If you’ve started the hunt for a job that’s in your preferred career path, you might have seen some listings that looks like this.
“Available: Entry-level, pay negotiable, benefits. Requirements: 2-3 years of experience, college degree.”
Sounds familiar right?
In some instances, companies will require years of experience for college graduates, even though it’s an entry level role. Because of this, it is very difficult to start your career.
After researching different analyses, one determined that 61% of entry level positions require 3 years or more of related experience. A survey by National Association of Colleges and Employers, shared that employer’s today are looking for not only hard skills but soft skills as well.
Obtaining a college degree can help you earn more throughout your career; however, this doesn’t always mean you will have the proper level of skills to take the first step on the professional path. A degree also doesn’t give you the right to wave years of experience in front of a hiring manager.
Now you’re left wondering, how do I start a career without enough experience?
Give Yourself the Credit You Deserve and Stop the Modesty
Robert Half did a survey on employees being hired despite being underqualified and the hire rate was about 62%. Women tend to feel they need to be 100% qualified before applying, while men believe they only need to meet 60% of qualifications. This study leads to women applying for less jobs than men.
These statistics on inexperience should never stop you from going after a job. According to the same research, about 84% of employers were open to training the right candidates even without the required skills. So, if this is what’s holding you back, it’s time to be brave. If you continue to underestimate your worth, you continue to lose opportunities.
Consider Transferable Skills
You could discover some transferable skills you didn’t even realized you had. When considering your work experience, think of it as the skills you have, not the titles you’ve had.
One example could be a cashier. As a cashier you learn patience, staying calm when under pressure, listening skills, how to change and balance a cash drawer, and much more. All of those skills will be useful to any job that deals with the public.
If you’re trapped at a job that’s not using the skills you have, or just doesn’t suit you, volunteering is a great option that will solve both of those problems. Find an organization that you genuinely care for, and you might be able to gain a sense of purpose in the meantime. Take this free time to start the hunt for opportunities that enhance job-related experience and skills. After that you can eventually move into a job that is a good fit for you personally.
If you’re trying to gain work experience or skills, freelancing is a great option.
Getting started is simpler than you think, especially if it’s part-time. FlexJobs is a specialty sight used to find listings for free-lance jobs or you can use sites like Indeed and just type keywords to find the right positions for you. Another option for finding free-lance positions is LinkedIn, where you can post the skills you have, along with when you are available and connect with people on there.
Starting an internship straight out of school is tough because the last thing you want is another training experience. But sometimes you don’t have a choice and your resume might just need one those programs on it. Also, an internship can help you make ends meet in the mean time before you find your first full time job.
Ask for Help
Networking is just a scarier word for making connections. Don’t let that stop you from reaching out to people because networking is the way 80-85% of jobs are filled. There’s also no better time to build a network, with social media, even the most introverted people can network without all the added stress.
Hopefully this article helped you and if you learned anything, don’t sell yourself short and tap into your network.