“Position or Experience … Which Came First”

Which came first, the position or experience. Very often, while helping people trying to break into a new field or fresh out of college, I hear…. “Every job I try for they say minimum of 2 years of experience, but how can I get experience if I can’t get a job?” This is often the story when trying to land the position, so what is a person to do? With a little forethought you can craft things to help increase your ability to land that position you desire.


New to a field:

  • Identify skills you currently have and use that will be helpful in a new field.
  • Research the organization with whom you would like to obtain a position, and study their mission statement. Find what it focuses on and think of what you have already accomplished that would lend itself to the organization meeting it mission.
  • Research your new field and either take courses or do some research regarding the new field
  • Work on your mindset. Often people walk into an interview for a new position with the mindset, “They aren’t going to hire me… I don’t have the experience.” Then the person acts in ways that creates a self-fulfilling prophesy. Their negative thoughts ooze out of every pore in their body, and then when it comes true they think, “See I told you so.” They do not take into consideration their role in not getting the position, so get your mind in the game.
  • Think of any social positions you may have held on boards, chambers or in churches and use these as examples of experience.


College Students:

  • Research organizations with whom you hope to interview then for some of your school projects prior to graduation, research things that could be of interest to the organization.
  • Find out issues the field may be having and work on creative solutions to those issues than weave them in during your interview.
  • Volunteer in a position either at the place you hope to obtain a position or a similar organization to gain the required experience.
  • Talk to people currently in the field or working for the organization and ask for their insight.

With a little work, you can craft the experience you need to land the job, but the most important thing to do is to get your mind in a positive frame. Think of all the things you have done that make you an excellent candidate. Create a portfolio of your experience and outcomes and review it just before you interview, then weave things into your interview. If you do not believe you are the right person for the position, no one else will either.

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