Photo By: napalm nikki

By Jessica Watts

Around the holidays, especially Christmas, people always say, "Its not the gift, but the thought that counts." This is how it sometimes is with gifts, but this thinking process will get you nowhere in the racing industry! People don't care what your intentions are, but what you do with them. The above saying isn't always true either; if you say to someone, "I was going to get you a new car for your birthday, but couldn't" when all you bought them was a keychain, the person thinks 'Yea right!' They look at what you really DID, not what you were going to do.

When looking for a job in NASCAR or any other area of racing people are going to look at what you've done, what ACTION you've taken, not your ideas or intentions. Here are some tips on how to take initiative; how to take ACTION:

1. Resume - Write things you've accomplished that can be verified versus degrees, certifications, and classes taken. Such as how fast you've changed a tire, the biggest engine you've built, how many races your engine has won, etc. Things that are almost tangible and verifiable that the employer can use and be impressed with.

2. Education - You can have a Master's Degree in anything, but unless you've used your education to accomplish something it just looks like the intent to do, not that you've done anything with it. You should make sure you get adequate experience in your area so that you can show that you don't just know what you should do, but you actually know how to do it!

3. Job Hunting - Most people just look for job openings and then take in a resume and drop it off or mail it in. You should actually call and talk to the person in charge and talk to them about the job opening, introduce yourself, and then state that you would like to come drop off your resume and ask where their office is located. This will make you standout before your resume is before them. Once they see your resume they will instantly remember your name.

4. Experience - If you are getting a job in racing to help build bigger, better engines, then do it! You may have the certification, education, and tools, but unless you have that actual physical proof you can do it, you have nothing. Most companies in any industry don't want to spend a lot of time training anyone, general to specialist. By going ahead and taking the initiative to do your job before you have it shows alot about your skill and character. Never offer yourself for free, but look for a team that could use some of your skills and offer up your services to show the big dogs that you can fit right in!

5. Show - In a book called "The Go-Getter" by Peter B. Kyne there is a short story of a man who is in all senses a "Go-Getter". In this book there is the story of the Blue Vase, a task given to this man that is made to be nearly impossible that most would just give up on it. The fact that this man acquired this blue vase showed his character and was his trophy that earned him a top spot in his company. Just like the Go-Getter you need to take on difficult tasks from whoever you may encounter, even if you are only working at your local retail store and dream of being in NASCAR, you must always be open to take on these 'impossible' tasks and collect those trophys to show that you have initiative, take action, and are a GO-GETTER!

No boss or manager wants to feel like a babysitter to all their employees. When it comes down to the time when they must choose they do not want the person who asks a million questions to make sure they get it right the first time, but the person who is not afraid to make a mistake and takes ACTION to figure it out on their own. No one learns by being shown, but by doing. Taking ACTION is the key!


Handling Tough Questions

Photo by: tanjatiziana

Handling Tough Questions
by Jessica Watts(c) - www.racingjob.com

An interview is the doorway into the position you are hoping for, but they can be tricky. Interviews are filled with hard questions that can be broad to narrow, however both can stump you if you are not prepared. Broad questions make it difficult to find an answer because in the desire to impress you want to pick the right answer out of a multitude of answers. Narrow questions give you little to work with and its hard just to find an answer.

Some tips for handling tough questions:

1. Practice – This is probably the single best way to prepare for interviews in general. By looking up a list of frequently used questions you can practice them all with a friend, spouse or significant other and be very well prepared for your interview.

2. Stay Cool – It is easy to get nervous in an interview, but just keep your cool and stay calm. The calmer you are the better you will feel and the better you look to the interviewer.

3. Let ‘em Have It – For the broad questions you may be asked, it may be difficult to come up with just one answer. Do not bombard the interviewer with everything you think of, but if you have a good top two scenarios, then let them hear it, just remember to keep it brief. This could also show that you have the specific skill that they are looking for and know how to use it.

4. Be Honest – Just because you can’t think of what you would consider a good answer this is no reason to lie or falsify information. Be honest, because if you are talking about a previous job a call to your ex-boss can give up the fact that you weren’t truthful and you are instantly out!

5. Relate It – For some of the more narrow questions, you may be asked about what you did in a specific event, but you haven’t had that experience. As stated above, do not falsify or make up any kind of story. If you don’t have that specific experience relate the scenario to another event at home or in a local committee you participate in for a good answer. This shows you can be productive and knowledgeable outside of work and you know how to use your skills.

The questions will be tough and the interview will be stressful, but these tips should help to ease your tension. These five tips could help you have a wonderful interview experience.

Dealing With Nerves

Photo by: St Stev

Dealing with Nerves
by Jessica Watts (c) - www.racingjob.com

Stress is not pretty and an interview can be one of the most stressful and unnerving things. There are so many times where being nervous gets in the way of what you wanted to say or your visions of how things should have gone. Many people think, “Man I blew it! I wish I wouldn’t have been so nervous!” This happens so much throughout life that if you don’t learn some coping mechanisms it can really hinder your performance in an interview, on the job, or just in regular everyday life.

Some ways to deal with your nerves are:

1. Exercise – A jog or even speed walking before an interview will help make your body just tired enough to keep away those awful jitters.

2. Know your Tick – Everyone has a nervous tick of their own and once your identify it you must learn to control and/or eliminate it. Your future boss or team manager will notice these little things and it creates the image of insecurity. My tick was pulling on my sleeves, so I made sure not to wear long sleeves or if you are someone who twists their hands, then try to keep your hands flat on your legs at all times.

3. Control Your Breathing – Controlling your breathing during the interview will help keep your heart rate down and help to make you feel more relaxed. One tricky question can throw you off your groove and make you nervous, but if you focus on your breathing you can help to release this. Just make sure you are not starting to breath too fast, this increases your heart rate and that leads to sweating, which is a telltale sign of nervousness.

4. Take Time – Instead of just letting things come flying out of your mouth when asked a question, just take some time. Once you’ve thought about it and formulated how you want to answer then answer. This helps to calm you by letting you choose what you want to say and by feeling more prepared, which automatically makes you less nervous.

5. Practice – “Practice makes perfect” they all say and the same applies here to interviews. Find websites or Google search for the top interview questions, then take these questions and have someone you know sit down with you and randomly pick questions for you to answer.

By following these tips you will be better prepared for any interview and you will be more relaxed. When you’re relaxed the observer will also notice that you are good under such a high-pressure situation and it reflects well upon you in future recollection in their decision making process.

Contacts are Key

Photo by: Stoker Studios

Contacts are Key
By Jessica Watts (c) - www.racingjob.com

In an attempt to get a job most people send out hundreds of resumes, however, this strategy rarely works and no matter how good your resume is you are still only one sheet in a stack of papers. To guarantee you a position you must have contacts and know someone in that field, company, or on that team.

When I was looking for my first job I had only a few skills. I did a typical job search and sent my resumes out to a variety of people and businesses. I did that for a few weeks and waited, but no responses.

I had been getting things printed at the local copy center for years, but little did I know I was building a relationship with their employees. By expressing that I was looking for a job, they told me a position was opening there at the copy desk. By knowing them I had someone to vouch for my work ethic and character. Because of these contacts I got my first job.

After this experience I realized it is vital that wherever you go, you need build relationships and keep them - Ex-employers, old team members, managers, anyone that can help you get your foot in the door. Don’t be afraid to ask or express that you need help - most people are happy to help if they know your character and think you would be a good candidate for the job.

Employers are looking for hard workers, good teammates, and knowledgeable employees, but a resume is still just a piece of paper. With valuable contacts that can vouch for you and your skills, the employer can see the whole picture. Resumes and cover letters are a nice reference piece, but it all comes down to who you know and what they can do for you. Getting your foot in the door could be just a phone call away.

In racing today, here are some ways to build great contacts:

Keep in touch - With old coworkers or teammates. You never know where they might go and who they might meet next.

Take someone out to lunch - If there is a crew chief, team manager, or someone in a position you hope to achieve, then take them out for a meal and pick their brain for a while. People like to talk about themselves and will enjoy that you want to listen.

Make friends - If you work at a new shop or for a new team, try to make as many friends as possible - You never know when it will lead to that dream job.

Trade Shows – Go to different trade shows like PRI http://www.performanceracing.com/tradeshow/

Ask – Ask current contacts if they can help you meet others.

Sending out resumes can not hurt, but I would recommend you spend the majority of your time making contacts.


I Don't Need You - You Need Me

I Don't Need You - You Need Me

by Beverly Terrill (c)

We would never say this to a prospective employer, but it doesn’t hurt to have that attitude.

This shouldn’t be misconstrued as an excuse to be cocky and an a----hole. This is an approach that offers the employer YOU as an asset to the company.

To go to an employer and explain that your mortgage is due, the triplets are hungry and you lost your job 6 months ago, makes you sound desperate. This may in some instances work in your favor but rarely. An employer is not looking for another employee with his life in shambles. That doesn’t paint a picture of a high energy, productive employee.

Put yourself in the Employer’s shoes. If you have a race team that goes to the track every weekend, you must have a group of dedicated employees that know their jobs and do not need constant supervision.

I want you to work through this exercise;

Which job are you seeking?

What are the job qualities for this job?

What additional skills do you possess that would make you an even better candidate for this job?

Let’s say you want to be the truck driver for the team. This is your background and you have the licenses and certifications to prove it. But in addition, you were a short order cook or you hold the neighborhood barbecue at your house because of your excellent ribs! This would be a huge asset to a team. You are going to be there anyway and you can cook for the crew.

You should focus on being able to do 2 or more jobs. Most teams use the same guys who work in the shop as the pit crew on the weekend.

It is also very important that you get along with your teammates. If you want to find the biggest egos in the world, look at professional sports. The sport of racing is no different and may even be worse. You cannot have a bad attitude or chip on your shoulder, although I have heard that if you are in R&D it may be OK.....just kidding! You want to get this quality (if you possess it) across to your perspective employer.

Basically, you want to show the employer that he needs you. You don’t NEED this job although you certainly want it. And it is perfectly fine to have some enthusiasm for the job! Make yourself an attractive candidate for multiple positions and who is going to turn you down.

Regardless of the type of business, all employers are looking for some specific attributes:

Punctual - Always be on time or EARLY

Self Starter - Don’t stand and wait to be told what to do, find what needs to be done and do it.

Work Unattended - If someone has to stand over you or continually answer questions, it now takes 2 people to do this job.

Get along with people - I cannot stress enough how employers love this quality in an employee.

Able to work long hours - Every industry has a peak time. If you plan to be a long term employee, commit to the long hours. It won’t be every week and you just have to remind yourself (spouse, kids etc) that this doesn’t go on forever. There are however times when there is no getting around it.

So there you have it. You are a huge ASSET and you just need to work on getting that across to your employer-to-be. Otherwise, his loss will be the next company’s gain.

photo by shazbot

More Nascar Jobs

From Nascar.com:

Below you will find links to Web pages that will list openings within NASCAR, Inc. and select NASCAR sponsors, teams, tracks, licensees, and media partners.

Simply click on a link to see openings advertised by each individual organization, and if qualified, follow the resume submission directions given on each site. You will be contacted by the individual organization if there is interest in your candidacy, and any follow-up on your part should be made directly to the organization to which you applied.

Please note that some sites require that you type in a keyword to search job openings, such as "NASCAR" or "motorsports."

• Atlanta Motor Speedway: View jobs

• Drive for Diversity: View jobs

• Edelbrock: View jobs

• GMR Marketing: View jobs

• HDNet: View jobs

• Honeywell: View jobs

• Kellogg's

Get an insider's perspective of careers at Kellogg and ways your experience can be applied toward your personal goals. Learn more about our company including our departments, philosophies, opportunities, contact information, locations and more. There really is no other company like Kellogg. Come on in and see what we mean. View jobs

• Lincoln Electric: View jobs

• NASCAR, Inc.

We appreciate your interest in employment with NASCAR. View listings of current open positions within the organization, qualifications for filling those positions and information on how to apply. NASCAR is an Equal Opportunity Employer that provides competitive pay and excellent benefits. employment.nascar.com

The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program will provide meaningful opportunities for qualified candidates to work with NASCAR's sanctioning body, NASCAR sponsors and licensees, NASCAR teams and tracks, and other motorsports-related companies. The Program will employ college/university students in a ten-week summer program designed to introduce them to the world of NASCAR and the exciting career opportunities available throughout the motorsports industry. The Program is designed to support deserving students with an interest in the motorsports industry, who are of Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Island, African American, Hispanic, or of other racial minority descent. For more information about the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program please visit our website at www.diversityinternships.com

• Orleans Racing: View jobs

• Sirius Satellite Radio: View jobs

• Tissot Swiss Watches: View jobs

• Universal Technical Institute (UTI): View jobs


Camping Out - To get a job in racing

Camping Out
By Don Terrill (c)2006

I only use this tip to get someone to do what they're supposed to do, but there's no reason you can't use it to get people to do what you want them to.

Now, when I say camp out I don't usually mean literally, but sometimes I do. Sometimes it takes showing up and staying until you get what you want.

Examples of "Camping Out":
  • Show up at their home
  • Show up at their business
  • Email them
  • Call them
  • Send a letter
  • Doing SOMETHING every day
The Fine Line:
  • Push too far, piss them off.
  • Push too little, get nothing.
  • Push just right, get what you want.
Not everyone is going to have the stomach for this, but the fact is, it works. It's easy for someone to blow you off once or twice, but make them do it everyday and they will finally stop and listen.

And when they stop to listen, you'd better be ready to deliver - but that's for another article.