Talent RISE is passionate about changing the lives of young people who have experienced barriers to employment. To do this, we provide education, training, life skills and employment opportunities, helping young people RISE UP to their full potential to gain independence and purpose. This is Dylan’s story.
Dylan is 23 and a Drama, Media and Journalism graduate. Before joining the Marketing team at Talent, he’d been searching for roles for just over a year. After applying for a range of jobs (almost to the extent of being a full-time role within itself!), Dylan wasn’t experiencing much success due to the market’s ever-competitive nature. We chatted to Dylan to discover how Talent RISE helped him secure his current role, and how it has impacted him in his first few weeks.
Q- So Dylan, tell us a little bit about your background
Dylan – I did Drama, Media and Journalism at University and realised I wasn’t a fan of it as an industry. I did some work experience for Talent 2-3 years ago, but was struggling to get a job because of Covid (I spent about a year unemployed, which was really fun…). I then heard about the Kickstart Scheme through the jobcentre and got the opportunity to join Talent.
Q- Growing up, what did you see yourself being?
D- I wanted to be an animator, then an actor, then an artist, then a journalist. So I didn’t really have a consistent vision at all.
Q- How long were you looking for work before joining Talent?
D- About a year, which felt like forever!
Q- How many jobs did you apply for?
D- Probably about 70 or 80, it was a LOT. It sort of felt like my full-time job for a bit – just going to a cafe and spending up to 8 hours a day working on my CV and looking at job boards. It felt like a crazy long drag to be honest.
Q- How was it going through Talent RISE?
D- Really great. Andy’s a great guy and we had a pretty decent chat – just slick and smooth in general. The RISE team was super accommodating and genuinely wanted to see what was going on with me, which was nice. Everyone was really nice across the board.
Q- How did you feel going into your interview?
D- Alright to be honest. I had already spoken to so many people so it wasn’t too much of a problem for me. I just wanted to make sure I came across as a good candidate, which I felt I was – and just being open, honest and relaxed without taking it too cynically or seriously. I made sure I was well researched and prepared, otherwise you run the risk of coming across a bit arrogant which obviously I didn’t want!
Q- How did you feel when you got the job?
D- I was genuinely really happy because it was the sort of role I wanted to get based on my work experience. Yet Covid prevented that even being an option at the time. After a year, it’s sort of funny going back to what I was thinking of doing anyway – quite literally a full circle moment. I had several drinks for a few days to celebrate (i.e. a lot of Jack Daniels).
Q- How have you found your first three weeks?
D- I’ve been really enjoying getting to know people within the teams I work with. I’ve liked the work I’ve been doing and being allowed to put my own stamp on a couple of things I’ve done. I’ve headed a few projects already so I’m really happy with everything so far.
Q- Where do you see your future at Talent?
D- I just want to get in with as many groups as possible, producing high-quality content and learning as I go. I’d also like to learn a bit of design, which I’ve been fortunate enough to dabble in already.
Q- What would you say to employers resistant to hiring younger people?
D- I experienced a lot of resistance when I was applying for jobs. It was really frustrating because people would always come back to me and say “you were a perfect candidate, but you don’t quite have the experience we want – so we can’t hire you”. If anything, THAT was more demotivating than just telling me I was bad, because how am I supposed to get experience if I’m not even given the opportunity to do so?
If people my age were given more chances, I feel like these companies would do much better. They’ll not only get the satisfaction of knowing they’re genuinely giving a life-changing chance to a young person, but will also experience the benefits of a younger person working harder and being more motivated to impress than someone with “experience”.
I think if you hire someone who’s already got a bunch of experience behind them, they’re likely to be quite stuck in their ways and may find change difficult. Whereas a younger person can be moulded to work in a way that’s best for the company/their team. I sort of think of it as if you bought stocks in Apple in the 80’s compared to now. Now, they are hugely successful and they’ve got a proven and pretty rigid set value. But, if you’d bought them in the 80s, they would have been worth a LOT more back then than they are now.
Q- What would you say to people currently looking for opportunities?
D- Treat it like a full-time job until you have one. Work hard and if you feel like you’re not getting anywhere, don’t be afraid to use old contacts and there are a lot of schemes through the government and universities that are worth checking out. But, you need to put yourself out there!
To find out more about Talent RISE and an employer’s perspective of taking on a new starter, click this link to go to Matt Harland’s interview. Matt is Talent’s Head of Marketing and is working closely with Dylan, guiding him through his first steps in his new role.
For more information on Talent RISE visit www.talentrise.org