DON'T GIVE YOUR IDEAS AWAY FOR FREE
It has become increasingly popular with employers within the creative industry in particularly, marketing, content creation or social media to ask for free marketing advice from you in the guise of a job opportunity with their company.
The scenario goes something like this. YOU have seen a great opportunity advertised and you apply for the position, you wait for a reply and then Bingo!! You have got yourself an interview......
However, sometimes, this is where the mystery really begins. The employer may either ask for your ideas straight off the bat, or, he or she may invite you to a 'first round' interview.
YOU are well within your rights to take charge from here on in. Remember, they NEED you just as much as you need this job.
My advice to you would be this....
1, Ask them as soon as possible , what will be the process of the interviews. This way, at least you will know the process and more importantly, know there agenda.
2, If I'm successful in the initial interview, will there be some kind if 'test' 'Marketing strategy' in the second interview. This way, your one step ahead of them and you know not to waste your time researching their 'marketing problems'
3, Tell them straight that you have examples of work, projects or campaignes on your website/Blog from other companies ( if you don't please get some as soon as possible) you can even 'mock' them as if they are real companies. This way, they will be able to see that your qualified to conceptualise the work there asking for.
DO NOT GIVE YOUR IDEAS AWAY at any stage in the interview process, however genuine or 'cool' they seem. HONESTLY , sometimes companies are just 'fishing' for ideas, and they do not value you or your time in the entire interview process. Play the game, just like they are with you and give them vague marketing concepts like develop your Youtube channel, or Instagram Stories are a great way to build engagement...
The 'Marketing Strategy' test or example they are asking for could be the exact same problem they are trying to solve..... yeah can you believe that? Well, its true..... I know, because its happened to me.. They will take your idea and forget you even existed.
DONT let companies waste your time solving their problems for free , only to receive a rejection letter saying either " unfortunately we cannot supply feedback on your application at this stage" OR "Thank-you for your application, unfortunately, you have been unsuccessful and we wish you all the very best in the future"
Its unfortunate that many companies are taking this route and praying on the vulnerabilities of young creatives, but if we all make a stand with this process , companies may have to resort back to old tried and tested ways of actually looking at your current work and seeing if you would fit into their company.
If the companies are genuine, they will reply to you and explain exactly what they are looking for, and if they don't reply , well you knew it anyway.
The creative industry can be a ruthless place and companies will have no hesitation in stealing your work, ideas or concepts in the hope of them getting one step ahead of their competition.
Be honest with yourself, value your time, trust your gut and call them out.
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