The entry point for any career seems designed for people who have already crossed the threshold. Hiring managers are constantly looking for people with experience, so how do those without it ever get it in the first place?
This can seem frustrating, but consider this one important fact: Every single person with a career had to start that career without experience. There was a point when the best guitarist in the world hadn’t yet picked up a guitar, and there was a point when the world’s best chef wasn’t able to make a meal without messing it up. Yes, some people manage to get work through familial connections with little effort, and we all envy those people. However, for the rest of us, we need a jumping in point.
Thankfully, we all have at least a little bit of power to become the architects of that jumping in point. It’s just a matter of separating the things you can’t control from the things you can, and then focusing on the latter without letting the former become a series of stumbling blocks.
Yes, we know that’s easier said than done. But we have some timeless advice that will help you sort through this process.
Here are seven things you can work on now that will prepare you for your career, even if you don’t have experience.
Start planning for the long haul.
While it’s always possible that you might end up landing an exciting new job tomorrow, you need to plan for the possibility that this probably will not happen unless you get really, really lucky. You’re going to want to start planning now for the things you want to manifest 6 to 12 months from now. Yes, it’s a long road, but we’re talking about a career you might have for 40+ years; this isn’t something that most people will just rush into.
We’re starting with this piece of advice, because so many of our tips are going to be about long-term planning. Breaking into your chosen field is a long haul, so you’ll want to start planning as soon as you possibly can.
Network network network.
You can’t ever do enough networking. Expand your social circle to include people who work in your field. Attend conventions that are related to your field and try to make connections with people who are passionate about that career field. Attend meetup groups that focus on things related to that field, even if only tangentially. Start following people online who do the sort of work you’re trying to get into, especially people who frequently give career advice.
Make your career your passion, and then surround yourself with people who feel similarly.
You never know when someone you’ve met at a convention calls you up to say, “You know what? We have this job opening that I think you’d be perfect for.” But in order for this to happen, you have to first know the people who are making those calls.
Consider volunteer work.
We’re always surprised that people don’t consider this more often. Think about it this way: If you’ve got no experience doing any kind of work, you can bulk up your resume with some volunteer work. In fact, you might even be able to do something that is at least tangentially related to your career field.
If you’re looking to get into project management, get involved in your community and start planning events. If you want to get into marketing, try volunteering in a call center. There are never enough people willing to help out, and most charitable and community organizations would love to have more volunteers.
The excuse we hear a lot is that people just don’t have the time for volunteer work when they’re working on their careers. While we can see how this might be true in some cases, most of the time this is just an excuse. Even if you’re working full-time and attending part-time classes, you can still squeeze in a few hours a week to help with a good cause.
Not only will you be acquiring skills and experience, but you’ll be making a difference in your community.
Align your hobbies with your career goals.
People think about their careers and hobbies as two separate things. However, you can often weave those together in unexpected ways.
We’ve talked through this example before, but if you’re looking to get into audiology, you could also be studying acoustics and thinking about music and sound in interesting ways. Studying the way sound moves in a space will make you better at setting up a recording studio, but it will also deepen your relationship with audio. In fact, having a deep understanding of the technical dynamics of music might be something that ends up making you stand out, possibly even considered over people who have more audiology experience than you do.
And along those same lines…
Become a more interesting candidate.
The last thing you want to be is boring. This is true in your personal life, but it’s also true in your professional life as well. If someone who interviews you is blown away by how interesting you are to talk to, they might be willing to hire you over someone who has more experience than you.
We’ve recently published an entire article on this topic, so we don’t want to dedicate too much time to it, but the bottom line is that becoming a more interesting person will improve your life in many ways. And one of those ways is that you’ll be more likely to stand out in a job interview.
And lastly, don’t lie about having experience when you don’t. This is always a fine line to walk, because it can feel like shooting yourself in the foot. You don’t have to broadcast your lack of experience, but don’t just make something up on the spot because you feel pressured to have experience. Doing so could have a serious impact on your future prospects.
Work with a staffing agency.
A staffing agency might be able to help you break the experience barrier. Don’t hesitate to contact a staffing agency, even if it’s just to talk through your career goals and see how those align with the current market. Who knows? The beginning of your new career could be just a phone call away.
Not convinced? Here’s a whole article explaining the benefits of finding work through a staffing agency.
Getting a job with no experience isn’t easy, but with the tips and tricks we’ve outlined above, you should increase your chances substantially. We wish you the best of luck in your job hunt.
And if you’re looking to get into hearing healthcare and you’re not sure where to start, get in contact with Staffing Proxy today. We might be able to match you with your dream job.