5 Ways to Kickstart Your Digital Career in Brighton
Brighton or ‘London by the Sea’ as it’s become affectionately known has long been coined the digital capital. A growing reputation that continues to be fueled by the rising number of digital agencies, tech startups and a thriving entrepreneurial and freelance community.
All reasons kick starting a digital career here is definitely not beyond your reach. But with so much going on, where do you start?
Whether you are still at uni, just about to graduate or considering a career change, here’s five ways you can stick a rocket up the backside of your digital career and unblock your career pathway – pun intended.
1. Be a social Brighton butterfly: network, network, network
Chances are you’ve already started doing this or thought about it but there are so many options you’re not sure where to start. Like most things, the answer is the beginning. Just ‘begin’ showing up to whatever you can whenever you can. If it’s wrong for you then you’ve already learnt something new about yourself.
Every single event you attend is likely to open up opportunities directly or indirectly, whether it’s a structured talk, casual networking affair or a training workshop. Here’s some great ways to find digital events in the city to help get you started:
- Meetup.com is packed with great digital events in Brighton
- Wired Sussex event listing and membership events
- Brighton Chamber of Commerce events, networking and training workshops
- Facebook events or group search ‘Brighton’ and ‘digital’
Some specific regular events or groups that would be worth jumpin in on are:
- Codebar – coding evenings at different office locations for LGBT. Pizza provided!
- Tuesday Talent by Tuesday Media – bi-monthly meetups
- Brighton Digital Women – regular talks and workshops for women in digital
- Content Club by Yappa – regular meetups and workshops all about content
2. Optimise your chances: attend or volunteer at Brighton SEO
If you fancy yourself a career in marketing or SEO – that’s search engine optimisation to us muggles – then you are in the right city.
Over 4,000 people travel from around the world to attend Brighton SEO, a 3-day event held at The Brighton Centre twice a year in April and September.
We definitely recommend attending and, although the full price tickets might be a bit pricey for some, there are some free tickets up for grabs on early release if you’re quick on the mark and on their mailing list (they often sell-out in 4-minutes).
If you do miss out though they are always in need of volunteers to help keep the event running smoothly, which could be a great foot in the door to an event that is awash with potential employers and digital professionals that hold the key to unlocking your digital career.
3. Sort your LinkedIn profile out and put it about
If you’re ambitious about a career in digital then you need to get your digital CV looking sleek, luckily there are plenty of guides and articles about how to do that, but we’ll get on it and share some tips soon too, because we’ve got you.
For now though, make sure you have applied as much care and thought to your LinkedIn profile as you would your CV.
The same applies to any other ‘findable’ public social profiles you have for that matter. Even if you send your CV via email for a job application they will be looking at your social profiles too, especially if you’re applying for a job in social media or digital marketing.
There was a time when LinkedIn connections were people you have met and we were all a little protective about who we connect with, now? Not so much.
LinkedIn has evolved into a publishing platform and a route to connection. Digital professionals in particular are a lot more casual about who they connect with, as long as they seem relevant or useful. Once you have your profile looking as fine as Channing Tatum, Selena Gomez – not working for you? [insert your guilty crush of choice here] – you can start strutting your new digital stuff and connecting with digital professionals in Brighton.
Pretty soon you will start becoming a familiar name and be bumping into your connections at those events you are keenly attending across the city – because you are right? Good.
4. Buzz with the best: get involved with Brighton Digital Festival
Brighton Digital Festival is an Autumn month-long exploration of digital culture, a time when businesses and freelancers alike come together to celebrate the richness of the creative and cultural industries in our city, exploring how digital technology continues to shape our lives and our thinking.
There are plenty of free events running through the month and most of them are inside the HQ of what could be your future employer. The perfect opportunity to get a sneak peek behind the scenes and get a feel for digital employers and learn something along the way.
Events range from exhibitions and talks to practical workshops. Whether you’ve set your sights on a job in gaming, coding, marketing, web development or still undecided on your specialism and looking for inspiration.
5. Pash ‘em with passion: build up your digital portfolio
Whatever discipline you’re interested in it makes sense to showcase your digital skills, well, digitally. No matter your qualification or experience an employer is going to lean towards a proactive candidate who has examples available online or the initiative to work on passion projects.
Easier said than done right? Not really. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended so far then you should now be building up your network and learning about opportunities along the way or buzzing with ideas.
There are several routes to building your digital portfolio, here’s a few to inspire:
- Create a ‘special interest’ blog or share your learnings from events you attend
- Help your friends out to build your portfolio (writing, websites, logo designs)
- Launch a passion project with a group of likeminded friends (magazine or collaborative blog for example)
- Offer to volunteer on local community projects (Brighton Girl, Brighton Digital Women, Codebar to name a few
Feeling ready to give your digital career a boost?
This really is the best city to be in if you want a career in digital, but only if you get yourself out there and grab the opportunities available to you.
If all of this seems a bit much or overwhelming just start small and start attending events. As you build your network you will also make friends who are either in the same boat or dominating the Brighton digital waves and able to support you in your journey.
Still undecided about your next career move? Browse our current list of roles today!