It’s a cold, sunny morning. You look over at your phone. It’s 8’clock. Your interview is at 9:30 and you have no time to waste. Today, you will get hired. Tripping over your favorite pair of pumps, you scurry to the bathroom to freshen up. You want the prospective employer to have a great first impression of you. Appearance is a large part of that.
You put on your nicest black blazer. The lines are crisp and perfect from the iron starch. Once you’re all done getting ready, you grab your resume. Don’t forget your references and cover letter! You put on your lucky headband and grab some orange juice.
You’re all set to head out the door!
You arrive 30 minutes early, understanding the importance of timeliness. Still nervous, you decided to sit in your car for 15 minutes to go over your resume and potential questions you may be asked. 15 minutes are up. They went by so quickly it doesn’t even feel like you’ve gained anything; nevertheless, you make your way to the door. The building is much bigger than it looks from afar.
Maybe you’re just nervous.
You walk in, greet the receptionist and tell her you have a meeting at 9:30. The receptionist is pleasantly surprised that you’re 15 minutes early! This makes you happy and calms your nerves a bit.
“Maybe she’ll put in a good word for me,” you think to yourself.
You don’t wait long until your interviewer arrives. She smiles at you and you smile back, giving her a firm handshake. You want her to know you mean business. The moment of truth is finally here.
The interviewer is asking you all the questions you were prepared for. You feel great about that! Once the interview is over, you’re confident you have the job.
A few days pass; a week. Those nerves are starting to conjure back up. You’re replaying the interview in your head:
“What did I do wrong?”… “Could I have smiled more?”…”Asked more questions?”…”Why am I not getting hired?”
Forget it! You muster up the courage to finally call.
“Hi, Mrs. Fortune, this is Carmen White. You interviewed me last week. I was just calling to get an update on the hiring process as I am still very interested in the position.”
“Yes, I remember you, Carmen. Unfortunately, we decided to go with a candidate who has more years of experience. Your resume was great, you just didn’t have the experience we were looking for. I wish you the best in your job search.”
How many of us can relate to this situation? If you can’t, great for you! Some of our lives are not paved in gold, though.
Do you get tired of employers passing you up simply because you don’t have enough years of experience?
You’re a recent college graduate, or maybe you’ve decided to change career paths, so how in the world can you gain the experience needed for the job if no one will hire you? How do they expect you to gain the experience if they won’t give you the opportunity? Are you not worthy enough to take a chance on?
I’ll answer that: you are!
Let’s be honest, most employers now are just lazy and quite frankly cheap so they simply don’t want to invest the money or time to train you. They want you to come already self-made; this the harsh reality of Corporate America.
I understand your position more than most people. I cannot tell you how many jobs I’ve applied for –thinking I’ll be hired — to have I don’t know how many doors got slammed on me! So how exactly do you gain the experience employers are looking for if they’re constantly telling you no?
Pull out your pen and pad! You’re about to get hired!
Here are a few tips for those who are currently in this position!
Know what job you want: In order to gain the skills you need, you first need to know what type of job you want. Some job skills are transferable but some are specific to that particular job. Transferable skills are basic in nature such as being an effective communicator or possessing excellent writing skills, while others require specific training. Search for jobs you’re interested in and write down the experience it requires to work that job. Knowing what you want will make it easier to start gaining the skills you need.
Do volunteer work and internships: I know, I know. You already have a college degree or you’ve already worked in a profession, so why work for free at this point? Aren’t you a little too old for that? Some people think free work is only for high school and college students but that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Even experienced lawyers work cases pro bono. With that being said, don’t feel bad if you have to pick up some free work to gain the experience you need. Volunteer work and internships are great options for those trying to spice up their skills and resume! There are several websites you can find these opportunities. Some I recommend are Internships.com, Linkedin.com, and Indeed.com, all of which I have personally used! Often times volunteer work and internships lead to jobs with that company so it’s great if you can find an internship with the company you’re interested in working for. Visit HERE for other great sites to help you find the opportunity you’re looking for!
Take a free course: Courses are expensive, but what if I said you don’t have to pay to take them all? I find free courses online every week! Search for a free course that will help you better understand your field of choice. Some courses may not have the exact name you expect them to have, that’s why it’s important to read the course description. If you do have a little extra money to spend, you can find courses that are a lot cheaper online versus taking them at a local college. Courses can help build your knowledge so you can perform your job at an optimal level.
Pick up a freelance job: If you already have a little experience but you would like more, it’s a good idea to do some freelance work for little or no pay. Freelancing gigs usually don’t pay much to begin with, but the more experience you gain, the more you can charge per gig!
These are just a few out of the many other things you can do to gain a little work experience for that prospective employer!