One of the biggest challenges college graduates face is their own perception that they don’t have “enough” employment experience. They’ve worked hard on their education and they’re networking with key players in their dream fields, but as they read job descriptions they frequently worry if they qualify for the opportunity. The thing is… it doesn’t matter if it’s a real lack of experience or a perceived lack of experience– if they go into their job search feeling inadequate, it will affect their outcomes.
So here are a few ways to overcome the experience barrier:
1. Do something. In other words, don’t wait to get hired. The experience takes many forms, whether or not it comes with a paycheck or benefits. Can you volunteer or create a project to build your experience and portfolio?
2 . Keep tabs on your mindset. Ask yourself: Do you think you deserve the position or are you stuck in a vicious cycle of self-defeat? By taking action and creating a strategic plan, it will help you feel confident when you are applying for jobs and the interviewing process.
3. Focus on business development. In today’s increasingly competitive economy, the fastest way to become invaluable to a company is by helping grow the business. Even if you’re not focused on sales for the long term, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door. From there you can prove yourself and look at other opportunities within the organization. Plus your newly developed sales skills will pay dividends throughout your career.
4. Find a mentor/advocate. You should lean on your family, friends, and alumni network to see if there is anyone at a particular organization or in your field who can help you with your question about how can I gain experience. Set up a time with a mentor to seek their advice on ways to build your skill set for your dream job. They will hopefully provide you with ideas on how to build up your experience quickly. They might even help you land a new job.
Need help with any of these? Send us an email at [email protected]. We’d be happy to assist!