After graduating, I was contacted by a recruiter looking for someone with a masters of urban and regional planning degree. The company was looking for someone with land development and zoning code knowledge. I was told I’d be trained on everything related to the telecommunications field until I was prepared to work on my own. From there, I began with several weeks of research, training videos, shadowing colleagues, homework based projects, and finally given small task until I was able to work independently. I wasn’t necessarily looking to go into the telecommunications industry, but the field has allowed me to adapt a rare set of skills focused in acquisition, real estate, negotiations, and permitting.
As a young team member of my first two telecommunication jobs, I was often underestimated. I continually broke goals to exceed past other colleagues and the result was new responsibilities. However, I quickly realized that new responsibilities did not always translate directly into increased compensation. I think most companies look at young hires as cheap labor so you have to work past that mentality. Of course, you have to make sacrifices, do some work that you’re not excited about, and be patient. However, it’s extremely important to try and quantify your value to the company. If you’re doing better than you were expected to do, than you should be rewarded. Keeping this in mind while being patient is frustrating, but you’ll know when the time is right to move on.
As an independent contractor, I work from home, set my own hours, and can take on a variety of different clients or work. To that extent, your income is limited to how much you can put into it. If you’re motivated and you have enough clients/work, than you can be successful. If you procrastinate, need others to motivate you, or the fear of low income months scare you, than this is not a career for you. I should be fair and note that I originally worked salary for a few telecommunication firms before going independent so you can still get into the industry without the risk and reward of being on your own.