• The Publishing Post

Making 2021 the Year of Opportunity by Annabella Costantino

2020 has been quite the year! For some, you might be bringing in the new year looking for a job, and you are most definitely not alone. Trying to stay positive in the last ten months has been a huge challenge for all of us, in more ways than one. But we should celebrate every victory, especially the small ones. Here are my top tips on how to go into 2021 with a positive mindset, and ready to seek out the right job for you – it is out there, trust me!


How do you stay motivated?


You may be asking yourself how to fill your time outside of writing cover letters, CVs and your to-do list, which is always growing. I would advise:


Breaking down your tasks into smaller, manageable chunks. No one is inspired by a huge spreadsheet of information staring back at them on a screen!


Using Trello, which is an amazing project management online tool that I’d highly recommend for goal setting and meeting your own deadlines.


Staying on top of your personal admin tasks, even though it is something that we don’t all enjoy. But when job searching, having organisational and time-management skills will put you in great stead for your first full-time role.


Finally, don’t be fooled by your social media feed. Everyone is working at their own pace and you should never compare your journey to someone else’s. We are all unique in our career goals and there is no reason why you can’t meet yours. Remember: the job search is a marathon, not a sprint!


How can I use my time most effectively?


Here are my top tips when job searching and upskilling. The last thing we want is burnout (we’ve all been there):


DO try and find your own work life balance. Looking for a full-time job can, in itself, feel like a full-time job, so make sure you are still dedicating some time for self-care and activities that you enjoy!


DO attend online events that are relevant to the job roles that you are interested in. The Society of Young Publishers (SYP), The Book Machine and Oxford Publishing Society (OPuS) are all amazing resources that offer specialist talks on a variety of topics.


DO be brave and reach out to people on Twitter/LinkedIn. You never know where your connections could lead you!


DON’T spend too much time on social media. For publishing in particular, the relationship/s that are forged throughout your career will play a fundamental role in your professional development but remember to still take time away from your phone.

DON’T overthink the application process when you are at the beginning stages. Do the very best you can when researching the company and the job role and leave the rest to the recruiter. There’s only so much you can do!

DON’T value quantity over quality. Take the time you need for each job application that you find and try not to stress about receiving feedback for every opportunity – every company works differently

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Trust the process


The industry has changed a lot since the beginning of the year, but there is still so much to look forward to. Audio and eBook developments have seen an increased popularity because we are spending more of our lives in the digital sphere, especially during lockdown. As much as technology is a force of good, we still have to be aware of our own boundaries and be wary of toxic positivity when we are spending more time online. You should focus on what can be controlled in the present moment and before you know it, you will have achieved your goals.


The power of upskilling


Never underestimate the power of learning new skills in the current climate. Why not dedicate some time to working out what your strengths and weaknesses are? Coding is a huge part of digital publishing strategy (DPS), as is being familiar with Adobe InDesign, XML and HTML formatting processes, so the possibilities are endless. Find the part of the industry that truly inspires you and seek out the ways you can learn more about your passions. Be sure to also follow industry experts online to always keep up to date!


At the end of the day, each and every one of us is a work in progress and as we grow, our career path evolves with us. Time is not our enemy; it is our friend. Use every opportunity you can get and take full advantage of the experiences you have already gained, big or small. Best of luck to all job seekers out there and to finish, I will leave you with this quote, going into the New Year:


“Magic lies in challenging what seems impossible” – Carol Moseley Braun


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