A lot of people ask me what I do for a living as I pretty much document everything I do on Instagram, and I’m pretty proud to say I’m a Marketing Executive for Moxie & Mettle. My one year anniversary is coming up, so I wanted to share my story so far.
So, let’s start from the beginning. I studied Marketing Communications at the University West of England, and after I graduated, I applied for probably over 60 marketing jobs. I had to learn the hard way that marketing jobs are a highly sought-after career choice for graduates!
I managed to get a few interviews but wasn’t successful due to my lack of ‘actual marketing experience.’ Basically, in the world of work, having a degree is pretty much irrelevant unless you have some experience in the field of study you want to go in to (which is not relayed by universities very well). It wasn’t long before I started doubting myself, thinking that I had no skills and achieved nothing at uni.
During my masses of applications, I came across Becs at Moxie & Mettle, who contacted me about a marketing role she thought I’d be suitable for and long story short we got on so well that they asked me if I wanted to be their in-house marketing assistant. Lucky right?
It’s nearly a year on, and I can honestly say I have learnt SO MUCH. My duties pretty much cover the full range of the marketing mix, with some additional elements thrown in that come with the recruitment industry. This includes:
• scheduling our content and industry news on our social media channels
• and working on central marketing projects assisting with the website development and continuously looking for new opportunities and ways to improve.
The opportunities that Moxie & Mettle have given me (a grad with no traditional experience) are endless. Getting your first real job after university is scary, and I have to admit, the transition into the working world is hard and can be quite disheartening; but if you’re willing to learn and show how motivated you are to start your career, you shouldn’t have a problem.
I’ve achieved so much within my first year: I was promoted to a marketing exec within six months, I’ve increased web traffic dramatically, I’ve taught myself SEO, I’ve attended meetings by myself, I helped with Social Media Week Bristol, and I’ve made some fantastic contacts.
I know everybody in marketing says it, but every day is genuinely different. I’m a pretty creative person, so the role suits me perfectly, and I’m very grateful that Moxie & Mettle gave me an opportunity to kickstart my career in marketing.
Liz Gadd has been working in creative, marketing and PR recruitment for 30 years, and is the Co-Founder of recruitment company Moxie and Mettle.
As a fellow Bristol Media member and preferred recruitment supplier to Bristol Media, Liz offers a one day recruitment workshop and review for all Bristol Media members at a vastly discounted fee to the usual cost.
Liz will spend a day with you, working through all your recruitment policies and procedures, helping with job descriptions and advertisements for roles, advice on best practice and the best way to use jobs boards and social media to attract talent, how to best work with recruiters and any other recruitment related challenges and questions you might have! The day is partly face to face at your offices, and partly remote support, and can be entirely tailored to your needs. Oh and just to be clear, there is no obligation at all to appoint Moxie and Mettle as a recruitment consultancy, this is purely an advice and support session.
Preferential fees for Bristol Media members – get in touch for more information.
To book, please email Liz directly on email@example.com
1. You aren’t ALONE – working with a recruiter means you’re not totally alone in your job search and can help ease some of the stress off the task.
2. It’s QUICK & EFFICIENT – job hunting is time-consuming, searching for opportunities, uploading CV’s and chasing companies can take hours. By using a recruiter, you split the workload.
3. It’s FREE – recruitment agencies are entirely FREE for job seekers. Their job is to find you jobs; they are the middleman between candidates and companies!
4. It’s OUR JOB – recruiters work on behalf of businesses all day every day. They are ultimately hired to find people for their jobs.
5. They usually have a WIDER VARIETY OF JOBS – not all positions are posted on job boards and some companies only rely on recruitment agencies. Therefore, they can open a larger network of clients who are looking for staff, which of course, is beneficial to you.
6. They have a RELATIONSHIP with their clients – this is one of the most significant advantages of using an agency. Often there is already a level of trust built between the two parties; which means if the recruiter is happy to share your CV with the client, it will be looked at in detail, giving you a better chance of getting an interview.
7. They have INSIDER TIPS – which can mean anything from sharing the company’s culture to advising on what to wear to the interview. This insider knowledge is worth its weight in gold and can take away a lot of the stress of job hunting.
8. They are EXPERTS – you’ll be allocated a recruiter who should know everything there is to know about the job market you’re interested in. They will be able to provide interviewing, CV and cover letter top tips!
9. They provide candidate FEEDBACK from the client – not receiving feedback is probably one of the most frustrating parts of job hunting. Recruiters will be able to offer constructive criticism and help you understand why you weren’t successful. This enables you to strengthen your interview skills in time for your next attempt.
10. Forming a good RELATIONSHIP with your recruitment consultant is very important, they are on your side, and you want you to get your dream job… so why don’t you give it a try?
Freelancing and flexible working can help promote a good work/life balance, and its popularity has skyrocketed this year with 1.4 million British freelancers on record as we speak.
We caught up with Keri Hudson, an experienced Bristol-based freelance Social Media Consultant, about her journey so far.
Keri uses her extensive knowledge and valuable insights to teach businesses how to reach customers, drive awareness and smash their sales goals using social media. She’s worked with all sorts, including some of the UK’s best-loved big brands, innovative start-up’s and small businesses.
In addition to that, she also runs Glug Bristol, a talks and networking event for the city’s creatives.
Moxie & Mettle: Why did you want to become a freelancer?
Keri: Let’s start at the beginning. Back in 2008, I moved to university in Bournemouth and studied Interactive Media Production, which was a mixture of content production, web design and research into online social communities – all entirely out of date now by the way! I didn’t know what to do with my course, so I deferred my final year and headed to London to gain some experience. I interned at 33 Digital, Rubber Republic, 1000heads and Wunderman and worked with some big clients including Pringles, Land Rover, Nokia and Canon.
Moxie & Mettle How did you get these opportunities?
Keri: I emailed around 60 companies and was very fortunate with the ones that responded.
Moxie & Mettle: Did you ever go back to Uni after that?
Keri: Yes, I went back to complete my final year, and then headed back to London.
Moxie & Mettle: What was next?
Keri: I was advised to follow recruiters on social media to look out for job opportunities, and I came across a recruiter’s post about a fantastic job that had just landed on their desk: a Social Media Exec role at Premier Comms; an entertainment PR company in London. The dream, basically. After my initial interview, I was invited back and was tasked to create a social media plan for a documentary about UFOs created by Shaun Ryder. I needed to do something memorable, so I created a press pack which included photographs from a UFO crash landing scene I created in the woods, a piece of metal engraved with a made-up language, and a key to help journalist decipher it and find out the date the documentary would air.
I really wanted the job, so went above about beyond to try and nail it. Which I did! I ran social media campaigns for TV shows and films, helped out with PR stunts and lots of other crazy things, for example, I pretended to be a dog on Twitter for six weeks ahead of a film launch. It was a great job, but it also came with super long hours, tight pitch deadlines and a fairly stressful working culture. After a year and a half, I decided I wanted a change, so I looked for something completely different, which led me Cancer Research UK. I worked at the charity as a Social Media Manager for its fundraising events, such as Race for Life. The job gave me a lot more purpose, for example, I worked the #NoMakeUpSelfie, which become a massive viral campaign that raised £8million in a few days. It was nice to know I was making an impact on the campaigns I was working on.
Following on from that, I decided it was time to move back to Bristol. I found it tricky to find a job that specialised in Social Media; quite often companies look for a broader marketing skillset. After searching for a few months, I interviewed for and accepted the role of Social Media Manager at Digital Visitor, a local social media agency. During my time there, I led a lovely team of content creators and worked on all sorts of campaigns for our travel and tourism clients. Unfortunately, I was made redundant after a couple of years, so I thought to myself ‘why not try freelancing?’
And that’s how it all started!
Moxie & Mettle: What do you need to get started as a freelancer?
Keri: Firstly, it’s super important to set up a website – but don’t spend too much time on it; just get a simple site set up and worry about the rest (like branding etc) later. Then you have to start finding work! If you’re lucky you may gain a few referrals from people you know, but it’s essential to network and research your industry. I went one step further and decided to run my own networking event called Glug, which features talks from people in the creative industry. Running it has taught me loads and allowed me to meet tons of new people. I’ve also spoken at various events including Social Media Week Bristol and Rules of Engagement.
Moxie & Mettle: How do you find freelance work?
Keri: Most of my work is from repeat referrals and clients. I run a lot of events and workshops which helps me build a pipeline, and also gives me the opportunity to get my name out there.
Moxie & Mettle: Do you need courage to go freelance?
Keri: I got made redundant, so I didn’t have a choice, so for me, I think you need courage to carry it on. I felt like I’d got to a point where I knew enough to be a consultant. I’d already spent many years working in agencies, and if my seniority increased, the job would change to management rather than creativity, and it wasn’t what I wanted.
I also had a tiny pot of savings, which helped me start. The rest was just hard work and hustling.
Moxie & Mettle: What are the benefits?
Keri: The most significant benefit for me is being able to work when I’m most productive. I like to bang out work in the early morning or late at night and love not being chained to a 9-5 desk. I enjoy the freedom you get when you freelance; you can follow the work you want, have the choice to say no, and you have more time to learn on your own. I’m currently studying to qualify as an accredited social media trainer; not many agencies would pay me to do that.
I’ve also met so many new people at co-working spaces and events. My network is far broader now than it was when I was employed.
Moxie & Mettle: Are there any downsides?
Keri: I think it’s the unpredictability of each month. I rarely work on a retainer basis, so forecasting my income can be tricky. I also struggle with selling myself – there’s something very British about thinking we come across as arrogant when we promote ourselves. It feels icky but is something we all need to get over.
Moxie & Mettle: What advice could you give to other freelancers?
Keri: Be FLEXIBLE – you can’t predict it you have to flex to it. CHASE opportunities – they don’t come to you, so get out there. Be PASSIONATE & keep LEARNING and INNOVATING.
And lastly, make sure people see you as an expert and that you love what you do. At the end of the day, people hire people, so making sure they see your most creative and energetic self.
The job market is a scary place for graduates. Websites like indeed.com list jargony job titles in their thousands, while individual application processes mean candidates spend hours writing personalised cover letters for specific roles, often hearing nothing back at all. For many graduates the hunt for jobs sparks a sudden realisation: that is, your degree is more or less irrelevant. It is a box ticked for employers and a single line on a CV.
Experience is what matters now.
In a time of record breaking university attendance numbers and grade inflation, a degree is no longer enough to distinguish yourself from the crowd, and experience provides a crucial foot in the door when finding employment. That being said, relevant work experience is not accessible for all students – during my time at the University of Oxford I was actively discouraged by my college from working during the term and in the holidays. In fact, the Christmas, Easter, and Summer breaks are referred to as ‘vacations’ across the university, implying that students would ‘vacate’ Oxford but would still be expected to continue with their academic studies as they would during the term. This restriction on undergraduates working (although there is some leeway for graduates) creates two problems. Firstly, with no fixed income other than a student loan, many students find themselves spending the majority of their loan on accommodation, with little to spare. This means that many students are required to work against the advice of the university during the long summer holiday. For these students, unpaid work experience or internships are not financially viable, as many simply cannot afford to work for free. Secondly, capable graduates who lack in relevant experience can be automatically discredited from certain opportunities. The restrictions in place also perpetuate Oxford’s elitist tendencies: those wealthy enough can afford to take on unpaid opportunities, or are even able to use contacts to bypass the need for experience at all.
An Oxford education is strenuous, challenging, yet insanely rewarding. From the perspective of a graduate, the restrictions on employment are frustrating, but they are in place for a reason: for the majority of students, balancing the termly workload with a job would prove impossible. No doubt commercial experience is an invaluable asset to a potential employer, but I believe the Oxford experience should be considered just that: as ‘experience’. The Oxford system and its unique style of education provide its graduates with a rigorous academic skillset and work ethic. Nevertheless, these skills have the potential to be overlooked by employers, who at times tend towards a myopic focus on the experience. One would be hard-pressed to think of an Oxford graduate as being in any way disadvantaged when compared to the general graduate population. However, I think it is fair to say that, for some Oxford graduates (in particular those with less economic means) a lack of experience is a daunting prospect, especially when competing with other candidates who tick all the right boxes. Perhaps, the key takeaway (from my post-uni experience so far) is that a graduate job market is a scary place for all, regardless of the prestige of one’s institution…
We might be a bit biased on this subject matter, but we are keen to share five genuinely good reasons why you should use a specialist recruitment company!
1. Quick and Efficient
Let’s be honest, the recruitment process is very time-consuming, and busy companies probably don’t want to spend their valuable time dedicated to recruitment and advertising roles. Using a recruitment company reduces time and the process is usually quicker, which leads to a faster turnaround when filling vacancies.
We organise everything for the client, from the whole application process to all the advertising, even the interviews, leaving it stress-free for you.
2. We are Experts
We have over 80 years’ combined experience … so we kind of know what we are doing. We work closely with you to understand your business needs and company culture. We already have an extensive network of incredible talent, who are notified when a job matching their skills and experience becomes available.
We understand that some companies may be start-ups and small companies and often don’t have an in-house recruiter. Sometimes it’s a challenge to find and hire the best candidates – that’s what we are here for.
Our extensive knowledge puts us in a position to support you through your essential hire. We know our specialist sectors like the back of our hands and can help you understand how competitive your job briefs are and advise what benefits packages are usual in the sector.
3. Quality of Hire
We will ensure only the best of the best candidates are put forward to you, and only after we have gone through a series of in-person evaluations and detailed background checks, including referencing if you’d like us to.
It might seem like using a recruitment agency would cost you more than hiring in-house, but the opposite is true. Using an agency means no spending on job boards, recruiter accounts, social media and talent database subscriptions.
As discussed before, by using an agency, you are massively reducing the chances of a bad hire. Financial costs can vary depending on the position for which the hire was made, a CareerBuilder study estimates above £7,000 to £10,000 as the average cost of hiring the wrong individual for an entry or mid-level position. The cost of wrongfully hiring a manager is typically more than £30,000.
There’s no cost involved until your new recruit starts work! So clearly, if you don’t hire one of our candidates, there’s no cost in comparing our candidates with those that you receive from other sources. Obviously, we are confident our candidates will be better, but that’s up to you to decide!
5. Extra Security
A great benefit that recruitment agencies offer is additional security when it comes to that all important probationary period – if things don’t work out (which is rare after the thorough recruitment process), there are rebates or free replacements on offer (subject to terms of course)
So, have we convinced you? Get in contact today if you want to find out more.
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