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Career Advice

Can’t Get Work Experience? Here’s a few ideas how…

Work Experience…The Vicious Circle. Can’t get a job because you do not have the experience, but can’t get the experience because you don’t have a job. This is a common problem that many new job-seekers face, if they are entering the world of work for the first time after University or College.

If you have read my previous posts, you may well have picked up that I feel that, degree or not, you
generally have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is generally near the bottom. But that is life, and recession or not, that is how most people have to start out. However, it is tough on recent Graduates or job seekers, because, even getting that job ‘at the bottom’ has become harder and harder and this is where companies have started to shortlist even more on the experience you already have…

But how do you get that work experience? I have tried to detail a few ‘top tips’ below, some more obvious than others, and please feel free to comment below so that we can keep adding to the list:

1. Work for your Family. If anyone in your family; Uncle, Aunt, Cousin…, has their own business, then see if you can work for them to gain experience. Beg and Borrow is how it should be, and if you have a reliable family and feel comfortable working for them, then happy days, see if they can help and you can help them….

2. Start your Work Experience journey as soon as you can. Ideally aged 16, try and get part time work.
 Apply for retail jobs, or apply for summer factory work; apply for anything, because if you go to University with a little work experience, you are more likely to get more work experience while you are there and subsequently you are better placed to have ‘practical work experience’ on your CV. Talking a good job, is different to actually doing a good job, and therefore this approach will help you at interview when you are looking for your first ‘real’ position.

3. Work for Free. If you drastically want to work in a specific industry, or do a certain job, and competition is fierce, then you have to go all out there to integrate yourself into the sector. When you leave University your mindset may be trained to think,“I need to earn money, I need to make money, I need to be rich”. Nothing wrong with this as an ideal; however, don’t give up on your creative dreams or ideals, just to live in a bigger flat and pay more rent! Think of the year after University or college as an extension of your education. One or two extra years living on value beans, will not really make much of a difference. The friends I had at Uni who went out of their way to work for free, or a little wage, to gain specific experience, are now doing well in the industries they really wanted to be in……might not work every time and it is not for everyone, but worth a thought perhaps…

4.Work for yourself…. WHY NOT!?? You leave University with fresh ideas, a creative mind and vision! Why
do young Graduates, have often the best, and innovative ideas? Because they have not been ‘institutionalized’ by the world of work, its’ routine and its’ tested systems. Why not use that entrepreneurial outlook to your advantage? Get thinking! Check out our own website Startacus, the platform for the self starter that is launching very soon.

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