Switch to Digital Week - Andy's story
As part of our Digitober campaign month, we spoke to Andy Golpys, Co-Founder of MadeByShape, a Digital Agency in Manchester. Andy has worked in the digital sector for 15 years and says he still absolutely loves ‘going to work’ every day. Here’s what Andy had to say about digital careers.
Why would I recommend making the switch to digital?
In my opinion, this industry is all-inclusive now. It’s changed a lot from the time when I started at 18 years old. There’s a lot of cultural benefits to admire, even before COVID happened. I’m not talking about a free branded pen on your desk when you arrive to work. I think the creative industry (in general) understands that employees want real benefits that improve their living.
Students, graduates - individuals aren’t just looking for a wage in the modern day. They are looking to work for a company that cares about them, allows them to push boundaries in terms of their skillset and grow as a person. This is a given for any industry, but in terms of the creative industry - it’s very relaxed in it’s day to day life. If you like listening to music, eating whenever you want, wearing whatever you want - there’s not many office jobs that allow these 3 elements to work living.
I can’t speak for every agency but in terms of us at MadeByShape, we’ve put in place some lifestyle perks to demonstrate that, things like early Friday finishes, 2 weeks off at Christmas, Spotify subscription – you can even bring your pet to work as long as it’s not cray cray! This approach isn’t unusual and it’s just one of many unique characteristics of the digital sector.
I hear so many people say that they hate going to work, they have Monday morning blues. But I honestly have never had this, ever. And I genuinely feel like it’s the environment that we’ve created as an agency, but it’s also a progression the industry has made in understanding that employees need to feel comfortable, because at the end of the day - employees are our most valuable asset and that’s evident in other parts of the sector too
So, apart from the day to day relaxed nature of the studio environment, and the lifestyle benefits I’d say the other key aspect to working in the digital industry is the variety. The variety of working with different people, different clientele - regularly. It means you don’t get bored. And the variety of working on different projects. You don’t get bored. Even if you’re working on a long term contract for the same brand, it’s your job to keep it fresh and bring fresh ideas to a campaign. Being bored in what you do, will ultimately not end well. The variety of working with different age groups in teams is also common, so do not worry if you're a recent graduate or changing your career path later in life. Do what you love and what you enjoy. I work with some amazing talents that are fresh out of uni, but I also work with some insanely talented individuals that are older than me.
If you're considering making the switch to a digital career, make sure you do your research on where you want to work. Sending out your generic CV to 40+ agencies will be spotted a mile off. Make it personal, make it unique and only send those emails to places you really want to work for. Make sure they are the right fit for you. Getting a job is not just about getting wages and paying bills, it’s your life. You actually spend more time at work than you do with your family, so picking an organisation that has a portfolio or service that fits well with you, and a cultural/personality fit with you is also important.
Applying for jobs is half personality and half portfolio. Yes, make sure your portfolio is outstanding, but also present your personality because I know that is a big part of the hiring process.
Another reason to enter the digital world is the fact that COVID happened. It made brands realise just how important digital, such as websites and online strategy, really is. In my experience, companies that didn’t have their website as top priority before COVID, it certainly is now. So that means the industry is very strong and there are many jobs out there.
I understand some brands have found it difficult and some have gone under, and it won’t be a quick fix or easy turnaround. But that doesn’t mean there’s no work out there to be won. For example, we hired and grew the team during lockdown - and it was a competitive pitch to get her to join our team. Not the other way round, we actually pitched to her to join us - rather than her sending a CV in.
Whatever path you take, just understand that it’s your choice. The digital industry is buzzing right now and especially in Greater Manchester, there’s some amazing brands to work with. We've seen an increase in enquiries over the past 12 months from brands in London specifically wanting to work with a Greater Manchester based creative studio.
There’s a lot that you can benefit from, but don’t just take the wage as the ‘only’ factor in your decision to work for a company, consider their cultural, lifestyle benefits, and the personalities of the group. The location is also a factor, especially because COVID happened - many people are understanding that the travel journey to and from work is stressful and a waste of time.
If you’d like to read more on the hire Andy mentioned above, you can read Why Ella joined MadeByShape. You can also read an article Andy wrote back in 2018 about what we look for in individuals when recruiting.
If you are interested in changing careers you can find out more about Switch to Digital Week (5th - 9th October 2020), a week of events to help you find out more about what its like working in the industry and to get answers to any questions you may have to help you make the switch.
Find out more about Switch to Digital Week
Article Published: 05/10/2020 11:44 AM