When it comes to job hunting, the answer is a bit of both
There's no simple equation for how much time job seekers should spend
getting skills and qualifications instead of cultivating contacts.
Ideally, they should be doing both because in the modern world both
are crucial to landing that elusive first job.
Once upon a time, people didn't need to worry too much about getting
a job. Whether they were the child of a king, blacksmith or farmer,
they would go into the family business.
But we've moved from a world where people inherited their careers
from their parents to one where it's impossible to get a job in many
fields without undertaking long periods of study beforehand. It now
doesn't matter if both your parents were doctors or all your friends
are electricians – they can't arrange a job for you unless you have
the required qualifications.
Until a generation ago, it was still common for people to leave
school in their mid-teens and go straight into the workforce.
Nowadays, to even be in the running for an entry-level job, you often
need to have made yourself job-ready by doing a course at TAFE or
elsewhere. So what you know is now more important than it has ever been.
If what you know is a highly specialised skill, such as brain
surgery, you probably won't be short of job offers. The catch is that
most of us possess a skill set that plenty of other people have as
well. If candidates X, Y and Z all have the same qualifications, but
the employer has previously got to know and like candidate X, or they
come highly recommended by a respected colleague, guess what? X gets
The advantage of doing a TAFE NSW
course is that there is a big emphasis on ensuring you know what
potential employers want you to know and also encouraging you to make
industry contacts through your work placement.