How to Land That Dream Job When You Lack Certain Skills
Finally got time to blog a bit...
Below is an article which I think will interest most of us who are working or going to start work soon :)
by Sarah E. Needleman
Jeremy Atkins doesn't have a shred of artistic talent, but he still enjoys many of the benefits he would get as a successful comic-book illustrator.
Mr. Atkins, 30 years old and a collector of comics since childhood, gets free passes to trade shows, discounts on his favorite toys and the chance to hobnob with such industry luminaries as Frank Miller, creator of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. The perks come with his job as director of publicity for Dark Horse Comics Inc.
If you are passionate about a certain industry but lack the skills commonly associated with its most visible leaders, you can try to pursue a career working on the sidelines. Being behind the scenes may offer more than just the opportunity to score freebies and gain exposure to your dream industry's superstars. The career choice also may help you enjoy what you do for a living as well as pay your bills.Doyne says he originally abandoned his goal of working in sports after his attempts to become a professional athlete failed. "I really gave the [bicycle] racing thing a go in college," he said. "I won some races, but I realized I wasn't a Lance Armstrong." Mr. Doyne studied journalism in school, and after graduating in 1999, he landed an entry-level public-relations job at a large agency. In his fourth year there, a colleague enlisted his help on an account for a bike company, and "a light bulb turned on," he said. "My job went from being just any job to one that I felt incredibly passionate about."
Now, as the owner of a small public-relations firm called Dispatch, 31-year-old Mr. Doyne handles publicity for companies that sell biking and other sports products. He said he takes client meetings on ski lifts, helps run pro sporting events and often receives free gear. "I always have the latest and greatest stuff," he said.
If you are trying to get a job in a highly coveted industry, think broadly about the types of employers to target. For example, if you want to work in high fashion, look beyond the runway or design studio to jobs at clothing warehouses, licensing agencies and consulting firms, said Dan Lagani, president of the Fairchild Fashion Group in.
Start by joining trade groups and attending the conferences, seminars and other events they host, said Alexandra Levit, author of "How to Score THAT Gig," to be published next year. By citing your membership in these organizations on your résumé, you also will boost your credibility, she said.
Networking is especially critical if you are pursuing a job at a high-profile company -- no matter what department it is in, Ms. Levit said. "Everybody wants to work for them, so they don't need to try as hard to get qualified applicants," she said.
Volunteer opportunities also are a way to make connections and learn the ropes, said Cynthia Shapiro, a career coach in. "You'll show that you are willing to give extra of yourself for the industry," she said.
Upon landing a job interview, be sure to express your knowledge of the industry, but don't go overboard. A candidate for a midlevel sales job at McFarlane Toys didn't get an offer after gushing about the manufacturer's founder, Todd McFarlane, creator of the comic book Spawn. "He knew everything about Todd -- every public appearance he's made, every comic he's had a hand in," said Melanie Simmons, executive director of human resources. "It was almost stalker-like."
If you do land a job in your dream industry, remember to keep your cool. On his first day of work at McFarlane, a retail sales associate showed up with a stack of comics for Mr. McFarlane to sign, said Ms. Simmons. "He didn't last very long," she said.
Also keep in mind that working in your favorite area may sour you on it outside the office. Stanley Tang said he couldn't stand watching baseball on TV after coming home from his former marketing-production job at MLB.com, the online home of. "I got totally burnt out," said the 34-year-old. "I was surrounded by television screens that were showing 10 to 15 games a day." A longtime Yankees fan, Mr. Tang said he is happier now working for as a technical producer because he is assigned projects related to a wide range of sports. "I deal with ones I've never even heard of, like competitive eating," he said.