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  #1  
Old March 17th, 2012, 02:15 AM
Tony74 Tony74 is offline
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Default Getting work experience without work experience?

Can someone answer this? How can a person get work experience if no one will ever hire to get work experience in the first place? This is one of the biggest issues I have been facing for many years now. Sure I have a degree in the career field I want to be in and I have taken additional home study courses in the career field I choose to be in. What I do not have is many years work experience right after I completed school 4 years ago. Before and after I even began going to school, I was working one dead end job after another. I got tired of doing hard work at some low paying low skill job that was never going to lead me anywhere. I am not a person who likes to settle for less than what I want. I am in a tough position right now where I feel like that is exactly what I have to do right now. I am not happy at all with the job I have now, nor the company I work for. I so badly want leave but the more I look for better jobs, the more I keep getting turned down time after time.

By the way, I already applied to entry level jobs and I have done volunteer work before doing work closely related to the my chosen field. Neither of that worked out. It just seems that my work history will always look bad to employers. I never had the opportunity to work in a professional business environment. The minute they look at my work history and compare that with the job I am applying for, they waste no time assuming I cannot do the job. I remember when I finished school years ago I was excited. I thought I had the chance to make something happen with my life based on what I learned from the classes I took. I felt like I learned enough to get out there and show people what I can do. Back then everything was fresh in my mind. You know what they say. Use it before you lose it. I haven't been able to put what I learned to good use since I completed school. Now years later and still no job in my chosen career field, all that I had learned seemed to slowly slip away. If only I had gotten a chance at the job, I know I could have done the work and possibly excel at it had I gotten the opportunity. I was so ready back then to show what I can do.

Last edited by Tony74 : March 17th, 2012 at 02:19 AM.
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  #2  
Old March 17th, 2012, 10:21 AM
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Thuso Thuso is offline
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Default Re: Getting work experience without work experience?

Tony,
Employers and managers often say that "work experience" is desired, but they hire a lot of people without work experience. Think about it. How does the labor force grow? Where do all those college graduates go to work without work experience? So, that issue is not always primary in the hiring decision -- especially to fill entry level positions.

As one who has interviewed lots of candidates, I will tell you that "work experience" is only a hurdle for positions that require you to manage others, or lead a project. What IS impotant is your life experience. Interviewers want to know what your experience and attitude was when you worked at McDonald's, when you delivered newspapers at 4:00 in the morning before school, when you did back-breaking manual labor even after you earned your degree. They want to know how you are going to fit on the team.

To prepare for a job interview where you have "formal education" and no work experience, you should do some research about the work ethic of the company. If it is a small company, find out the history of the owner. If you know someone else who works there, ask them what it is like working there. What do they value in successful employees?

Then, either in a cover letter of your resume' or in the interview, tell them why you would be a good fit at their company. Use words that reflect their culture and values -- hard work, loyalty, excellence, compeitive attitude, small company that overcomes odds. Talk about how your life experiences fit their culture, and how you will apply the knowledge that you have. Let them know that you WANT to be on their team because you will be a good fit.

You have to let them know that the "experience that you have" can be a valuable asset. Did you work to pay your way through school? That is a valuable experience. Did you win any awards for excellence? That says something about your competitive spirit. Are you a volunteer or member of a social organization? That says something about your team spirit and concern for others. All of these experiences say something about your preparation and ability to be a good employee.

In summary, you should use your "life experience" as an asset when you don't have the specific work experience the employer is looking for.

I hope this helps.
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  #3  
Old March 17th, 2012, 05:25 PM
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IBSA IBSA is offline
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Exclamation Re: Getting work experience without work experience?

In today's times it is important to have skills and stay on top of them. Work experience is just that, 'example that you have a skill applicable to the work you are looking for and have training or education in; and that you have successfully applied them in a work environment. Preferably, not on a sporadic basis but with some consistency and hopefully for more than a brief period of time.

A good worker!

It says nothing about whether paid or unpaid so if staying on top of your skill is important and the need to show a consistent work history is important I suggest looking into volunteer opportunities with agencies doing activities you support.

If they need a website, build one. If they need help preparing grant proposals, help them out. Find a way to give what you got or give back some of what you know and it can possibly lead you into what you need and is looking for.

If someone is not working and is just waiting for a phone call from jobs they applied for, that can be boring and does nothing to keep a person active and productive. Find an organization that will give you voluntary responsibility that put you in front of other executives, community and government leaders so you can network and let them know you are available to work. You can impress on them your qualities, skills and it shows a value that life's success is not totally related to having a job and making a bunch of money.

I can't attend every meeting for our organization so I tend to send others in my place to represent our issues and interest. In these meetings are folks who make hiring decisions; or influence those who do. I give all the latitude for them to impress whomever is in the room and to sell themselves as professional and capable of forming an intelligent thought, creativity and critical thinking to recommend solutions.

Don't volunteer to lick stamps, fold newsletters, or be a janitor,,, unless those are the type of jobs you're interested in. Now, as you apply you apply for work you can begin to use your volunteer position as current and (present) work experience. Sure, only a precious few can volunteer forever but for many they can't consider this as a long-term option options, but what other options are available; if you're not into starting your own business?
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  #4  
Old March 17th, 2012, 07:52 PM
Tony74 Tony74 is offline
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Default Re: Getting work experience without work experience?

I am a good worker and have been told that many times in a lot of my jobs past and present. Too bad these jobs were not related to the skills and knowledge I gained from school. Volunteer work use to be a good way for me to get me where I want to be in my career field. Unfortunately, I am in a huge financial mess having to pay back those student loans. I am struggling to pay back the loans because of my low income job I have now. That is the biggest reason for me to get a good job in my chosen career field, so I can repay all the money I owe. And as for volunteer work licking stamps, folding newsletters, and doing janitorial work is not something I would waste my time doing. That would be the complete opposite for me wanting to do volunteer work in the first place. I would only do volunteer work if it is related to the skills I learned in school. It's a good thing you mentioned starting a business because that is something I already had in mind long before now. I would be starting my business right now had it not been for a certain someone giving me advice that it would be better to work in the field first before using my skills to start my own business. I personally don't believe I need to work in the field first just to get work experience only to leave that job to start a business of my own. I completed the courses from my training program and study them over and over to get more prepared for the business I plan to start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBSA View Post
In today's times it is important to have skills and stay on top of them. Work experience is just that, 'example that you have a skill applicable to the work you are looking for and have training or education in; and that you have successfully applied them in a work environment. Preferably, not on a sporadic basis but with some consistency and hopefully for more than a brief period of time.

A good worker!

It says nothing about whether paid or unpaid so if staying on top of your skill is important and the need to show a consistent work history is important I suggest looking into volunteer opportunities with agencies doing activities you support.

If they need a website, build one. If they need help preparing grant proposals, help them out. Find a way to give what you got or give back some of what you know and it can possibly lead you into what you need and is looking for.

If someone is not working and is just waiting for a phone call from jobs they applied for, that can be boring and does nothing to keep a person active and productive. Find an organization that will give you voluntary responsibility that put you in front of other executives, community and government leaders so you can network and let them know you are available to work. You can impress on them your qualities, skills and it shows a value that life's success is not totally related to having a job and making a bunch of money.

I can't attend every meeting for our organization so I tend to send others in my place to represent our issues and interest. In these meetings are folks who make hiring decisions; or influence those who do. I give all the latitude for them to impress whomever is in the room and to sell themselves as professional and capable of forming an intelligent thought, creativity and critical thinking to recommend solutions.

Don't volunteer to lick stamps, fold newsletters, or be a janitor,,, unless those are the type of jobs you're interested in. Now, as you apply you apply for work you can begin to use your volunteer position as current and (present) work experience. Sure, only a precious few can volunteer forever but for many they can't consider this as a long-term option options, but what other options are available; if you're not into starting your own business?

Last edited by Tony74 : March 17th, 2012 at 07:57 PM.
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  #5  
Old March 17th, 2012, 09:32 PM
Tony74 Tony74 is offline
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Default Re: Getting work experience without work experience?

I don't see what the difference is between me and other people who do not have the work experience, yet they get hired and I don't. I can do what other applicants can do and just like them I do not have work experience, but somehow I end up getting passed over.

When the employers said "must have x number of years work experience", they were not demanding work experience for management positions. They were demanding years work experience for non management positions even for entry-level jobs they require years work experience. I don't get why they need to go that far for an entry-level job. Employers need to be realistic about what they are asking for. No one is perfect. And no one is going to perform miracles the first day on the job, especially if it is for an entry-level job. Life experience is just as valuable as work experience. It would be a lot better if employers at least invite me in the door to explain my life experiences. I had a lot to tell them about that.

What is the best way to find out about the company before a applying for a job? These days you can get all that information from the company website. Not everyone has company information available on the internet. If I do not personally know anyone who work at the company and can give me the inside scoop, what is my next option for doing research on the business I want to work for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thuso View Post
Tony,
Employers and managers often say that "work experience" is desired, but they hire a lot of people without work experience. Think about it. How does the labor force grow? Where do all those college graduates go to work without work experience? So, that issue is not always primary in the hiring decision -- especially to fill entry level positions.

As one who has interviewed lots of candidates, I will tell you that "work experience" is only a hurdle for positions that require you to manage others, or lead a project. What IS impotant is your life experience. Interviewers want to know what your experience and attitude was when you worked at McDonald's, when you delivered newspapers at 4:00 in the morning before school, when you did back-breaking manual labor even after you earned your degree. They want to know how you are going to fit on the team.

To prepare for a job interview where you have "formal education" and no work experience, you should do some research about the work ethic of the company. If it is a small company, find out the history of the owner. If you know someone else who works there, ask them what it is like working there. What do they value in successful employees?

Then, either in a cover letter of your resume' or in the interview, tell them why you would be a good fit at their company. Use words that reflect their culture and values -- hard work, loyalty, excellence, compeitive attitude, small company that overcomes odds. Talk about how your life experiences fit their culture, and how you will apply the knowledge that you have. Let them know that you WANT to be on their team because you will be a good fit.

You have to let them know that the "experience that you have" can be a valuable asset. Did you work to pay your way through school? That is a valuable experience. Did you win any awards for excellence? That says something about your competitive spirit. Are you a volunteer or member of a social organization? That says something about your team spirit and concern for others. All of these experiences say something about your preparation and ability to be a good employee.

In summary, you should use your "life experience" as an asset when you don't have the specific work experience the employer is looking for.

I hope this helps.
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  #6  
Old March 31st, 2012, 04:08 PM
awill awill is offline
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Default Re: Getting work experience without work experience?

Within your posts you mention something along the lines of "all the jobs you had in the past", or something to that effect. That may be the issue that you are running into. Over the past 4 years since you left school how many jobs have you had? How long have you been on your current job? All other things equal, when I have had to choose between a person that may appear to be less qualified but stayed on one job for the past two years, and a person that appeared to be a little more qualified but has had three different jobs for the past two years, I would choose the person missing that extra qualification but stayed with an employer for two years. Why? Because hiring the "right" person is a draining and costly process that takes a manager away from handling other tasks. That person that has stayed on the one job has established that they are prone to stick around for awhile. Conversely, with the job bouncer I would be concerned that I would have to go through the same process within the next six months. A person can tell me that they would stick around because this is the field that they want to stay in, but from my standpoint I know that person is not going to say anything different because they want the job, so I have to let that person's history speak. With the more stable person I may have to spend a bit more time training them, but that extra time is worth it if they will stick around longer.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 04:46 PM
Tony74 Tony74 is offline
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Default Re: Getting work experience without work experience?

Since I finished school 4 years ago, I have been working the same job then I am working right now. I have seniority on all my jobs past and present because I stayed with each job for years. I feel that should count for something. Apparently employers over look that and pass over me to hire someone else. My work background may not match the kind of job I "want", but I am someone who is eager to learn and have the ability to keep learning until I become better and better at what I do. And when there is a job I want, especially if it turns out to be my dream career I waited a long time to have. The employer will be making a great investment bringing me on board because when I find a job I actually enjoy I put my all into the work. Unlike most people who dred waking up every morning heading to their 9 to 5 job they are unhappy with, I won't be in that category of job haters. I would not mind waking up going to my job day in and day out. Why? Because I am passionate about the work I do. Once or if I was to ever find a job I am passionate about, I couldn't care less how early I have to wake up in the morning or how late I have to stay over at my job. As long as I am doing a job I really enjoy doing, none of that matters to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by awill View Post
Within your posts you mention something along the lines of "all the jobs you had in the past", or something to that effect. That may be the issue that you are running into. Over the past 4 years since you left school how many jobs have you had? How long have you been on your current job? All other things equal, when I have had to choose between a person that may appear to be less qualified but stayed on one job for the past two years, and a person that appeared to be a little more qualified but has had three different jobs for the past two years, I would choose the person missing that extra qualification but stayed with an employer for two years. Why? Because hiring the "right" person is a draining and costly process that takes a manager away from handling other tasks. That person that has stayed on the one job has established that they are prone to stick around for awhile. Conversely, with the job bouncer I would be concerned that I would have to go through the same process within the next six months. A person can tell me that they would stick around because this is the field that they want to stay in, but from my standpoint I know that person is not going to say anything different because they want the job, so I have to let that person's history speak. With the more stable person I may have to spend a bit more time training them, but that extra time is worth it if they will stick around longer.
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  #8  
Old April 2nd, 2012, 02:39 AM
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Thuso Thuso is offline
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Default Re: Getting work experience without work experience?

There is one other thing that I would add regarding your job search. Everything you have shard with us indicates that you should be a desirable employee in the field for which you are trained. Yet, you are finding it difficult to land employment in that field. I am sure you have read through the standard rejection letters that offer reasons for selecting someone else, such as a lack of experience. So, what is missing?

I would recommend that you probe beyond the surface and try to determine what would make you a more competitive candidate. We are living in a recession, and during times of limited opportunities, the premium goes up for hiring new workers. It is said that during the depression, a woman needed a college degree to be hired as a sales clerk at Macy's in New York. Obviously, a sales clerk doesn't need a degree in business or any other field to smile and operate a cash register. The point is that the criteria was raised because it could attract what was perceived to be a higher quality candidate.

You need to revisit some of the HR people and managers who interviewed you and get beyond the excuses to find out the real reasons you are not as competitive as you need to be. Then, if possible, correct or improve those factors. This is not an academic exercise for you. All of us giving you advice are speaking in the abstract. You need to find out from those rejecting you what the real reasons are. Then, and only then, will you be able to overcome the hurdles to your success.

It seems you have the desire and a positive attitude about the commitment you are prepared to make to be a successful worker in your field. Find out what the real missing ingredient is, and you will be in a better position to solve your employment problem .
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