05 December 2008

The Four Os For Finding Work (as a CAD Designer)

Personally, I think that the four Os for finding work are really more or less an elaborate way of saying "gather more information", with four keyword points that just help us remember four useful aspects. This article focuses on applying them to find work in design careers, but they can be used in other fields too:

1. Offer: You need to know what the actual offer is, the real "give and take" of your current job market. Knowing (and accepting) the general offer climate is important when negotiating any specific opportunities discussed in point two. Have you discussed your search with those who already work in the field? What skills do you offer now? Should you offer more? What are employers really offering in return? Do they offer more elsewhere (or less)? Is money your only consideration? Will you get a better offer in another line of work? Do not assume that a more affluent country automatically offers higher wages in all fields. Finding an appropriate salary survey sometimes helps, like this one from AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) for 2008.

2. Opportunities: Establish all potential employment you are willing to accept. Do you know all of the specific design opportunities in your region? Are you willing to work part-time? Full-time? There are a number of online contract work portals available:
As a tip, I find the most successful job hunter is never unemployed, because to him/her finding a job is already viewed seriously as opportunity. One could ask oneself, "What opportunities am I NOT yet using to find work? For example, do my friends and/or family know I am looking for this kind of job? Have I checked with all local employment offices & employment websites? Am I willing to try contract work agencies and temp services?"

3) Obstacles: Know why you are unemployed now. Is it the area you live in? Is it your level of experience? Is it new technology? What is it? Be honest, at least with yourself. Know the answer and fix it if you can.

4) Operation: Once you gather information, use it to your advantage - even when you don't have a job yet. Understand intimately the needs of each potential employer before the job interview, not after. Know your market and find your niche in it. Learn new skills that are marketable. Find ways to meet others already successfully working in the field you want and listen to them. Sometimes CAD Internet forums can be useful for finding the right community of people to talk to. Finally, share your research with other people who are, in turn, willing to share with you. If you aren't sharing then don't have friends. But if you share too much, other people might just start to use you. Try to find that balance.

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