A camera filming a scene with a blurred background

The importance of documenting the work you do

As I slowly gather together each piece of my showreel in the hopes of sending it off with my CV, I’m left incredibly grateful that over the past year, I actually committed myself to getting enough material to put a showreel together at all.

For the first year or two of my university experience, I never really focused enough on what the work I was doing meant in the outside world. I knew a degree alone wasn’t enough to land me a job but I basically just assumed that opportunities would come in time. Maybe I could cross that bridge in third year.

It wasn’t until I started looking at job requirements that it really hit me, these employers want a lot on top of your degree, not just a little bit.

This inspired me to start trying to do more and on top of that, documenting everything I did. And I truly believe we should all be doing the same. For those of us working in the media, my advice to you is, get out there and start projects, approach clients and document everything you do for everyone. Work for free while you don’t have to worry about income.

I know not all the industries students may go into will require things like showreels or portfolios, but there’s value in collecting and documenting your work nonetheless.

Picture the scene, there’s two people going for a job, they’ve both got the same amount of experience, they’re both lovely people who would be a pleasure to work with. But one of them can only speak vaguely about the experience they’ve got. Whilst the other candidate can scroll back through their LinkedIn page, or produce a portfolio of photos/documents or even videos which evidence the experience they’ve spent years gathering in preparation for this moment. It seems fairly obvious who’s going to get the job in that situation.

So from one stressed-out person to another, next time you’re working on something, try and remember to capture the moment. Below I’ve listed some ways in which are fairly obvious and easy to do.

  1. Get someone to take a picture/video of you in action
  2. Film yourself on your phone
  3. Write a note (physical or in your phone) describing details of what you’re doing which you may forget in the future.
  4. Get testimonials from those you work with.

I hope this post somewhat inspired you, tutors talk a lot about making the most of your time here in Lincoln and I can’t help but feel they know what they’re talking about now that I’m in the position of being about to leave.