So, for the most part, everyone in a successful raiding guild had to work for that spot. There are some exceptions, like when you are close friends or family with someone in a good guild, but I'd assume that the majority of high-end raiders weren't just handed a spot in a hardcore progression guild.
But, where does a good player without the good credentials start when it comes to climbing to the server top raiding guilds? I find myself in a position where I had a solid spot in a good guild, and then some situations arose where I couldn't play WoW for several months, and came back to not having a raid spot. Understandable, I wouldn't want anyone to hold back progression to catch me up on 2 raids worth of gear. But now that I'm back in full swing, I'd like to get a full time raiding spot again. Problem is, my guild is now booked and I can only fill the role of filler currently.
My options on a low-pop server are limited, it's either join a high end guild that's half way through heroics, or join a going nowhere normal guild that raids 1-2 nights a week and is still progressing on normal HoF. Quite the annoying situation to be in. I don't have the boss kills to get into the high-end guilds, but I also crave the semi-hardcore enviroment, so I don't wanna just join a 'poke around at our own pace' guild.
What would be the best thing to do in this situation? I'd like to be in a decent semi-hardcore raiding enviroment by 5.2 if possible.