Please click all the links we offer and don't forget 'no link is an island'; each page you visit may have many more links to try, and always read the comments to see what other people think.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

50th post

A minor milestone.
The first few posts were built from sections of the old website that was lost when the providers changed everything.
Since then there has been a lot of research, reporting news stories and some searching questions about the nature of work.
We joined Twitter and have picked up some interesting tips as well as finding quite a few followers.
So what next? Well as the title of the blog suggests, as well as trying to provide ideas and inspiration for job hunters, we want to find out about how to get into work that is not based around the traditional 9 to 5, job for life, stuck in an office career plan. That works for some people - a lot of people - and the web is FULL of advice for them. But those of us seeking something different need slightly different advice. All the advice we've found and offered so far is pretty generic and will help anyone looking to get into work, we hope, but we need more specifically tailored help.
Some of our posts have been about finding a different path - Setting Up On Your Own, Starting Your Own Business and how to learn Traditional Skills - and some about how other people got into a Dream Job. We have also looked at making some extra income on the side or ways to make your income go a little further.
career, unusual job, funny job, strange job,
Now we want to focus on those jobs and how to find them and others that are more esoteric. 
We'll still post career and job hunting advice when we find something useful but general advice will be less of a focus for us.
So please tell us what sort of jobs you consider to be dream jobs, what unusual jobs you want to hear about and what kind of work you do.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Inspirational art

These enormous letter blocks are hung next to the Royal Festival Hall in London. As you walk around they just look like big block suspended in the air. Then you reach the top of the steps and suddenly, if you are in just the right spot, they resolve into words. SMILE and DREAM BIG.
dreams, career, ambitions, work, vocation, future,

So go ahead, be inspired, dream big and make all your career dreams happen. Take the first step today.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Very unusual jobs

There are a remarkable number of unusual jobs out there, from flying choppers to guiding rafters. Just try a web search for 'strange jobs' and see what bizarre things some people make their living at. Have a look at Dream Jobs in our tag cloud (on left of our blog).

The BBC got lots of comments from people with weird and wonderful jobs a few years ago, some of which would probably qualify for Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs.

What's the weirdest job you've ever heard of? What would you like to do that is out of the ordinary? Think outside the box, what unusual service could you offer to a paying customer?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The bottom line.

income, standard of living, salary, wages, work life balance, The BBC has just reported on a new study that has defined the minimum income that a family can live on.

They found that a couple with two children were said to need to earn a minimum of £18,400 a year each before tax; single people £16,400 a year, while the figure for lone parent with one child is £23,900 and a pensioner couple £12,000 each.

At the bottom of the article you can find links to average salaries around the world.

How does your income stack up? Are you struggling or would you sacrifice some of that money for greater happiness at work? What would you consider a suitable way to make the most of your income? Would you try self sufficiency or upcycling to save a bit of cash or make a little extra? Do you feel you have to sacrifice your dreams to fund your current existence?

The Money Saving Expert site recently published ways to make a little extra and, of course, have lots of saving tips to help stretch every pound to its fullest.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Work. What is it good for?

Well it pays the the bills right? But you are likely to spend about quarter of every week in the workplace. It is important therefore that at the very least you feel comfortable there.
One factor that will influence how you feel about your workplace is the culture.

Some companies deliberately create and promote a specific working culture amongst its staff, whether it be innovative, appreciative or formal. Often the culture is organic, having developed with the growth of the company.
There is advice for employers about picking staff who will fit into the existing company culture and advice for applicants eager to find the right job culture on what to ask at job interviews.
And if you find yourself in an uncomfortable workplace there are tips for surviving or even beginning a process of change.

Have a look at our other posts on what makes work valuable, or not.
work, company culture, job hunt, career
happy at work
Happy At Work
Mental Health in the Workplace
Work. Life.Balance.
What is a Good Job

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Too much information?

People all over the world have started to take leaps into the unknown and work differently, work for themselves, work for their own goals.

Here a few of the blogs we've seen about taking the plunge.
  • Sarah and Anna are embarking on what they term a series of 'work experiments'.
  • One woman had to leave work to have a child but found a way to make money
  • Laura believes there is work only you can do
  • Being a nonconformist
It's a lot to take in.
There are more blogs on the web than you could ever read. Some are beautifully designed and written with care and passion. Others are chucked up and thrown together, full of spelling and grammatical errors. (We hope we are in the first category, we try to be). Everyone has some advice to dispense. It's up to you to read it, assess it in context, synthesise the information and take what you need and can use from it.

It may help you to distill the essence that really engages you by recording or writing down the advice you like, maybe on record cards, perhaps in a mind map, or a spreadsheet.

How do you evaluate the information you find on the web? Is it easier than taking ideas from books and newspapers?

Monday, July 02, 2012

Networking for job hunt success

networking, professional network, social network, job hunt, career
Who do you know
Networking is often called the most successful technique used in job hunting, above the use of websites to find openings. Networking can mean many things though, from mentioning to a relative stranger that you are looking for a particular type of work through to becoming a well known expert in your field. If you've never use this skill in your job hunt now is the time to learn how, if you have tried it before you can brush up your knowledge a bit. If you are an excellent networker maybe you would like to leave some tips for us in the comments section below.

There is a lot of advice on the web about using social networking sites, and professional networks. If you are seeking work employers may well look for you on receipt of your application so it does well to be in control of what they will find.

One of the biggest and most popular professional networking sites is LinkedIn and, despite some recent bad press, a lot of advice sites still recommend using it to build your personal profile, assess your own expertise and to show off your knowledge and achievements. You might start your LinkedIn journey by uploading a CV. Then build your network by finding people you already know. Don't forget, other people are there to increase their networks too so don't be afraid to approach anyone. Don't discount anyone, for all you know they may have a brother in law looking for someone just like you! Here are more tips about using the site. 

links, networking, professional network, social network, job hunt, career
Link up
The biggest social network site is Facebook, it has over 500million users. It is however, most commonly use for social things, and therefore can include photos and information about nights out that might not tally with your professional image. When you start a job search it makes good sense to go over your Facebook profile and make sure there is nothing incriminating, embarrassing or negative about you, including tags on other people's pictures and comments. Log out and search for yourself to see what comes up. There have been some high profile cases of staff being caught out making inappropriate comments about work and losing their jobs over it. In the USA some companies have demanded access to employees' Facebook accounts in order to check for unsuitable posts. I would venture that if you are asked for this you really need to consider whether the company is a good fit to your aspirations, and whether you can work under such scrutiny. On the positive side though, you can use it to show your extracurricular activities such as volunteering, creative projects and enthusiasm for your field. You could even express your excitement and positive response to job interviews (just be discreet about it - e.g. don't mention the company name, you never know who might be after the same job).

Google+, a fairly recent addition to the social network sphere, is also becoming a useful site to use in your job search. With this you create circles of friends and acquaintances, so you can keep work more separated from friends.

Twitter is also a good place to network. It is used by a lot of specialist recruiters, employment agencies and career advisers (including us - @not9to5). Companies from all areas also have presences on there so you should be able to learn a bit about their culture and news, they may even advertise jobs. Again you can use Twitter to express your creativity, ask questions, demonstrate your knowledge and skills and reach out to people you might not otherwise be able to connect with. Just be sure to know the line between demonstration and flat out self promotion. Remember the need for discretion and to build  a positive personal identity. Use hashtags to find information and to make your news findable.

Employers might not directly advertise on a social network site, but you may find connections to people who can point you towards suitable openings.It is also worth doing some web searches to find out if your field has a dedicated networking site. Another good idea is to produce a business card with your email and your Twitter, LinkedIn or other profile information so you can network in the real world as well.

Here is a free ebook that includes advice for shy people as well as some interesting statistics - for example they claim that 80% of successful job hunts result from networking. It reframes the concept of networking in a way that will help introverts to get out there and find their own networks, as well as to understand what they can offer to an existing network.

But if you're not ready to take the plunge into organised networks online, try using your email instead.
networking, social network, professional network, job hunt, career, future
The Future

Technology moves on apace and the future could take any number of different shapes, make sure you keep your presence up to date, even if you are in full time work, it's worth it, you never know when you or your employer might decide it's time for a change.

As with so much on the web, the majority of advice is aimed at people looking for regular, commonplace jobs. For those looking for something out of the ordinary, you may have to be a bit more creative. A lot of it is also American so make sure you don't just blindly follow advice: consider its appropriateness to your own culture, whether that be the world of banking or a more bohemian, artistic realm.

N.B. As always, we offer this as advice and recommend you do your homework before you take any single piece of information as gospel and certainly before paying for any services. Don't forget, no link is an island, when you get to another site have a click about to see what else is there.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

How does society view your dream job?

There is a trailer currently doing the rounds for a new Sky One programme called 'Parents'. In it a woman has to move, with her kids, back to her parents and start over. She gets a job as a barista. Her daughter says 'that's the sort of job you get when you get out of jail.'

Being a barista may not be everyone's cup of tea (yup, pun intended) but for some people it is something they love to do, you get to meet people, watch people ( a useful occupation for wannabe writers), there are certain unique skills involved and for those with a passion they can go on to develop the tasting skills they get to become professional tasters. There are professional training schools, a trade magazine (in the USA) and an international competition.

Prepare for a flood of letters to the news papers about how offended baristas are that their chosen profession should be so denigrated in a TV soap.

So why are some professions and trades seen in such negative light? Possibly the sheer numbers of baristas you can find on any high street. People may think they are two a penny and therefore low skilled. The fact that it is seen as a temporary money making job for students and antipodeans travelling through Europe might give the impression it is a job anyone can do. The same is true of bartenders, are they seen in the same way? Why are the skills required not valued in the way a head for numbers or IT skills are?

Is your job, or your dream job, seen as below average? How does that make you feel? Does it affect your ambition? Let us know in the comments section below.

You may also be interested in our post What Is A Good Job?