In today’s post, I want to talk about what to do when you don’t have experience for the job you want.
A lack of experience is a pretty common issue, regardless of where you are in your career.
Even if you have are somewhat experienced in the corporate world. It is more of a problem for post-grads; if you just got out of college, it’s doubtful you are going to have the work experience so many employers claim you need.
And, this is an even bigger problem if you require sponsorship because it’s always been competitive. It’s getting more challenging due to the Trump administration’s adjustments to the visa process.
Well, don’t worry because I do have a couple of ideas for you to try out.
First, I strongly recommend you find a way to get the experience you need. Now I know that seems obvious but stick with me for a minute.
Did you know that most of the technical skills that you need can found on YouTube and Google? Even something like SAS, which is business intelligence software, you can learn that online for free?
You don’t need back to school, and you don’t need to get the experience on the job. You can learn all of it on the computer. This applies to most of the commonly required skills I see in my industry, such as using Excel, Access, SQL, and Tableau.
You can get 90% of this stuff for free, and in some cases, you could buy the course if you want to, but I’ve never felt the need to purchase classes before I got the job.
This applies to softer skills, like learning how to interview better. Again, most of the content is free. I just saw a video recently on how to use Adobe Photoshop software. So I think the sky is the limit.
Another option, which this one might be more obvious, but its actions like volunteering, internships, or doing things for free. I think everyone has their opinion about this, depending on who you spend time following on social media.
My personal opinion is that this should be your last resort. Time spent volunteering and internships to get “experience” doesn’t necessarily translate very well to the workplace.
As an example, I volunteered to teach English, and I did it as part of my requirement to get my teaching certificate. I tried teaching online, but there were so many problems, so it didn’t work for me at the time, which is why I volunteered.
But my problem volunteering is that it did not prepare to teach English in a classroom setting. That’s entirely my fault; I didn’t do an excellent job of selecting my employers for volunteering.
I also know people who had the opposite experience, and they started as interns, and they used that experience to get a job in the company and get promoted in that company. Last I checked, she got a role as a Vice President. So even though I don’t recommend doing things for free if you don’ have to, be aware that things can work in your favor.
What to do if your lack of work experience comes up in an interview?
There is one last point I want to mention before I end this post, and that is, you should prepare to interview for roles despite not having all the even most of the experience that is required.
This is a common theme I’ve noticed where recruiters will try to get me to interview for roles when I don’t have the experience. As an example, a few years ago, I was approached for a job that required Microsoft Access experience, and I had never used it before. I ended up getting the job offer for that.
I noticed trend in every interview I’ve had where I got a job offer despite my lack of particular experience.
The trend is that I demonstrated in some way how I could or would get that experience so I could hit the ground running from day one.
I also found it helpful if you can find a way to take your past experiences and relate to how you could use that to solve the employer’s problems.
As an example, in my interview last year, one of their projects they were working on involved transferring responsibility over to a new team, so I talked about how I built quality assurance processes to test the output of staff augmentation in previous.
I offered suggestions on how I could make a similar process to check the production of this new team to ensure they are doing things correctly.
Okay, I hope you enjoyed this post. Please leave me a comment if you have questions or send me a message to want to run something by me.