3 Essential Skills for New Media Professionals

Tips from One New Hire to Another

With college graduations wrapping up and summer on the horizon, a new wave of eager job-seekers and future media professionals will be joining the media industry. Aside from having a strong motivation to learn new things, paired with a strong work ethic, traits necessary for new hires in any industry, those just entering the media and advertising world should focus on building and using the following essential skills to ensure success at their first job in media. Read below to see if you have what it takes to excel in the world of media.

1. Confidence.
If you managed to land a job in media, chances are, you weren’t hired by mistake. This competitive industry is saturated with whip-smart, savvy managers, directors, business leaders and CEOs who have plenty of experience navigating smooth-talking sales reps and demanding clients, so they knew what they were doing when they added you to the team. If they hired you, it means they saw potential in you to bring something positive to their team from day 1, whether or not you have experience. Even if the media universe is completely new to you, and you feel like everyone is speaking in a cryptic foreign language (CPC, SEM, DSP, MQL, ABM: just a few of the many industry acronyms you will soon become familiar with), don’t be afraid to speak up and show your coworkers and managers what you do know. You’ll learn more every day, and that will accelerate if you actually try to use your new knowledge and add to team discussions. Ask questions, take lots of notes, and do research on your own time to familiarize yourself with the complicated world you just dove into. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities and work and act like the smart, experienced professional you want to be, and reality will soon catch up with your expectations.

2. Adaptability.
Welcome to media, where large advertising firms make policy and program changes seemingly overnight, advertisers change focus midway through campaigns, new media agencies are born daily, and new technologies inundate the industry constantly. I hope you like change, because you just joined one of the most dynamic, constantly evolving industries out there, and you need to stay on top of all of it. You’ll have help, of course, but keeping abreast of industry news, firm policies and agency capabilities is a must if you want to succeed at your new job. Your team and client rely on you to know the best options at any given moment and be able to deliver on those, while anticipating future changes. While you’re getting used to not being able to get used to anything, don’t get too attached to any technology, agency, partner, client, or even coworker- these things change constantly. Expect change and take advantage of things while they exist, but be ready to change course when necessary or appropriate. Know that the change is constant and adapt to new situations as they come.

3. Listening.
As important as it is to speak with confidence, add to team discussions, and communicate clearly with clients, listening might be an even more important skill to cultivate if you want to be successful in media. Listening to coworkers from different teams can allow you to connect ideas, identify trends and provide more opportunities for collaboration and cross-departmental teamwork. Listening to the general office cacophony will help you situate yourself in your company’s culture more easily and find your office go-tos when you have a problem or need help. Listening to clients lets you to determine what is really most important to them, what they have trouble with, and what their real goals are, so you can ultimately provide better, more relevant service to them. Listening to the industry beat allows you to stay on top of its dynamic atmosphere and anticipate and better prepare for all of those inevitable changes. Listening to your company’s managers and your boss gives you insight into their day-to-day work and challenges, allowing you to anticipate and respond to their needs, setting you apart early from your peers as a valuable worker and team member, even allowing you to rise more quickly in your company’s ranks. Even if you’re having trouble learning the media language in your first few weeks at your media agency, listening can provide context and clues which will allow you to ask better questions and learn faster.

If you work with confidence, adapt to changes as they come, and focus on listening to the world around you, you will surely set yourself up to succeed in media.

Julie Brookfield
Just Media, Inc.

Share This Article