How To Upskill Without Spending Too Much Money

There is no doubt technology is expanding and evolving at a rapid rate, with the likes of Samsung releasing ‘Gear VR’ in 2015, Netflix becoming one of the most popular TV streaming platforms since their inception in 2007, mobile apps redefining service industries including the retail sector and taxi service industry (Uber anyone?) and newsprint being a thing of the past.

The evolution of technology and the creative industry will not slow down which means you have to be the one to keep up with each new program, social media platform and piece of technology. So, how can you upskill in an industry that is experiencing major shifts every year?

As a student who recently graduated from a Bachelor of Communications, I’ve recently had the opportunity of completing three internships which I am immensely grateful that I found. Prior to quarantine, I was finishing my third internship and looking for my next opportunity before the world changed forever.

I found myself sitting at my laptop wondering how I can keep my skills relevant during this time. The idea came to me while I was browsing YouTube since I remembered that I am subscribed to some talented content creators whom I’ve learned so much from.

So, I’ve decided to compile a students’ and graduates’ ways to be prepared for that entry level job:

1. YouTube Tutorials

In a world of modern technology why not log off Netflix and look up a few tutorials because the opportunities to upskill on YouTube endless. Here are a few of my favourite YouTubers that will make you feel like you are back in your Camera, Lighting and Cinematography class:

  • Curtis Judd uploads new videos every week teaching you how to elevate your production’s lighting, sound and camera quality. Curtis is like your personal mentor except you don’t have to pay him to teach you. I guarantee he is worth subscribing to and will save you a lot of money on a new course because he is the course himself!
  • Phlearn is a channel dedicated to all things photography and Photoshop to help you go from amateur to professional. They upload a variety of videos to help you understand the complex world of photography and editing without spending too much money on a short course. It’s like having your own personal teacher.

2. Face-to-Face

The best way to learn new skills is to look up a business or company you would like to work at or a person who inspires you. Send them a friendly email and tell them you are a recent graduate who would like to pick their brain about the industry and how you can grow. Offer to meet with them during their lunch break or when they are free at a local café (once social distancing restrictions are lifted of course!).

I know sending an email to a stranger is daunting (believe me the first time I did it I freaked out) but there are positives to doing this: you meet new people, you grow your networks in the creative industry and you learn something new from a person who has real experience in the industry.

LinkedIn is a great website to start – you will find many media and communication professionals signed up to LinkedIn. Believe me you will be surprised how welcoming people on the networking site can be to graduates and students. Don’t forget, they’ve all been in your shoes at some point.

3. Join an online network dedicated to helping students and graduates

There are many businesses that are dedicated to helping you navigate your way into the creative industry. Below are a few of my favourites that I can personally vouch for how amazing they are to newbies.

  • The Mentorship team is passionate about helping you build your experience and strengthening you resume and cover letter writing skills. They also offer a range of creative projects you can sign up if you become an active member.
  • Gusto Careers is dedicated to helping you navigate your way as a young communication professional. They advertise internships and jobs from a wide range of companies.
  • Australian Network on Disability If you have anxiety and depression like I do, then you’ve thought about what the workforce will be like for you. You might be wondering if employers are inclusive of people with visible and invisible disabilities. Wonder no more! Australian Network on Disability is a fantastic non-for-profit organisation who work to help students with disabilities get that competitive edge through their ‘Stepping into Program’. They also have an amazing mentorship program called ‘Pace Mentoring’ (I met my mentor through Pace whom I speak with every week). Once you complete your four-month commitment with your mentor, it doesn’t have to end there (who knows, they might just become a trusted contact who you can turn to for advice in the future!).

I have personally found all these resources valuable in helping me learn new things and connecting with new people. I have also had the pleasure of receiving and giving advice on my journey to find a full-time job in the communication and media industry.

From a fellow graduate, stay safe and enjoy the time you have upskilling!

Author Bio

Maria Romas is a Media graduate from RMIT University with experience working in television, radio and independent films. She is a passionate freelance production coordinator and video editor and is a volunteer photographer at the RSPCA Animal Welfare Shelter.

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