My Experience as an Apprentice

Now, I’m sure you all know that stage where you can’t find a job?

Or even the stage where you have had enough of your job and want a new one?

Yes?

Well that was the position I was in.

When I first worked in retail and yeah it’s okay and everything and a great way of earning some extra money whilst at college, but I was just so bored of leaving college at 3:30 on a weekday then having to be at work 5-9. I know it’s only 4 hours but it’s one of those where you just don’t want to go, the journey there is horrible and that feeling you get just before you walk in, I’m sure you have all experienced that.

Swiftly moving on, I remember coming home and my mom had mentioned starting an apprenticeship and I thought I’d do a little research, anyhow I went to the Sunemployment Roadshow in Edgbaston and the only thing I was interested in was the apprenticeship scheme, I loved the fact that you can get paid for learning. I’ve always stuck by the quote “Find a job you like and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” I have stuck by this quote ever since I came across it. I registered on the apprenticeship website and applied for multiple positions and I had an interview for a graphic design company, I was really happy that I got an interview but something just didn’t feel right at all. I went for the interview and I thought it went really well, but it didn’t as I didn’t get a second interview.

The other apprenticeships I applied for were other graphics design positions and also a social media apprentice. At the time I wasn’t’t really concerned which one I got as I just wanted a change and I wanted something to kick start my career of. I got a screening for the social media position and I was psyched that I got it. Anyway, I had the screening and it went really well, I was nervous but on the other hand I had a really good feeling. I got a call back and they asked me to come for a proper interview, I was over the moon. When the date arrived I went for the interview, turned up nearly half an hour early and you know that feeling where you’re waiting for your interview? Time goes by insanely slow. Moving on, I got a call on the 15th August 2013 and I got the job, the start date was the 19th and I was so happy.

When I started I literally had no idea what social media even meant, all I could think of was Twitter & Facebook… I was wrong… Very wrong. Social media isn’t just ticking boxes it’s a way of doing business.

And to this day I have learnt so much, I have built my LinkedIn profile, generated leads and I even have my own business cards. Now I never would have thought that I would have even had my own business cards let alone my own desk. An apprenticeship has made me understand and even realise the advantages of doing an apprenticeship scheme, referring back to my quote “Find a job you like and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” I don’t work a day in my life, this isn’t a 9-5 job, it’s a lifestyle and I love what I do. I chose this route over university and boy am I glad I did. The difference between university is, at university you pay to learn where as an apprenticeship scheme you get paid to learn…  in an apprentice you get a qualification and an 85% chance that you will stay in employment and also a 64% chance that you will stay with your current employer. Whereas at university you have a 50% chance of getting a job in something that you have a degree in… Now that’s silly… You pay to learn something for 2-4 years at university and you have a 50% chance of getting a job, or you can start an apprentice like I did and not know anything about it all, and you can get paid for it…

That’s why I chose an apprenticeship.

If you would like to follow the path I took, there are 10 social media apprenticeships available now in Birmingham. For more information please click here.

By Luke Priest

How To Build You Profile on LinkedIn [Infographic]

LinkedIn is the most popular social networking platform for business professionals. There are endless opportunities to help you succeed in the professional world, from motivational articles to new career opportunities, you can find it all on LinkedIn. Whether you are new member or a veteran you should always be updating your profile and if you haven’t touched it in months, now is the time to step up and give your profile a makeover! But what makes a perfect profile? I have put together a few tips for your to revamp your professional profiles and be the new, digital you!

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By Heather Wong

Top 10 Infographics That I Have Come Across

Over the weekend, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed on my phone and noticed quite a lot of Infographics that people were sharing,  when I arrived home I just had to get them up on the computer to get a better view and I was truly blown away. I’m a HUGE fan of Infographics and the more I see them, the more I fall in love with them. I collated a top 10 and here are the results.

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This has to be one of my favourite infographics I have ever come across, I think it has a very sleek professional look to it, including facts on why B2B companies invest into social media, which social media platforms these type of companies use, it also covers the top industries currently on LinkedIn and B2B content marketing realities.

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This is more focused on the statistics of all the social media platforms, it covers the amount of users, the gender percentages and many other facts, take a read.

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This one is more aimed at statistic (everybody loves statistics) running through what devices are striving forward with social media platforms and which countries have the most users.

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This infographic is from Huffington Post, going through which platforms marketers’ use and how many posts are posted each day on each of the platforms.

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This infographics main aim is on Twitter, going through all the numbers behind it. It shows us which user has the most followers and who is tweeting the most. The best #’s that get the most interactions. Even though some of the statistics are a little bit off as Katy Perry ‘roar’s’ past Justin Bieber gaining the No.1 spot for most followers, it is still an incredible infographic.

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This one goes through the state of social media. “These statistics will settle your superstitions about the effects social media marketing is having on its users” including marketing facts and how they use platforms.

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The infographic is from the social media week powered by Nokia during the week of February 18-22. Even though the facts are mainly aimed at what went on during that week but this infographic shows what can be achieved in one week.

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This one focuses on social media marketing, it has 14 facts on marketing, and I quite like this one as it focuses on the “flight” of marketing in 2013. Overall, I think that the design is beautiful and it really does catch your eye.

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This infographic is about the way that word of mouth influences marketers. Personally, I feel that word of mouth marketing is revolutionary, it is a way This one also focuses on small little statistics that’ll draw you in.

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Last but not least this infographic ask the question how social is B2B? and also including statistics that’ll help and potentially change the way that your business works.

By Luke Priest

When Twitter Goes Wrong

When Tweeter Gets WrongWith the news that Katy Perry has now taken the crown as the most followed person on Twitter, we ask the question ‘What are the pros and cons of such as huge following as a celebrity?’ In this blog entry we will be looking at how celebs have used the power of a strong following to the advantage of their career and also what happens when it all goes wrong.

People like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga are masters at using Twitter to the advantage of their career (whether they admitted or not). Creating names for their fans such as “Little Monster” and “ Katy Cats” allows their audience to feel included and empowered as they have means of communication with their idol and feel part of a community. Using their fan communities to promote their products and releases. Countdowns to new releases is a great example of how these stars use their following to create buzz.

But what happens when Twitter becomes your enemy? Twitter meltdowns are a rare thing but when their happen it can be truly detrimental to a celebs career. One example of this is the now notorious Amanda Bynes, she started as a child star starring on Nickelodeon show The Amanda Show.  Amanda’s career had been on downward spiral for a couple of years before here meltdown, her erratic behaviour was documented and watched by millions through her Twitter account.

twitterwrong2A day didn’t pass through mid-2013 without a news channel or gossip column talking about her tweets and worrying actions. Amanda also had confrontations with other stars through the platform such as Rihanna which gave entertainment for some and concern for many more. Amanda’s behavior came to end in late 2013 when she was sectioned. It is yet to be seen whether Amanda’s reputation is permanently damaged but it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t be. This brings a big issue to the forefront of celebs on twitter. Where is the line between what is kept personally and what is public for celebs on social media platforms?

twitterwrong3So, we’ve seen what happens when Twitter goes right and wrong, but what happens when a Twitter meltdown goes in a celebs favour? Charlie Sheen is a great example of this. Charlie’s famous meltdown #Winning! left him with mental health and substance issues and even lost his spot on American smash hit show Two and a Half Men. But unlike Amanda this meltdown didn’t seem to damage his career in the slightest, in fact it seemed to heighten his career even more. With a new hit show Anger Management along with many other projects in the pipeline Sheen’s #Winning streak doesn’t sees no sign of slowing down. The moral of Sheen’s story seems to be being a little crazy isn’t an issue as long as you embrace it strangely enough.

By Thomas Parker