I can't get a job because I don't have experience. What can I do?
I see many job postings out there that say "entry-level" but require 4 years of experience. This is the kind of wonky HR moves that I see all too often.
How exactly is an "entry-level" candidate supposed to get a job that requires 4 years of experience? At that point, 4 years of experience is not entry level.
Don't be discouraged, job recruiters always post the Ideal candidate and sometimes this can be a little too unrealistic.
So what can you do to gain experience if you cannot get a job? Well, you can literally start a freelancing business right now. In the article here I post some ideas/strategies on ways you can start a business that don't cost you anything.
Moreover, you can easily become a professional in most trades with 90 days of intense practice simply by volunteering or blogging about your gig. For example, when I was a young software developer, I volunteered to create my first website for free to a local small business. It was a huge job and I made lots of mistakes. But I was honest with my mistakes to my client and ensured that him that I was committed to delivering a quality product regardless of the effort. Unfortunately, I signed up for more than I could handle and I had to bring on a specialist for a small portion of the development. Even though I was not talented enough to complete the job to it's entirety, I took ownership of the task as a whole and made sure that the job I wasn't able to do still got completed and was of good quality.
At the end of this project, I knew more about the complexities of building a website and was able to apply those lessons to the next gig. Which meant I was able to actually charge a low amount of money for the job and used my prior task and coursework as examples on my portfolio.
Nowadays we have a great resource available called Youtube and Blogger. If you become a content creator in the realm that you are interested in, start blogging about it or use your smart phone and make some video blogs that reference your line of work. By doing this, you demonstrate your communication skills, evidence that you can actually produce something, and if you have a following, your network's community will help your future employer see the feedback from your gang.
Moreover, I have found that by teaching something, you learn way more about the topic. So start doing some tutorials!
My strategy here will show you how to gain metrics on your content for free.
In summary, whether you are unemployed or underemployed there are always ways you can start small projects simply for experience. So long as you are honest with your client about the facts, they will most likely be patient with you and the unforeseen mistakes that arise.
Bonus: LinkedIn has been a great resource for me. Start posting your blogs and Youtube videos on your linkedIn feed. People are specifically using that site just to network professionally. It's a great place to find extra work or obtain feedback on your portfolio.
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