Otegha Uwagba’s Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women, is a short and snappy career guide for those working in the creative industries. With tips on everything from overcoming creative blocks to effective money management, rounded off with a Q&A featuring other successful creatives, it’s a quick read that will inject some welcome inspo back into your life. Here are six standout snippets.
- Perfecting your presentations
“Introduction, argument, conclusion: treat giving a presentation like writing an essay, and keep all of the sections roughly the same length, with a quick recap at the end to remind your audience of the key points. If you’re presenting multiple options for consideration, go into a little more detail on your preferred option – it’s a simple but effective psychological trick that can help sway your audience towards your choice, without making them feel as though the decision is being made for them.”
2. Scoping out the best salary
“Finding out where you are on the pay scale can be tricky given the taboo surrounding discussing salaries with friends or co-workers. As a starting point, try tactfully asking around among industry friends, mentors and recruiters to make sure you understand what the going rate is for the given job, company, or freelance gig.”
3. Maximising a job offer
“Given how tedious and protracted the job-hunting process can be, your initial inclination when you finally land a new job might very well be to jump at the first offer your potential employer makes – especially if you’re currently stuck in a job you hate, or floating on a wave of bonhomie. Yet it’s absolutely vital you negotiate hard at this stage, not least because all of your future salaries and pay rises within that organisation will be pegged to your initial starting salary – so you want that figure to be as high as possible.”
4. Money management
“A simple rule for figuring out how much you should be spending, and on what, is the 50/30/20 rule. Essentially, no more than 50 per cent of your take-home income should go towards essentials such as rent, utilities, food and transportation. Aim to put at least 20 per cent of your income towards financial obligations such as pension contributions (yes, really) emergency savings, student loan repayments and general debt clearance. The final 30 per cent of your income is for the fun stuff: non-essentials such as new clothes, eating out and holidays.”
5. Opening up to new possibilities
“Learning a new skill can give you a clearer sense of professional purpose by exposing you to areas you hadn’t considered before – it’s not unusual for adult learning classes to prompt career changes. If you’re curious about an area, dipping your toe in the pool via a short course is a great way of giving it a test run. You never know when your newly acquired knowledge will open new doors.”
6. Smarter networking
“It’s all very well and good pitching the power players in your industry, but chances are they’re pretty busy, and you’ll also be competing with a lot of other people for their time. Peer-to-peer networking (i.e. meeting people who are at similar points in their careers to you) is equally as important – it can be just as helpful to bounce your ideas off your peers as someone more senior, so don’t neglect the networking opportunities more readily available to you.”
You can purchase Little Black Book here.