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How to approach a company about work shadowing.
We live in uncertain times, and Covid has made job hunting more difficult. People are being laid off, more people working from home and employers can afford to be picky. How do people, like myself who have just graduated, leap into the world of employment, when I lack the experience in my field? I graduated with a first-class honours in English literature and creative writing, but it’s not enough to open the door into the writing world. Like a baby I need to learn to walk, learn how writing can fit into many fields. I’m interested in content writing within the digital marketing world. Prospects define work shadowing as, ‘observing a professional in their job.’ This way you learn about the role, what skills are involved and most importantly if you would enjoy the job as a career. Shadowing allows you to test drive a role before committing to that field. It also gives you the opportunity to see what skills you may need to learn, to improve your prospects. It can be daunting approaching companies, here’s my journey.
I first did a google search of digital marketing in my local area and picked six companies within North Devon. I looked at the companies core message, what roles they have in their team and if the company appeals to me:
Roots Creative: The website is full of energy and their use of roots as their branding works really well. It fits with their ethos of understanding the roots of a client’s company, it also reflects their concerns for the environment. A nice touch is the live chat box, which asks if you need help. They offer a range of services within the digital marketing field to get a client’s website to shine. They have a page where you can contact them if you are interested in working for them. I find this makes the company more approachable and welcoming. The main office is based in Bideford which is not too far away. From looking at the website they seem contemporary and different, which appeals to me.
bray leino: The website has a more formal feel and offers an insight into the staff. Their core values is known as their culture, they believe in six key values, open, ingenious, clear, caring, astute and brave. Their careers page is very detailed and says why you should join and what life will be like. Their local office is based outside Barnstaple in Filleigh, but they also have international offices. I could learn a lot from their company about the world of digital marketing.
Salt: An unusual name for a digital marketing company but it reminds me of the saying a pinch of salt, like their company will help give your business more flavour. The website is clearly formatted and easy to navigate. I like how the menu offers a breakdown of their services because it shows me all the roles within the company. Their team page helps me understand the staff roles in more detail. They have a page highlighting their values. I like the value, go above and beyond the call of duty because I am always challenging myself. They are in Barnstaple and have a basic contact page.
Ducard: I like how the title; digital marketing experts is on the front page. The unique video of the sea in the background makes the page stand out. There is a detailed page on their staff and their roles, which is a nice touch. This makes it more friendly and human. Unlike the other companies ethos, I found this company relies on highlighting the talent of their staff to potential clients. There is a blog page which makes the company stand out from the others. It’s nice they talk about current affairs which affect their clients business, like the lockdown. Again, a basic contact page.
Fresh Bread: Marketing and design company is a small business, but they can offer a personal touch and give the client their full attention. I like how the staff pictures are presented in a slide show format. The notebook section is a nice touch and includes articles on why you should hire a digital marketer. The contact page is basic.
Accord: I like how contact us is on the front page and stands out. The artistic imagery on their site really make them stand out. Their core values are passion, collaboration, trust and openness, they even give a timeline of their companies life. There is a careers page making them more approachable. It offers job roles and company benefits, including having your birthday off, which made me smile.
After researching various companies, I now need to draft emails to all of them. I could pick a select few but the world of writing is harsh and fickle, so I need to email them all. When emailing a company, I will use a similar formula.
I will briefly introduce myself and say why I’m looking to shadow someone. How I’m looking to be a freelance writer and feel digital marketing is a field I want to explore.
Express an interest in the company and complement their website style or values. This shows I took the time to look into their business.
Ask them why they set up the business and why they believe in their core values?
Be flexible, suggest other options to shadowing like a video call or work experience in the near future.
Tell them about my current projects and how I turned this email into a project and give them this link.
I’m nervous about submitting these emails and have been putting off doing it for weeks, but this blog has motivated me. I seem to put up a wall because I keep getting rejected or the silent treatment. I will keep pushing through and maybe one of those doors will open and I will be able to a have a career in something I feel passionate about.