6 fail-proof ways to get more job experience (and a free bonus tip)
Let's be frank and honest. In this competitive world, work experience is often the characteristic of a candidate or a company (in case of a company looking for more clients) that makes all the difference.
Recruiters see a job seeker’s experience as a reliable signal because they have been trusted by some companies before. The 5-star rating for a freelancer is a sign of reliability for recruiters, too. A company with a large client portfolio will have a much better chance of getting new clients.
In short, experience helps you get hired or sell services. However, lack of experience can slow down this process. Which leads us to the question: ‘How can I get more experience?’ If you have no clue, here are some ways to get more experience quickly.
1- Registering for training courses
Although an asset for candidates looking for the ideal job, diplomas are not always proof of your know-how or experience in the eyes of recruiters. They often look for a more concrete form of knowledge, focused on the position to be filled.
That's why registering for training courses that target topics specific to the job you're aiming for could prove your interest in the activity you want to join. Plus, you’ll get better prepared for the job. For example, if you want to become a manager, you could take management training that will address issues specific to this profession.
2 - Apply for a job for beginners
Not all recruiting companies are necessarily looking for experienced workers. Each company has its own culture. Some of them prefer to hire a ‘noob’ for different reasons, such as lower salary, youth training policy, need for more diversity, gender disparity, or hiring a young graduate.
As long as these jobs are related to what you want to do in the future, you will make progress in your professional career.
3 - Working for free or for a small fee for a perk
This strategy is mainly suitable for very competitive positions or new businesses. Sometimes this might be necessary if you want to progress faster. The perks in question can be various, it can be a discount, a review, a case study, a greater professional network, a recommendation for a job or a new client.
4 - Joining a charity
By joining a charity, you support a good cause and gain experience. However, you may even get paid sometimes. In addition, this kind of experience brings many personal benefits, such as happiness, improved self-esteem, self-confidence, an expanded social network, etc.
Non-profit organizations offer several positions from sales to management, including IT, marketing, accounting, etc. If you get a role related to your specialty, it will be a benefit to your professional career.
Moreover, being part of an organization of this kind is one of the best ways to ‘network’. Most of your future colleagues will be freelancers, entrepreneurs, artists, etc. In this case, you can always ask them for help with employment or other advice; there’s no doubt they would be happy to help you.
5 - Setting up a small online business
It's probably the best way to gain experience. That way you'll become as versatile as a Swiss Army knife. You will develop a set of skills such as developing a website, growth strategies, managing several projects at the same time, marketing, negotiation, recruitment, etc. You will work in a variety of different areas. Also, you will develop some very necessary skills to succeed, such as discipline, organization, concentration, determination, and valuing your PRECIOUS TIME.
Business ideas can be various, such as cooking recipes, training guides, online shops, services, distance learning courses, etc. You may fail the first time, however, the most successful entrepreneurs in the world are not afraid to fail, and this is maybe the most valuable life lesson you can ever learn.
6 - Doing freelance gigs
Sometimes you must prove that you can do the job before you are even hired. Freelance work is an excellent way to prove what you can do. Once you've completed your first gig, you'll already have more work experience to add to your resume.
Self-employment gigs can be as short as a day or two, or as long as several months. Sometimes a gig that starts as a freelance can turn into a full-time position.
Bonus: Networking and soft skills
These days, even though we live in a digital age, networking and social skills are the qualities needed to get a new job or more customers. This is because we continue to interact with human beings during the recruitment process or meeting, who make the final decisions. ‘It's not what you know, but who you know’ and it makes sense.
Developing and maintaining relationships is the easiest way to have job opportunities ahead of you, and consequently to have more experience. The bottom line: the next time a recruiter tells you that you don't have enough experience to fill the position you want, try applying one or more of the above tips to gain more experience and quality references quickly.