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Overcoming the job catch 22: getting a good job with no experience

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Last Updated on by Noni May

There’s an annoying catch 22 situation facing people fresh out of school. They want a good job, and they feel that they can do it. But all of the good jobs, it seems, requires previous experience. Prior experience though is pretty hard to come by if you can’t get a good job, to begin with. And round and round the argument goes.

Many of my friends faced this situation, but when I experienced this problem, I survived. Do you wanna know how? First, of course, I send out tons of applications. But I never heard back OR they told me I had no experience. Duh, I was 15 or so, so I was legally not allowed to work before. But I didn’t give up.

I decided to do it myself. I did a lot of volunteering, I started my own freelance business and a blog. And my blog was the best business card ever! This is way back, so I was actually one of the first bloggers on the web. It was a tight community, and a lot of businesses found their way to me. It was a great kick start to a (so far) lovely career! I always suggest you start a blog and use it as your portfolio, business card, and to keep you busy. Here’s my super easy 4-step system for starting a blog with zero technical knowledge

So, how can you bust out of this annoying spiral of doom?

Embrace The Reality

Job advertisers want to attract the best people to their advertised positions. And so it’s natural that they will ask for all the relevant qualifications and experience. But are the exact people they want the only people they will take? Think about this for a moment. Say you’re negotiating with somebody on a market stall.

The merchant will want you to pay the listed price to get the best deal possible. They fancy their chances and know that some people will buy without haggling. But when people start to negotiate, suddenly the asking price drops.

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Companies do this too when it comes to the job market. They’ll aim high and hope to get somebody great. But often they’ll settle for somebody who is middling.

The trick here is to accept the fact that you’re inexperienced. Make a point of it. But also make a point of the fact that you’re willing to learn. Emphasize that you’re committed, enthusiastic and keen to earn some money.

All of this might sound far-fetched. But remember, employers often want younger people to work for them. They’re keen to succeed and aren’t bogged down with family requirements.

Be Honest About Your Skills

Next time you use a job vacancies search engine, look for the type of work that fits in with your general skills. Are you good at independent research? Are you a skilled writer?  

Do you find communicating with people easy? Have you got any marketable technical skills, like designing websites? Are you a problem-solving whizz? Do your friends always come to you if they have a particular problem? If so, make a note and look for the relevant work.

Also, have a look at my Wanderlust and Company remote job board, I post remote jobs for travelers! If you sign up, we match you personally with the best jobs!

Lately, I’ve been busy matching our wanderlust explorers, so I definitely recommend you signup!

the-job-catch-22-getting-a-good-job-with-no-experience

Show Employers That You’ve Got People Skills

Work isn’t just about getting as much stuff done in as short an amount of time as possible. It’s about finding ways to productively work with others. People won’t want to work with you if you are rude or arrogant.

Research shows that employers prefer hiring socially capable people, even if they lack technical skills. According to the IAAP, 67 percent of hiring managers would hire somebody with excellent soft skills, even if they lack technical know-how. 87 percent of HR departments want people with organizational skills. 59 percent want people with tact and diplomacy. And 48 percent want people with business writing skills.

Commit To Lifelong Learning

Most people think that doing a degree in their chosen specialism is enough to land their dream job. But even if they find it, it might still not be enough to get you to where you want to go.

That’s a problem. People who want to get a great job always have some extra learning going on on the side. They enroll in professional development courses. And they look for training opportunities in areas besides those directly related to work.

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