Location can have such a powerful impact on careers. If the job requires you to be in a certain place, at a certain time, to do certain tasks, then the fact that you live 70 miles away, and need to drop off the children at school each morning, can so easily rule you out.
But technology holds the potential to diminish the negative aspects of a remote location.
Here are three things to check out if you find yourself located away from the main centres of population, or if your schedule of child-minding, farming, or caring for an elderly relation, means you have to be near home base most of the time.
• Elance.com This is one of the world’s leading online market places for once-off contracts. A company in Huddersfield wants a database cleaned. In Thibodaux, Louisana, a woman badly needs a poster designed. While out on Clare Island, one man thinks of little else but where he could get someone to write the content for his new website.
They put their job up on elance.com Service providers from all over the world bid to do the work. Price is not the only determinant: your previous record, as reviewed by those who have used you before, has a huge impact on the decision, as does your published portfolio.
The buyer selects their chosen provider, the job gets done, and payment gets made through the system. Frequently, deeper relationships develop and – forgive us if this feels like an online dating mechanism – those relationships get taken off-line. Thus graphic designers in Zagreb work for small companies in the west of Ireland, and vice versa.
You can get a slice of this action. It costs nothing to join and elance.com makes its few quid by taking a slice of the commission each time a job is booked.
• Fiverr.com (yes, with two r’s )
Much the same as elance.com, but a lot quirkier. Here people offer all manner of specific items: someone to sing a jingle about your business, on video, for $5. Or two puppets giving a testimonial. If it sounds bizarre, that’s only because it is: check it out, you will be amazed.
I know a man who built an impressive video about his business, replete with four different faces and voices, for $75. People buy here. You can sell here.
I just saw a man there saying “I will write your name with tennis balls in a tennis court.” How could I refuse? Another is adamant he will present your company news as ‘the news’. Ah here, I’ve gotta go.
• Dropbox.com Bono made a mint out of this. It has grown enormously in recent years. Many of you are already using it, I’m sure – but, if you’re not, you will be amazed by the potential it offers for remote working, collaboration and sharing.
Somebody sitting at the next desk to you, somebody sitting in a different time zone – it makes no difference. Gone are the days of the dreaded multiple copy, this cloud solution means there’s just one version, and all of you feed into it (as long as you don’t feed it at the exact same time, which causes the even more dreaded ‘conflicted copy’ ).
Dropbox won’t get you work. But it will help you to better execute the work you get.
Sli Nua Careers (www.SliNuaCareers.com ) have offices in Galway, Dublin, Limerick, and Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. Their services include CV preparation, interview training and career direction. For more details, visit www.slinuacareers.com/cv If you would like their Job-searching Checklist, email [email protected] with ‘Job-searching Checklist’ in the subject line.