How to get a job in F1
So, of course this is not a guaranteed guide to get a job in F1. Far from it really. This is a walkthrough of tips, that I have found useful on my own journey towards Formula 1. It is all my personal views!
You can use this as inspiration or pick out tips that you think might work out for you. Or…. Maybe your journey is completely different and you can’t use any of this! No matter why you pressed the link, I am so happy to welcome you to Dirtyfingernails.dk. I am a big fan of passion, goal oriented minds and curious friends who just find a sneak peak in the world of Formula 1 interesting. Please, no matter who you are or why you visit my page, if you feel like it, share your thoughts, goals or journey. I would love to hear from you.
Let’s get to business shall we?
First thing first. Have you done your research? A lot of people might just want to join Formula 1 because of it’s glamour appearance, but it is far from it. It is hard work, long hours and a lot of travelling! Of course it got it perks, hence why so many people want to work in this crazy circus! I just personally think it is important not to go into it, taken any job you can get, just to get to F1. For me, there gotta be a bit of passion. Maybe you are thinking is easiest to get in as a mechanic, but your heart is beating for engineering. Don’t compromise your passion for a job. Also, your passion is probably what is gonna help you land the job in the end anyway, so have your heart with you as well as your mind when choosing your profession.
For me, this was the number one priority! I am from Denmark. We have no motorsport college and I knew no one in English motorsport. Why would the choose me for a job and not the guy/girl that they knew from earlier, someone with a college degree and previous English motorsport experience. I decided to make friends with England, if that makes sense 🙂 So after 4 years training to become a road car mechanic, I started on a university studying Automotive Technology with focus on Motorsport. It was in English and the teachers had close relation to the English motorsport industry. Twice a year we had a chance to go to Motorsport Symposium and Autosport International. That was my only shots to meet the people who had a say! So I went, mini resume’s printed out, business cards (It might sound silly, especially because it said “Emilie Rath, Mechanic and Student” but it was a game changer) and a new suit! I was ready to say the least 🙂
Before going to Motorsport Symposium I did my research on the key speakers and other important guest that would be attending. I did not go full stalker but I believe in the power of knowledge and I did not want to put my self in a situation where my lack of knowledge would put me in a embarrassing situation of not knowing if I talked to someone I should know who was . That weekend I spend every minute networking, exchanging business cards and writing down names and professions of people I have met. First hand impression is important and the competition is hard. Even though networking is important it is even more important your interest is not forced of course. Let your passion and honest interest shine through. A tip from me, would be to send the people you meet an email the day after. It does not have to say much. Just thank you for the chat, that it was a pleasure meeting them and that you hope to stay in contact. Now, your name is out there.
This is especially a tip for people coming for a country where getting a career in motorsport is almost impossible. There is a lot of people in line for your dream job and you should assume everyone is willing to go far to get it. Of course, never compromise more than you are comfortable with and do not blindly accept unfair terms from a job because you are afraid it might be your only chance into the industry but I do think it is important that you decide with your self how flexible you are willing to be. If you can’t get a job in the country you are from or if the job is, lets say, 4 hours away from your house it might be worth considering moving in order to get you the best shot of the dream job.
The last 6 month of my education, we had to find a Internship. For me that was a chance to move to England and give everything I could. I got an internship at a known English motorsport team and took out a loan. All or nothing. Moved out of my apartment, packed 2 bags and said goodbye to family and friends. At most Internships you do not get paid and I took a personal decision that it was an investment and told my self that I just had to work hard enough so it would turn into a paid job. For me, it paid out, 4 weeks after, I was hired and established in English motorsport. Of course, if you are comfortable with it, asking if some sort of salary can be arrange, wont hurt. Knowing your worth and not settle for everything is also important. Just remember to be humble!
I know this an obvious one. But oh is it important. In the beginning it is easy. You are motivated, passionated and so locked on your goal that working hard seems like the only thing you are capable of. But what happens when it becomes normal and you don’t feel any progress. It happened to me. You land a job, it is not your goal but it is a stepping stone. You love the job and you are thankful for the opportunity… then, nothing really happens. Maybe you have been there for a few years and your goal seem further away that ever. You do not get the interviews you were hoping for and a day of work suddenly seem long and boring. Don’t loose hope! Don’t get poor in your attitude but stay thankful and humble. It might seem hard in the situation but caring around an energy of boredom, bitterness and feeling you are better than the situation you are in, is not gonna do you any favour! The moment you step in to an interview those energies are gonna follow you and trust me, you don’t want your possible future employers, picking up on them. Keep your head down, stay focused and see your goal! Trust it will happened, promise your self it will happen and continue working as hard as you can. Keep networking and stay positive. The motorsport industry is small and people talk.
All in all. If you have a dream or let’s call it a goal actually. If you have a goal… a passion for something. Something that makes you happy to think about, you should go after it. Don’t worry about what people are saying. The only people that tell you, you can’t do it, is the people who never did it them self. So no reason to listen to them 🙂 Go for it with every bone in your body and work as hard as you can. It will happen. Just one last tip! Remember, the people you meet on your way up the ladder is the same people you meet on your way down, so stay kind, respectful and humble!
Keep smiling x