Just like any other industry, when it comes to working in the digital sector, it's fair to say that there are more than a couple of misconceptions and myths circulating about the roles available and the work involved.
Whether you work in SEO, social media or web development, sure you’ll have come across a few of these myths when you tell people exactly what it is you do for a living… and to say it’s annoying is a bit of an understatement.
With that in mind; I thought it was about time I set the record straight. So for anyone who’s thinking about entering into the digital industry in 2014 or anyone who thinks they know exactly what’s involved in the digital sector, despite never having worked in it, here are the top 10 myths associated with working in the digital sector.
1. You Have To Be Able To Code: Granted, more and more roles outside of the core web development function are calling for coding skills – but that doesn’t mean every single person working in the digital industry knows – or needs to know – how to code. Seriously, if the fact that you don’t know how to build a website has been putting you off a career in digital, it’s time to reassess.
2. You’re Good With Every Piece Of Technology: If I had a pound for every time my Mum’s asked me to fix her printer, I’d be a very rich lady right about now! Yes, I work in SEO and online content – but that doesn’t mean I have the first clue about printers, modems or digital TV set top boxes. Sorry Mum!
3. It’s Not A “Real Job”: The fact that the digital industry is one of the fastest growing and most profitable industries in the UK at the moment seems to suggest it’s a very real industry. And guess what? The jobs are too!
4. You Can Work From Home: Whether it’s a social media role or a copywriter vacancy, if you’ve recruited for a digital candidate this year, chances are you’ll have received an application from someone asking if they could work from home. Now, there are employers who do let their digital employees work from home – but there are more that don’t. Why? Because just like any other role in any other industry, the majority are office-based and involve working as part of a tight-knit team where collaboration and creativity are key.
5. It’s Not Full-Time: Another common misconception associated with digital jobs is that they’re not full-time. Now, I’m not sure where this misconception has come from but I’m sorry to tell you that that’s just not true. In fact, I’d even go as far to say that employees in the digital sector actually end up working above and beyond “full-time” hours most weeks because, due to the nature of the job, they’re always “connected”, particularly if they’re working in something like social media, which is 24-7.
6. You’re A “Geek”: Yawwwwnnn!! Enough said!
7. If You Work In SEO, You’re Dodgy: Now, I understand why SEOs get a hard time. There are lots of dodgy SEO companies out there that just take the money and run… but that doesn’t mean everyone who works in SEO is like that. Seriously, I’ve been working in SEO for four years now and it’s fair to say I’ve met more “good” SEOs than dodgy ones – so take note!
8. If You Work In Social Media, You “Just Play Around On Facebook”: This one was submitted by our Social Media Manager Lauren but a quick discussion with my Twitter followers suggests this is a pretty common myth. Yes, social media does involve posting things on Twitter and Facebook – but guess what? It also involves a lot of strategy, analysis, reporting and analytics too!
9. You Need Lots Of Experience To Get A Digital Job: Now, thanks to the competitive nature of the industry, I can see why this misconception exists – but I’m sorry, it’s just not true. Yes, some employers will always favour candidates who have some digital experience and knowledge under their belt, but there are others, particularly those recruiting for SEOs, who specifically look for candidates with no existing knowledge who they can shape and educate.
10. The Digital Industry Doesn’t Have A Future: When you consider the fact that the Big Lottery Fund announced plans to invest up to £15 million to develop digital skills in the country earlier this year and the fact that the industry is growing at an incredible rate, I think it’s fair to say the digital industry definitely does have a future… and a very profitable one at that!