Social Media Career Planning During COVID-19

While thinking about the future of your career might be the last thing on your mind right now, Tamsin Russell, Workforce Development Officer at the Museums Association, tells us that it’s perfectly acceptable time to give it a check-up. And as individuals with social media experience, she noted that right now, we have the opportunity to shine.

Tamsin kindly spent the afternoon with us on the SHSMG’s first-ever Zoom meet-up in May 2020, focusing on developing careers in the Scottish heritage sector and we’ve gathered some of her top tips for you:

1. Steer Your Career

Before looking ahead, we were asked to think and reflect on our careers to date: what has influenced our working lives, how our careers have progressed and changed, and where these key points were for us in our personal timeline. Then write down your retirement age and notice how much room you still have to grow. It’s also a good moment to remind yourself that success for you looks like what you have achieved thus far, not what others are achieving.

2. Decide What You Want

Tamsin explained that your career is your career alone, and no one else’s. Comparing our achievements to other people’s successes, is inevitably a recipe for disappointment as we’re judging our own wins by someone else’s standards – avoid doing this at all cost. She also asked us to write a personal career statement with words that were important to us, for example: “I want a fulfilling and flexible job at an innovative and ethical organisation in a good location.” This statement should be used to evaluate your current situation and help guide your decisions in the future. It’s also important to review your statement approximately every six months.

3. Get Comfortable With Gap Analysis

Even if you’re not looking for a new job, it helps to get in the habit of looking through person specifications and competency frameworks in job ads to find gaps in your skillset. Dig into your knowledge, skills and experience and score yourself with “met”, “partially met” and “not met”. These can then be turned into actions. Use this as a cue to take on new projects at work, read more books/articles, volunteer, or sign up for training courses when you can.

4. Search Smarter

You should also be making your job search a bit easier. Jobs come up all the time so define your parameters before getting overwhelmed or stuck into an application for a job that isn’t right. Are you able to move across the country? Yes? Make that a parameter. Also be sure to look further than the job title. How many of us are ‘Officers’, but the job feels more like project management? Don’t forget to look into the organisation as well (their values, structure, etc.) and get an opinion from someone who’s worked there if you can.

5. Look Beyond the Job

You’ll never find the perfect job, so look at where you are now and where you want to go in the future. Tamsin also reminded us that our jobs won’t be able to fulfil every need in our lives. You may need to turn to volunteering, recreational activities or classes to tick the rest of those boxes and that’s okay.

6. Build Your Portfolio

Building a portfolio or master CV is also key. Many organisations will take down websites or blogs when they no longer have use for the information, so make sure to take screenshots of webpages you’ve helped populate, blogs you’ve written etc, and collate the work you have done. Look at campaigns and hashtags you’ve been involved in. How did they pan out? Managing a website? What were the figures like when you started and when finished? Who are your partners? Who have you worked with? Got moments of success? Great! Save all of this on your computer, website, etc. And if you’re ever having trouble thinking of achievements, ask people you’ve worked with who will likely remember ones that have slipped your mind.

7. Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth

Before sending off a job application, it’s a good idea to have another pair of eyes on your CV and cover letter. But curate your proof-readers so that they have the skills or experience needed to give you helpful and relevant advice (these might all be the same person or three different ones). Tamsin recommends asking someone with hiring experience, someone who has good grammar and literacy skills who is not working in your sector (to do the all-important jargon busting), and finally someone who has worked with you before and knows your experience who might be able to suggest a relevant project you’ve forgotten.

If you’d like more career tips from Tamsin, you can follow her on Twitter at @TamsinRussell.

The Museums Association (@MuseumsAssoc) runs Career Conversations, one to one appointments, to support your professional and career development. If you are interested in booking a career conversation, you can contact for more information.

Featured Image by William Iven from Pixabay 

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