Getting Job Experience
You need job experience to get a job, and you need a job to get job experience. This is particularly true for new employees, but anyone who has joined the workforce has gone through this, and while this can be a bit daunting there are specific actions that you can take to overcome this dilemma.
Volunteering Is A Great Way To Gain Job Experience
Many people overlook volunteering as an opportunity to gain job experience, because they feel that because it doesn't 'pay' that the job experience won't count when trying to use it to get a paying job. In fact exactly the opposite is true.
Volunteering shows dedication to your prospective employer.
There is no better way to demonstrate your committment to a particular role than by volunteering to gain the necessary skills. The other advantage of volunteering is that the threshold for acceptance will typically be more 'forgiving' than if you are trying to get into a paid role. Volunteer organizations are more willing to work with you to develop your skills because you are dedicating your time for free, this can be an excellent way to acquire job experience.
Education Can Help You Gain Experience
Depending on your situation, it may be that you have the necessary education to get a job, but lack in actual job experience, or conversely it may be that you have job experience but require specfiic skills that can only be gained through education. After you identify the gaps in your skill set, you should look for opportunities to fill these gaps through formal training or education programs.
Many programs offer work/study options.
In addition to learning the skills you require to get a job, you should look for an education program that offers a work/study option. Simply put this means that you get 'credit' for working for a period of time in your chosen field of study. Not only does this count as job experience, but the program often will help you get placed in your first opportunity.
Build Your Network
Throughout your career there is nothing more important than building your 'network' of associates and peers. As you progress in your career you will find that many of your job opportunities will come from people that you have worked for or with in the past. It is much easier to find opportunities from within your network, than it is to get a job in a company where you don't know anyone.
People in your network can be a great resource for finding opportunities to build on your job experience. They can also provide excellent references on the excellent jobs that you have done in the past.
Building and nurturing your network is critical to maintaining and building upon a healthy career.