarity. This is a skill which has enormous value in the workplace. The negotiation skills required to calmly talk a toddler out of a meltdown can make mums excellent colleagues, easy to talk to and patient with questions. This patience and approachability give mums a specific skillset which can make them great managers, better than other candidates in many circumstances.

Working Under Pressure

Any new parent has to quickly learn how to handle a range of previously unknown situations. This adaptability is undervalued by employers in the workplace. Mums can react and adapt to new situations quickly and calmly, while meeting ever-changing and often immediate deadlines.   Motherhood: A woman is sitting on a chaise lounge at the foot of a bed, working on a laptop balanced on her legs. Slightly out of focus in the background are two children napping cosily on the bed.

Be Clear About Your Needs

Use those excellent communication and negotiation skills learned through motherhood when discussing any role with a potential employer.
  • Make sure that any flexibility offered is actually flexible.
  • Communicate clearly when you will be contactable to employers and colleagues (hours/working days).
  • Don't be afraid to bring up remote working or flexible home working options.
  • Be clear about plans for potential kids' sick days, you can ask the agency if they have days off available for dependents?
It will not be the same experience as before, so don't expect it to be! However, if the last few years has taught us anything, it is that flexibility and remote working situations can, and do, work. Parents juggled careers and home schooling alongside illness and day-to-day life, showing us that traditional workday setups aren't the only way to work.   Motherhood: A mother holds a new baby tightly against her chest with one arm while working on a laptop with the other hand

And One More Thing ...

Don't pay attention to the narrative and bias - motherhood does not make you a high-risk employee, but instead, you offer high potential. Highlight the qualities like patience, commitment and determination you can bring to the roles. Remember to communicate clearly about your needs and requirements, and you will foster a long-lasting and productive working relationship. Are you looking to get back to your media career? Head to our jobs page for the latest digital postings.      

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You’ve done it! Studied hard, written a top-notch CV, aced your interview and been offered a job. It’s a wonderful feeling, especially if it is your dream job, or perhaps it is the start of a journey to your dream job. Still, the salary is something you do need to consider. Unfortunately, there is huge variation across industries and this can affect your ability to accept your dream role or turn it down so you can pay rent.

Photo from Pexels.com

Salaries depend on location for example, jobs in London often pay slightly more to cover the higher cost of living, the size of company, the type of company, and its specialisation.  And, there are a myriad of factors affecting your decision to accept or not which are often more out of your control – your ability to relocate for example, living arrangements and whether or not you have any dependents.   We’ve compiled a brief list of average starting salaries across some of the major industries to give you an idea of what to expect.  

Graduate Salaries, Starting at The Top

Banking & Accountancy – up to £50k (starting as low as £17 though)  Education (qualified teachers) - £32K Law - As a graduate, you should expect between £19k and £22k (the higher amount being in London). Sales - Starting £24K with commissions often taking the total closer to £30k. Digital marketing - £18-22k  Publishing/journalism/media -start as low as £15k Media agency graduate roles - £20-25k **Median uk salary for graduates is roughly £3ok 

Why Are Graduate Media Salaries So Low?

There seems be be a heavy expectation on new starters in media to work up through the ranks, with experience often valued over qualifications – not the same as a doctor or architect with 7+ years of study and experience combined upon graduation! The good news? On average, media agency salaries should increase to £30 and above after two years, so you don't have long to wait.

Other Things to Consider

Don't be disheartened. Lots of companies now offer a raft of extra benefits which can heartily support your lifestyle. You need to think about where will you be living, the cost of transport offset against rent and the time it takes to commute.  Lots of companies now odder season ticket schemes as well as the now fairly established cycle to work scheme.   Other benefits can save you money and offer you a better work/life balance for example: inclusive gym memberships, or the option to work from home flexibly. Check out this list for some of the best benefits on offer.

How Can I Earn More?

Make sure you find out what progression options there are in your interview and how quickly you can expect to move up. If you start a job and you feel like you are being taken advantage of there is no shame in looking elsewhere – contact dotgap to make sure you’re on the right track for your digital career.

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Modern life is stressful. The biggest causes of stress have been said to be money, job worries and our health so it is no wonder that the pandemic has increased reported stress levels across the world. In the past year 74% of people have reported feeling so stressed they said they felt unable to cope, but what do we mean when we talk about stress? In this blog post we’ll take a small departure from our usual topics  to bring you the top three causes of stress at work, and some easy things you can do to help relieve the symptoms of modern life. 

 Cause #1 – The Pandemic 

The three main causes of stress are work, money, and health. If we consider what we as a species have been through in the last three years it is unsurprising that we are seeing stress levels soar: Job uncertainty, soaring costs of living, and a deadly virus. People have lost their jobs and gone through huge changes in lifestyle. We think this is one of the biggest underlying stressors that people perhaps aren't giving enough credit to. The focus is on 'getting back to normal' and not realising the strain we have all been under.  

Cause #2 –Poor Organisation

This can be poor organisation on the part of the individual, or the perceived poor organisation of the company or management. Insufficient workloads, too heavy a workload, not enough time, and unreasonable demands all stem from poor organisation. This can cause a great deal of stress from feeling a lack of control. Unfortunately, when it comes to poor management there isn't always a great deal you can do. You can, however, take control of your own organisation and manage your day to help reduce unnecessary additional stress at work.

Cause #3 – Perfectionism and Pressure

Following on from our previous point, pressure at work is a major cause of stress at work. But, this can be caused by many things, not just poor organisation. Social media causes a great deal of stress related to perfectionism and the pressure to be better. Constantly comparing yourself to how well others are doing, or your perception of how well they are doing, is demotivating and stressful! 

How to Reduce Your Stress at Work 

Nothing will completely get rid of stress, it is a natural physiological response, and serves productive purposes such as boosting focus and motivation in the right amounts. Too much though, and we can lose the ability to carry out our normal tasks and feel unwell. Here are some of our tried and tested ways to prevent and manage stress:

Good Food is a Good Mood

Good food, nutrition and hydration. Caffeine is not a problem for everyone, but you might want to reduce your intake and see if it helps. Sugary breakfasts wreak havoc with your blood sugar levels, which cortisol (the stress hormone) does too.     

Get Out in Nature

Or at least a walk in your local park. On your lunchbreak, in the morning. If you can hack it, leave your phone at home and listen to nature and resist the temptation to scroll. You can make use of digital wellbeing controls on your phone – turning off app notifications for a specified time.  It is hard to separate using social media for work and personal use resulting in spending way too much time online, so a walk without your phone is a great two in one stress buster 

Get Organised 

Just keep it simple.

Look After Your Health

We hope you find these tips useful, remember no job is worth your health. If you are feeling stressed and unable to cope then please reach out to friends, family members or seek advice from a professional. If it is a work-related problem you could consider speaking to your line manager. Something as simple as talking through your worries can really help you feel calmer, and realise you are not alone in feeling stressed. 

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Get in touch

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