Is it really about who you know?

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many skills or qualifications you have, if you know someone who’s high up in a business, there’s a chance you can get a good job with them. Contacts are obviously crucial when you’re developing your career, and you never know when or if you’re going to need them, but there are many businesses out there that have employed people they know on merit.

It’s upsetting for some, as they may see another individual (without the qualifications or skills they have) exceeding them in a career, and you can feel like you’re hard done by. That said, it’s even more of a reason why you should aim to develop as many contacts in your industry as possible, because you may one day be the one who’s taking huge strides forwards thanks to knowing a certain someone.

In most jobs, it’s not ‘who you know’, and there’s almost always going to be certain skills required, but you can be favoured for knowing somebody in a business, so keep developing those contacts.

Developing your own Portfolio

While not the the case for every profession, in certain professions, such as those centred in design, having your own portfolio of work is absolutely necessary for an interview. While others may only need to have a full history of employment, for practical jobs such as with product or web design, being able to show off besides simply saying “this place was very happy with the work I did for them over the two years I was employed there” will demonstrate your abilities far more readily to any potential employer.

Building your portfolio up isn’t such as simple task either. You want to be presenting a series of projects that you’ve been involved with as well as ones which you’ve done on your own; sometimes this will mean doing work in your own time so that it can become a part of your portfolio. You also want to make it really diverse as well, so that any employer will see you as adaptable and having a diverse set of skills; and therefore more valuable as an employee.

Becoming Self Employed

Becoming self employed offers a number of advantages to people who have become tired of the life of an employee, and as many people think that it is really difficult to make the change to being self-employed, they may be surprised to hear that it can actually be quite easy to do.

Depending upon the type of profession you do, it can be relatively easy to set out on your own. With various professions there is a big trend towards consulting, which is a type of employment which allows you to agree to do job when it is convenient to you; while managing your workload, who you work with, what work you do and when you schedule.

There are a number of websites which provide a marketplace for small scale businesses and consultants to flog their services. Often times they will take only a small amount of what you charge the leads you get through them, so it can be a highly advantageous situation for those who are just starting out with their business.

Finding a Pathway to your Dream Career

A lot of people grow up with dreams about what they want to do when they grow up; like a doctor, fireman, or police officer. It can be difficult to work towards a goal for so long, and if you don’t dedicate yourself to achieve your goal it can be difficult to achieve.

For the first step you need to make sure you meet the qualification requirements for your profession. If the competition is high, then just meeting the basic qualifications may not be enough. An example of this is the large percentage of people who apply to medical school will never get the position, and not necessarily because their academic record isn’t very good. in situations similar to this you can still find a pathway to your desired career by looking for supplementary qualifications which may be seen as a bonus (such as a degree in biochemistry for instance), or also by doing volunteer work in the environment you want to work in.

Becoming a Contractor

Becoming a contractor has both positives and negatives which those who make the career change to working as a contractor may not expect. Yes, you do have the potential to potential to earn more money, and yes, you do have the ability to choose your own work hours and often the chance to choose your own work hours, but the opposite for all of this can also be true.

Often times, because a contractor will be taking work with numerous different companies, they will have to travel a lot for new work, and occasionally a requirement of the job is to work on site. If you’ve become a contractor so that you have more freedom, then this could quickly disenfranchise you.

You may say at this point that you have the freedom to take and refuse whatever work comes your way and you’d be right, mostly, but when work is few and far between and you have zero job security, you’ll often find yourself having no option but to take every job you can which comes your way.

The last drawback to working as a contractor to go into, is that you only get work and only of a certain quality as to fit your reputation. Now this doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but if you make a mistake, or take a lot longer to do something than you quoted, this could damage your reputation and damage your ability to continue to find work.