Steve (Austria)
Job contacts & connections network
Don't know about other people, but I find it particulary rewarding to try out new jobs now and then. I'm not talking about switching companies, but testing my abilities in an entirely DIFFERENT field. After all, everyone has different talents, and no single job or profession satisfies all of them.

One thing I find disturbing is that conservatively thinking employers (the vast majority) make this task unnecessarily difficult. Even if they have a position available, most of them refuse to give a newcomer the chance to prove his skills. They require you to present a list of almost identical positions you have already worked in (although you might have gathered huge experience in other fields which may be of even greater value). Or they want you to spend years working yourself up the employment ladder in their company, for no other reason than that it's always been that way and they can't imagine anything else.

There's only one way to avoid all this: business contacts. Knowing people in the field, or having someone recommend you opens all these doors and makes it much easier to get a chance.

Unfortunately, as a newcomer, you usually don't have those contacts. Sure, you have contacts in the field you last worked in, but they don't help you much here. So my idea is to create a kind of buddy network where you can swap personal contacts with other people who need them.

Let's say I want to write a newspaper column but everyone would just laugh at me because I've never worked as a journalist before. So someone in the network who is a journalist recommends me to a newspaper and lets me use his contacts. In return, I help someone else in the database who is in need of my personal connections.

This idea would need some fine-tuning, of course, but I believe a lot of people would benefit from such a network.

Reward: Let me be the first to use the network!

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