Hey! It's your friendly neighborhood career advice giver. Take a moment to hear what Amy Dutton (Director of Design at Zeal) and I have to say. I promise it will only take a minute…or maybe like three.
What we’re talking about this week: getting into tech, the power of content and learning how to learn.
If you have more than a minute, here’s a link to the full podcast:
And for the rest of you, here’s a quick rundown on Amy:
She started this whole thing thinking she wanted to go into 3D animation, but as I’m sure lots of you know, what you dream of pursuing at 18 going into college isn’t always what you end up doing. That’s not to say Amy doesn’t have passion for what she does, it’s more of a reminder that your career path isn’t always clear from the start and you should allow yourself the space to make some unexpected turns. But more on that later.
If there’s a type of business to work for, Amy’s done it— freelance, agency work and working for a large corporation. Her journey into tech is further proof that there's no one way to have success in the industry. Not to sound like a broken record, but it’s all about finding the culture you want and what you feel is the right fit for your career.
Okay, on to the guidance and the counseling:
If you didn’t start in tech, don’t sweat it. Say you spent 4 years getting started on a veterinary degree before you realized there are only so many times you can hear, “Oh, I’ve been feeding Fluffy bologna sandwiches for a week… I don’t know why she’s so sick.” Don’t worry, it’s totally okay to take all that knowledge and hop into tech. There’s a huge space in the tech world for veterinary (or whatever your original career path was) expertise, and you can absolutely carry that original passion with you into a new career. People are always going to need a website, right?
Moving on to the content talk. Content is more than just some trendy word you hear influencers say on TikTok while dancing around in their sponsored sweatsuits. And I know you’re probably thinking that there’s nothing in the world that you would hate more than to stare blankly back at yourself while talking about something maybe no one will watch. But hear me out, keep it up. You’re creating this huge, accessible backlog of your presence and how you communicate. Amy was able to flip the script during an interview because they had already seen her content and knew she would be a good fit. The interview was more them convincing her to work there than the opposite. If interviews are about how well you communicate and how you think things through, having content the interviewer can access already solves that problem. Don’t forget— content is not for you. It is for other people to discover you.
Yeah, I still get nervous sometimes filming or recording my VOs, and Amy even scripts her content so she has something to read from. Does it get easier?… Kind of? Don’t forget that when you start out, no one is watching and no one cares what you’re doing. Sounds harsh, but it’s a time to find your style and what works for you. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You’ll make so many more that it’ll be lost in the black hole that is the internet. I promise no one’s going to care that the third sentence in your video from last October wasn’t grammatically correct.
Okay, almost there. Here’s the last point. Y’all have got to learn how you learn. And that’s not just some meta statement. This is one of the single best things you can do for yourself and to further your life and career. Adult learning is attempting to really understand something from all angles and apply that knowledge in new situations. Unfortunately, that means that you’re going to be bad at something new again and again and again. And to further yourself, you have to be okay with that. So hop online, take a learning style test, write some self-reflective notes— find what works for you and keep going. There’s no one learning style that’s best, there are only learning styles that are best for you.
If you want to check out more from Amy, you can find more of her resources here.