There are few places I’d ideally like to work, I’d be grateful of a job most places. A little while ago I had an article written about me on Ugly Baby. A company based in Bethnal Green contacted them asking to see my portfolio. I emailed them and tried to stop by but couldn’t get passed the iron gates so I lost hope of hearing anything back.
Bethnal Green is where my grandparents live. I’ve known the area all my life and it would be more than fantastic if I could work around there. Also, the company in question looked excellent which is a double win.
Today, I got a reply. I should mention that they responded to my tweet thanking them for adding me to their list. This I consider a result as my campaign is based on social networking. The reply consisted of a short message promising to reply to my portfolio and CV email. A promising glimpse at something I’d considered a near lost cause. The tweet came from Prague so I’m guessing the person in question is on holiday. I’m all the more grateful for that fact. I know it’s nothing concrete, it’s just nice to have this show some promise again.
Other news: I’ve been working back at the school as I’ve mentioned and I’ve been asked to get involved with creating some vouchers for ‘Cafe Belgique’ which is located in their new 6th Form Block. They wanted to make the vouchers so they couldn’t be photocopied so they couldn’t be basic, they needed something to them. They suggested perhaps using a watermark but the cost in relation to their budget would never be a sensible move. I ended up creating a circular voucher, much like a tax disc. This helped meant that teachers couldn’t photocopy and unless they had the precision of a robot, also couldn’t cut the perfect circle. It was the first time I’ve been involved in sending a job to print that involves a die-cut so it was a nice change.
Although it was quite a simple job it’s really boosted my confidence and enjoyment of the profession. The die-cut made it even more interesting. I’d like to be involved with all kinds of print and finishes, learning all new techniques. I’m still very much in the early stages of my career but if I can get this excited about die-cutting then I think may face may be in danger of cracking through the many possibilities that the world of print holds.
Also, I’ve been asked by some people at the school whether I have any contacts in the printing industry which, thanks to LinkedIn, I have got back in touch with a guy named Robert Grundy. His company Advance offer great quality, affordable prints and have excellent staff who always went beyond the call of duty not only for the company I was at but also for me (as someone who was just starting out - They had a lot of understanding).
So, although the job search and seemingly endless applications continue, I’ve had a nice few days with an element of Graphic Design to keep me going.
I’ve been fairly quiet recently regarding the campaign. The search continue as do the applications… as well as the rejections unfortunately. I’m keeping my head up though, I can’t let it get on top of me.
Yesterday was the first day back for the kids at the school where I now work part time (again again again). I had a pile of photocopying that had I left would be taller than the average new year 7 kid. I don’t know if you’ve seen any new year 7 kids but they’re getting taller. Despite starting at 8.00am and not properly sitting down for 5 minutes at around 2.00pm it was a good day working. I genuinely enjoyed being in control of the 2 black and 1 colour copiers. The new staff made it more interesting, helping them with their work load and giving them quick examples of how Reprographics work. It was just nice getting things in order for everyones first day. I think if you can make the most of a job that isn’t ideal for you then you’re doing something right. I’m quite pleased at myself for that.
Being the first day back there was a lot of ‘how was your 6 weeks off?’ Which I could only really answer with ‘…ok I suppose. I spent most of it looking for a job and didn’t get one which is how I ended up back here. So not all bad’. A few teachers and staff asked a bit more as to what I wanted to do and I ended up becoming Mr. Salesman, telling them of my campaign. I even gave 3 business cards out to different people which was possibly a little embarrassing in retrospect as it’s got a massive picture of me on it. You know the one, braces, cheeky smile etc. I’ve used it so much now I forget what it actually is. Nevermind. One of the teachers, Mr. Phil Thomas mentioned he knew someone who might be of some help. A graphic designer soon to leave his job and maybe set up his own company. I would love to be at the birth of a company, building it from the ground up. I’m a designer, it makes sense to want to shape a company into something successful. I suppose that’s why I could never get my head around working for Strutt & Parker, it was such a big company your face gets lost. Anyway, Phil said he’d try arrange a meet for us. Hopefully that will work out. What a fantastic opportunity that’d be.
My friend Jess (who is becoming a regular mention now it seems) used to go to Beal (I was a rival Caterham student). She had Mr. Thomas for Media and being the kinda gal she is only referred to him as ‘Tom Tom’. Just thought I’d mention that because it makes me laugh.
…Yes. Yes they did.
It’s not the job I’m after and it certainly isn’t getting in the way of the whole campaign. Don’t worry, 10% is still yours to win. I’ve managed to secure a few weeks work back in the secondary school I’ve been working on and off for nearly 2 years. They say it’s who you know that gets you a job and this is no exception. My Mum works in the exams department. Score. My Aunt works in Finance. Goal. And 2 of my Mum’s friends who I’ve known all my life work there. Hat-trick. T-shirt over head. Run around the pitch. Etc etc etc.
I appreciate the work and I’ll do it all to the best of my ability as I always do (Christ, am I taking the oath to be a Cup scout or something?). Unfortunately it’s not Graphic Design. My search still goes on. As is the offer of 10% of my first months wages as I previously said. I’ve got mixed emotions about heading back to Beal High School. I know the staff there as well as some of the kids. The money is alright and the work isn’t too stressful. But it feels as though I’m not moving forward. I’ve got the experience in the job and I’ve got the portfolio to prove I can do it but I still don’t have the job. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sobbing over the job section of a newspaper, cursing the recession. It’s fair to say I’m frustrated at the whole situation but who wouldn’t be in this position?
A short time ago in my blog I mentioned Greg Dion from ‘100 cups’. To refresh your memory (or tell you for the first time, depending whether you’re new to me or not) he’s set up a campaign of his own with the goal of meeting 100 people for a cup of tea. While a lot of us use sites like Facebook & Twitter it’s slowly taking over the way we interact. I for example would much rather just write on someones wall than call them. It’s not so much laziness but taking advantage of convenience. It’s getting to the point where I probably take advantage of it a little too much. That’s why I agreed to meet Greg and help him reach his goal.
Over a cup of tea at the Shakespeare’s Head in Carnaby Street we spoke about our goals and a little about ourselves. It was a welcomed break from the computer and a great experience to be part of something so great in it’s simplicity. If you like Danny Wallace and/or Dave Gorman then definitely check out Greg and be one of the 100 cups.
It’s always good to talk about ideas you have and today was no exception. Greg asked if I’d contacted any radio stations. I have to an extent but not in a great depth. He suggested that we take a short walk towards BBC radio and ask to speak to someone who could help us. That short walk later (which was actually not so short) we ended up at ‘a’ BBC radio building. Radio 2 & 6 to be exact. After explaining to them what I was up to they redirected me to BBC radio 1, I gave them a card and we went on our way. After a repeated conversation in the 2nd BBC building we finally found Radio 1 HQ and were informed that the BBC “don’t do that sort of thing”. A little bit strange but I suppose 2 guys wandering in throwing something like this at them must come across a little odd. I left them a card and we left the building. Greg then spotted a woman about to enter the building and we got talking to her. She’d just started work there and said a good bet would be to hang around and wait for a DJ to walk in or out. Fearne Cotton was due fairly soon and we might be able to catch her. Unfortunately I didn’t catch her name but thank you lovely lady for the tip.
Now, here’s where I’m a tiny bit disappointed in myself. I didn’t wait around for Fearne. The thought of me stopping her, explaining myself and asking for her help was more daunting than I could handle. So, Fearne, if you ever see me know that I could’ve been that weirdo screaming ‘get me a job’ but instead saved you from such an ordeal. Paint me yellow, call me chicken etc I just wasn’t feeling right about it.
All in all we handed out a load of business cards and got networking face to face. In a way it was a meeting of both of our campaigns. The ‘getting a job’ aspect for me and the ‘real life interaction’ for Greg. A proper good result.
Oh yeah, I forgot… I know this probably seems irrelevant and somewhat stupid but whilst looking at a map on my phone a man asked us if we were lost and gave us directions. When does that ever happen? What a nice man.
I just received an interesting tweet from my friend Araba (Can I call you a friend?I’ve not seen you for years and we were friends in 6th Form… I’m gonna go with friend). She tweeted “One thing I’m interested in - It’s all good asking people to help but what are YOU doing?”
I suppose with all my campaign blogged and tweeted about I fail to mention the efforts I’m going to in order to find a job. As much as I’d like someone to win the money, I’m not one to put all my focus on one thing. I’m looking for jobs also. It’d be a little bit disappointing if I found myself a job after the amount of success this has generated. That said, I’d take any relevant job.
I’m doing all the usual job application sites, checking them on a daily basis. Emailing companies asking for placements. Anything I can think of really. There’s an equal effort going in to the hunt as there is the campaign. I’m not trying to pay others to do all the work for me, it’s a concept that’s escalated into something bigger than I imagined. Something I’d like to see all the way through.
Hopefully that clears things up a bit.
I’ve just finished editing my campaign video. Based on the concept of simple Mathematics Me + You = Job is designed to drum up support as well as giving a thankful nod to my supporters so far. Apologies if you didn’t make the final cut, I chose the first couple of hundred and whittled it down from there. Thank you to everyone and keep spreading the word around, I’m receiving some fantastic leads. Watch the video and try spot yourself here.
In my last post I mentioned creating a flyer available to be printed and sent to companies to spread the word of my job search.
I’ve changed the concept to be a PDF to be emailed. I realised after some brainstorming with my mate Ashley that it’s a lot of ink to be printed and people would be less inclined to go to all the effort. You can almost hear the sound of “You mean I’ve got to get an envelope, stamp AND post it? This guy is having a laugh”.
Using Acrobat Pro I’ve created some fields that can simply be filled in on the computer. You can then email to anyone and everyone. You can download the PDF along with a basic ‘How to’ text file cleverly entitled ‘How to’ and that is available here
So, forward it to any company you like. Friends, family, anyone. You might not want the 10% but undoubtably someone else will.
Last night I decided I’d go to bed around 11.30ish which was a welcome change from the recent ‘1am job search in pants’ routine I’d got myself into. The only problem with going to bed over an hour earlier than you’re used to is while your body is tired your mind isn’t. Or worse, the other way around. Although I’d rather have slept straight away I’m kind of glad I didn’t as my mind wandering lead me to some more ideas for the campaign.
I’m all too aware that every application I’ve written has been rejected or ignored. Bringing myself to someone looking to employ doesn’t seem to be working. The alternative will be to help them along in taking notice. As we’ve learned from mass protestors and individuals with signs, a group tends to make more of an impact. So, me painting a ‘Give me a job’ sign and marching around London is, if anything, only going to get me sectioned. That option goes out of the window.
I’ve already emailed many companies that I’ve found online, most of which have replied and regretfully turned me away. Most of these people congratulated me on my portfolio and wished me luck. Most of these people offered me advice. I’ve taken from this that the best approach is to contact a company directly. I find this strange as you’d think someone looking to employ would be more inclined to respond.
Anyway… I’ve gone on enough. Now for the next step in the campaign: I’m working on flyers that will be available for download. To help you along in the process of winning 10% of my first months wages I’ll provide you with a flyer and a space to write your Twitter name. All you have to do is print it off, fill in your Twitter for reference and post it to any Graphic Design company that you wish.
When the company become inundated with references they’ll soon remember my name. Either that or they’ll be sick of the sight of my face and contact me to beg for mercy. Obviously I’m hoping for the first option.
Now, the downside of this approach: If a company receives more than one flyer and I get the job there can only be one winner. To be as fair as possible I’ll ask my hypothetical boss which name came first. Should he/she not be aware of which flyer came through first then I will ask him/her to randomly select a name.
You can print off as many flyers as you want and send them to as many companies as you like. The more you enter the more chance you stand in winning.
Let’s broaden the world of Graphic Design listening and find me a job.
Last night I decided to contact my local newspaper (Ilford Recorder) to try get my story printed. I sent them a list of links such as the articles in The Drum Ugly Baby and my recent interview with Charlotte Reid. Hopefully they’ll get back to me and I can get everyone in Ilford on my side. The last time I was featured in the Ilford Recorder was for my Year 6 Christmas production of Pinocchio where I played the loveable Father Geppetto. I wore my dads red and black striped BBQ apron backwards and a pair of massive glasses with the lenses taken out so I looked like some kind of Reg Holdsworth. Embarrassingly enough, my Nan has the photo framed at her house… So, with that in mind, I think it’s time Ilford Recorder did a follow on story. The tale of a wooden boy coming to life is nowhere near as heart warming as this one. ‘One man in search of employment with the intent to reward the fellow man’. Move over Disney, there’s a new storyteller in town.
What I failed to comprehend was the scale of things. This morning I spoke to my friend Danny in Dubai who mentioned contacting ‘The Metro’ or ‘London Lite’. Why didn’t I think of that? Ilford is big. Sure. But London… London is a hell of a lot bigger. It’s the home of my future job. It is where I want to be. It’s the bloody capital. Thank you for that Danny. An excellent idea that I’ve taken on board and followed through with. Within minutes of emailing the Metro I received a reply. Before you get as excited as I did, don’t. Kylie Martin who is in charge of general enquiries is on maternity leave. Congratulations to you on the new baby, Kylie Martin. I didn’t lose hope. During the next minute I found another email address to contact and did a lightening fast copy & paste from the previous email. I love a good shortcut. Assuming no one else is in the process of having a baby I’m on to something. Thanks again Danny. If this goes out it could be the biggest advertisement yet.