Finding a job in Formula 1 is what jobinf1.com is all about but most of my posts so far have been about preparing for and building up the experience to be ready to work in F1. If you feel you are already ready though, where is it best to look in order to find that elusive first job?
This post is about where to look and how best to carry out job searching for a job in F1 or other motorsport. It’s not quite as obvious as it may seem and there are several ways that you vastly improve your chances over your competition.
If you want a job in F1, Look, look, then look again
In idle times I often find myself scanning jobs pages and flicking through websites to see what is going on in the motorsport job scene. I’m not seriously looking for a new job at the moment but it’s always good to see who is recruiting and in what area. On occasion I will see a job listing that I think might be suitable for followers of this blog or for specific individuals that I know and I might tweet it or email it on to them. It passes the time…
The motorsport industry is relatively small compared to many other sectors and it’s possible to get a reasonable overview of the jobs scene with relatively little time or effort. That is really good news. I’m amazed sometimes however that even those actively seeking work rarely check the jobs pages. The first rule of job searching is keep your eyes open and do your research! If a rare job opportunity does come up, the last thing you want to do is miss it and not even get the chance to apply. Let’s face it, F1 teams are not going to call you up and let you know about new vacancies, you need to be on the lookout. Constantly.
What does this mean however and where should you be looking ? Well the first port of call is always the team websites. You should have these on speed dial / favourites / home page whatever you need to make them easy to check and visible so that you don’t forget. Check them OFTEN ! You may not have finished school, college or university but check them anyway, build up the habit and familiarise yourself with the routine of looking and seeing what’s going on. Even if you are not in a position to apply just check them anyway. Habit is a brilliant thing and once it is in your sub-conscious it will take very little time to flick through and see what is happening.
You should all be familiar with the teams already but if you are not the links below will take you to the recruitment sections of the current F1 teams. Make a start right now and see what’s on offer.
Even if you are not in a position to apply or ready to start work then you should still be checking these jobs pages on a weekly basis. By reading these pages regularly you will learn not only what jobs are available at any one time but also begin to understand the language, criteria and requirements of each team, when they advertise, what areas come up most often and what time of year the greatest number of vacancies appear. Make a copy of the adverts, compare one team with another and absorb the language style and use that to draft your CV and covering letters. Even if you don’t apply for real it’s not a bad idea to practice writing your application and build up a template for the future. You spend years at school or college learning your trade but very few people put the required time and effort into learning HOW to apply for a job. If a vacancy has an immediate deadline you might not get that much time to draft your application so how useful would it be to have already written, honed and perfected your CV and covering letter ahead of time in response to a similar vacancy? Preparation is the key and with habit and familiarity the process will become a whole lot easier.
One stop shops
If you are a regular visitor to the F1 team recruitment sections you may notice that not all of the teams advertise in the same way. Ferarri for example very rarely advertise vacancies on their website but have a section where you can upload your CV and wait for the call… McLaren on the other hand have a comprehensive recruitment section with graduate and work placement programmes. It varies from team to team.
The team websites should be an essential part of your job searching habit but there are several other key places to be looking which bring together vacancies from various sources to a single place. Autosport.com and the associated magazine have long been a mainstay of F1 and motorsport recruitment and is the most commonly used jobs board of the Motorsport industry :
http://motorsport-jobs.autosport.com. (Twitter : @Motorsport_Jobs )
You’ll find that most F1 people are well aware that Thursday is the day that this jobs board gets updated and they will have a sneaky check of what’s going on at some point during the day. I checked today and there are currently 16 vacancies advertised, both F1 and none F1 so it’s well worth look.
Websites such as www.racestaff.com (@Race_Staff) advertise a great number of vacancies across all forms of motorsport, not just Formula 1 and often detail work placements and internships. These are far less well contested than F1 vacancies and again, even if you are not yet ready to work you should be looking, watching and learning as you will gain understanding and knowledge about the jobs market that can help enormously in the future. You may see vacancies at companies or teams you have not heard of before but it gives you the opportunity to research, take note and possibly refer back to at a later time. Knowledge is key when it comes to the industry.
Several accounts on Twitter are now tweeting motorsport vacancies for free and can get you valuable tip off and knowledge building ideas that will save you a great deal of time.
@RacingCareers is an invaluable resource hosted by a fellow motorsport job seeker and tweets daily with the latest vacancies across the industry.
@F1nomics is also very good at keeping you up to date with job related postings and @mywkendwarrior is also starting to post more and more job listings on their account and on their website. I would recommend you follow all 3 as a matter of course.
Team by team
As well as job sites themselves you should be building up a list of potentially suitable NON-F1 employers who can give you that critical leg up into the motorsport industry. As I have explained in previous posts on stepping stones the best way to get a job in F1 is often to get a job in a completely different category of motorsport. This might seem counter-intuitive but it is the most common, tried and tested route.
The motorsport industry is much larger and more complex than you might imagine and so building up a notebook of potential employers outside of F1 is critical to getting your foot in the door. Once again, waiting until you finish school or university will be far too late to start your search and you will almost certainly miss out on the best of the opportunities. Many of this will not be advertised widely and so you will need to be searching for them. A black book of motor sport companies and an idea of the types of vacancies they might have will be an invaluable tool and will get you far ahead of the competition.
You might find that a small F3 team advertise each winter for a trainee factory hand or that a hill climb chassis manufacturer have a work placement scheme. Maybe it’s not the right time but you’ll know go back there and look when the time is right and potentially get your break.
Looking where others do not bother to search or do not even know exist is how I got my own big break into motorsport and is a sure fire way to get ahead.
Good luck and remember, finding a job in F1 is a long and gradual process of learning not just a single advert or interview. Building your knowledge and experience over a long period will allow you to take control of your own career and most the most of the opportunity when it does finally arrive.