Category: Careers New Zealand

Some television, some advice

a picture of an office with a camera filming a scene

The set in an empty office at TVNZ, featuring a camera dolly made with skateboard wheels

The other week I went up to Auckland to help out with filming on a new episode of Just the Job. It was an eye opener, both in terms of how much work goes into a few short minutes of footage, and also about all the roles that are involved in TV production. At the shoot, we had producer, a director, a camera operator, a production assistant and bunch of actors, as well as Sarah, one of our Kaik?kiri – Career Consultants, and a representative from Dress for Success, AND also me, a communications & marketing advisor, keeping an eye on things.

In the episode, job-seeker George, who we met last season, learnt about how to get ahead in the workplace with tips from Sarah. We covered things like timeliness, taking initiative and personal grooming. This meant we got to have a montage sequence, in which both Sarah and George were dressed in a variety of outfits by Dress for Success, so they could learn what would be appropriate job interview clothes for a range of professions. Everything is better with a montage!

If you’ve been watching Just the Job, you might remember waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in Season Two, we had an episode about a guy named Ben who was learning to be a production assistant. Super awesomely, it turns out that Ben was the production assistant on this shoot. Essentially this meant that Ben did pretty much everything. He fetched coffee, held the boom, arranged the talent, kept track of where we were at in the script, moved furniture around – you name it, he did it. The TV industry is one area where you have to be a keen hard worker to get ahead, and there’s not necessarily a prescribed path.

It was a couple of long days in Auckland, but it was really interesting to watch the show being made. Just the Job will be airing in the spring on TV2  so make sure you tune in. Oh, and one more piece of advice I learnt – the TVNZ cafeteria has really great food and it’s really cheap, so if you can get a job at TVNZ, I’d recommend it.

Filed under: Career options, personal stories Tagged: behind the scenes, just the job, television, tvnz

The lengths you’ll go to in order to land a job

Pintrest is the hot new thing in social media, but I have yet to see any really useful uses of it – besides home decor scrapbooking, that is. However, there are others who feel differently about Pintrest, like Jeanne. She really really wants to work there – so she put together a Pintrest page all about it. What a clever way to show that she knows her way around the product! So far she hasn’t had any success yet, but you can follow her results on Tumblr.

What’s the most creative thing you’ve ever done to get a job?

For myself, I was very keen to get a job in a web agency, so I established a tenpin bowling league, where a team from the blog I worked on for fun competed against teams put forward by a bunch of different web agencies from around Wellington. It was a lot of fun, and I met some great people. I didn’t get any immediate job offers, but I did make the connections that helped me a couple of years later when one of those agencies was hiring. Having socialised with many of the staff already, I was in a great position to understand the company mindset, and know it was a good place to work. When I got the job, I found out one of the things that had helped me was that I made myself stand out with my social skills.

Of course, not all job markets are as tightly knit as the web industry in Wellington, so we want to hear stories about the other ways you’ve helped yourself get ahead!

Filed under: job hunting, personal stories Tagged: social media, web industry

My friends’ careers: the jeweller

picture of kim

Sometimes I envy my friends’ careers, so I thought I’d talk to them about how they got to where they are now. Today I talk to Kim Laurenson, who sells jewellery online.

1. What do you do?
I run Cupcakes and Mace – a laser cut jewellery business , I blog, and I am a temporary administrator and customer service rep.

2. Is that what you thought you’d be doing, back when you were in high school?
In high school I thought I’d work with computers, maybe try to get a job as an IT helpdesker. I left school early and did a short course at the Waikato Polytech where I discovered formal study wasn’t for me.

Before high school I dreamed of owning a business that sold all the trinkets and beads I wanted to buy.

3. Was there one specific thing that made your career change direction? Or was it a gradual shift?
It was a gradual shift brought on by a desperate need for a change in situation. I needed to leave the performance appraisal filled, multi-tiered management fueled workforce behind and figure out what I really loved doing.

I started blogging and making laser cut jewellery while employed full time. I saved money and reduced my costs till I had a nest egg and was able to leave my job.

4. What are some of the highs and lows of your job?
Not having a permanent job or secure income has given me a lot of freedom. I know now that I don’t have to put up with bad work situations. There is no one way to earn a living or forge a career. Realising that the rules don’t really exist has been a definite high.

I love the customers that Cupcakes and Mace attracts, they tend to have similar values to me and appreciate receiving a personalised service.

I still worry that not picking a path and climbing the corporate ladder will backfire later in life.

5. What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? And/or what advice would you give to someone who wanted to run their own small business too.
Just do it! There’s rarely a perfect time to change directions and starting from the bottom can be hard when you’re already settled in a career.

If you have a back up plan you’ll be more confident.

Filed under: Career options, personal stories Tagged: Entrepreneur, my friends’ careers, online, small business, working for yourself