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Why You Can Get Any Job With Your Current Experience

Why You Can Get Any Job With Your Current Experience

Employers love a resume that lists a complete work history. They appreciate the fact that someone shows a chronological work history with no employment gaps. It’s clean and tidy. It makes their job easier.

The reality is not everyone has a work history that reflects this. People change careers into a field they have no experience in. College graduates enter the work force with little to no work history. Others come back after an absence such as raising small children or caring for an ill family member.

Despite all this it is possible to get any job whatever your level of experience. The key is to identify your skills that benefit an employer. Career changers use their transferable skills to show a potential employer how their experience and accomplishments from their work history can benefit them. You can do the same from stages and events in your life.

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Volunteer experience

Many nonprofit and charitable organizations need volunteers to sustain their cause. If you have done volunteer work, use this to get any job. Volunteer work mirrors the work of any organization. Fundraisers develop good marketing skills. Organizing events require the work of those who know how to network, delegate and organize.

Use tools to help showcase your volunteer work to an employer. LinkedIn allows you to put volunteer experience in your profile. Get references from places you volunteered. If you have not volunteered consider doing so. But do it in an area you are passionate about and support.

Life experience

Think about experiences in your life that can benefit an employer. If you were a stay-at-home mom for a few years you know how to organize, multitask and deal with money. If you had to care for an ill or disabled household member you can handle stress and time management.

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Consider applying for jobs most in line from experiences in life. As an example you want to work as a bookkeeper. The problem is you have not been able to because of an elderly parent who was recently placed in nursing home care. Use your experience to apply for bookkeeping positions in nursing homes and facilities. Show how your experience in life corresponds with their mission.

Educational skills

Getting a job without experience with just a college degree can be frustrating. I graduated from college with a degree in Criminal Justice. Most of the jobs were in public service with a defined set of qualifications. I was limited from many positions that required experience.

There are so many ways now to showcase your skills through different mediums. We live in a connected world with the internet and social media. If you have technical skills, start a website in an area of interest. If you are a writer, begin a blog. Reference these to potential employers so they see more of you than just a resume.

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Extracurricular activities

If you are gearing up to graduate or recently left school reflect on what you did outside of classes. Hopefully it was not just hanging out playing video games or looking for the next party. Were you active in sports, student activities and campus events? Put these in your career correspondence like the resume. Show what you did to benefit the school and its community.

Network

Nearly 80 percent of available jobs are never advertised. How can you get any job if this is true? Through your network. Networking is the most effective way to find a job. Companies are scared to hire people they do not know. If there is a degree of familiarity through connections, that fear subsides.

This does not mean you have to develop a large network to get any job. In his book, “The Power Of Who,” author Bob Beaudine makes the argument the people you already know can help find your next opportunity. It is most likely someone in your system of family, friends and acquaintances knows of a job you would be perfect for.

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The right attitude

One of the keys to get any job with your current experience is to have the right attitude. A positive outlook and outgoing demeanor can be a game changer. Employers are impressed with applicants who are sociable. Look at each potential employer as a partner and what the benefits of both sides could be.

Employers are seeking more than just your skills and experience. They want the whole person who can fit well with their culture and environment. When you show what you bring you can get any job with your current experience.

Featured photo credit: Jens Schott Knudsen via flickr.com

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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career

9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career

Congratulations, you’re starting a new job! You’re feeling relieved that the interviews and the wait for a decision from the hiring manager is over, and you’ve finally signed the offer.

Feelings of fear and anticipation may surface now as you think about starting work on Monday. Or you may feel really confident if you have plenty of work experience.

Remember to not assume that your new work environment will be similar to previous ones. It’s very common for seasoned professionals to overestimate themselves due to the breadth of their experience.

Companies offer different depths of on-boarding experiences.[1] Ultimately, success in your career depends on you.

Below are 9 tips for starting a new job and succeeding in your career.

1. Your Work Starts Before Your First Day

When you prepared for your interview, you likely did some research about the company. Now it’s time to go more in depth.

  • How would your manager like you to prepare for your first day? What are his/her expectations?
  • What other information can your manager provide so that you can start learning more about the role or company?
  • What company policies or reports can you review that can get you acclimatized to your new job and work environment?

You’ll need to embrace a lot of new people and information when you start your new job. What you learn before your first day at work can help you feel more grounded and prepare your mind to process new information.

2. Know Your Role and the Organization

Review the job posting and know your responsibilities. Sometimes, job postings are simplified versions of the job description. Ask your manager or human resources if there is a detailed job description of your role.

Once you understand your key responsibilities and accountabilities, ask yourself:

  • What questions do you have about the role?
  • What information do you need to do your job effectively?
  • Who do you need to meet and start building relationships with?

Continue to increase your knowledge and do your research through the company Intranet site, organizational charts, the media, LinkedIn profiles, the industry and who your company competitors are.

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This is not a one time event. Continue to do this throughout your time with the company. Every team or project you engage with will evolve and change.

Keep current and be ready to adapt by using your observational skills to be aware of changes to your work environment and people’s behaviour.

3. Learn the Unwritten Rules at Work

Understanding your work culture is key to help you succeed in your career.

Many of these unwritten rules will not be listed on company policies. This means you’ll need to use all of your senses to observe the environment and the people within it.

What should you wear? See what your peers and leaders are wearing. Notice everything from their jewelry down to their shoes. Once you have a good idea of the dress code you can then infuse your own style.

What are your hours of work? What do you notice about start, break and end times? Are your observations different from what you learned at the interview? What questions do you have based on your observations? Asking for clarity will help you make informed decisions and thrive in a new work setting.

What are the main communication channels?[2] What communication mediums do people use (phone, email, in-person, video)? Does the medium change in different work situations? What is your manager’s communication style and preference? These observations will help you better navigate your work environment and thrive in the workplace.

4. Be Mindful of Your Assumptions

You got the job, you’re feeling confident and are eager to show how you can contribute. Check the type of language you are using when you’re approaching your work and sharing your experiences.

I’ve heard many new employees say:

  • “I used to do this at ‘X’ company …”
  • “When I worked at “X” company we implemented this really effective process …”
  • “We did this at my other company … how come you guys are not …”
  • “Why are you doing that … we used to do this …”

People usually don’t want to hear about your past company. The experiences that you had in the past are different in this new environment.

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Remember to:

  • Notice your assumptions
  • Focus on your own work
  • Ask questions, and
  • Learn more about the situation before offering suggestions.

You can then better position yourself as a trusted resource that makes informed decisions tailored to business needs.

5. Ask Questions and Seek Clarification

Contrary to common belief, asking questions when you’re starting a new job is not a vulnerability.

Asking relevant questions related to your job and the company:

  • Helps you clarify expectations
  • Shows that you’ve done your research
  • Demonstrates your initiative to learn

Seeking to clarify and understand your environment and the people within it will help you become more effective at your job.

6. Set Clear Expectations to Develop Your Personal Brand

Starting a new job is the perfect time to set clear expectations with your manager and colleagues. Your actions and behaviors at work tells others about your work style and how you like to operate. So it’s essential to get clear on what feels natural to you at work and ensure that your own values are aligned with your work actions.

Here are a few questions to reflect on so that you can clearly articulate your intentions and follow through with consistent actions:

Where do you need to set expectations? Reflect on lessons learned from your previous work experiences. What types of expectations do you need to set so that you can succeed?

Why are you setting these expectations? You’ll likely need to provide context and justify why you’re setting these boundaries. Are your expectations reasonable? What are the impacts on the business?

What are your values? If you value work life balance, but you’re answering emails on weekends and during your vacation time, people will continue to expect this from you. What boundaries do you need to set for yourself at work?

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What do you want to be known for? This question requires some deep reflection. Do you want to be known as a leader who develops and empowers others? Maybe you want to be known for someone who creates an environment of respect where everyone can openly share ideas. Or maybe you want to be someone who challenges people to get outside their comfort zones?

7. Manage Up, Down, and Across

Understanding the work styles of those around you is key to a successful career. Particularly how you communicate and interact with your immediate manager.

Here are a few key questions to consider:

  • How can you make your manager’s job easier?
  • What can you do to anticipate her/his needs?
  • How can you keep them informed (and prepared) so they don’t get caught off-guard?
  • What are your strengths? How can you communicate these to him/her so that they fully understand your capabilities?

These questions can also apply if you manage a team or if you deal with multiple stakeholders.

8. Build Relationships Throughout the Company

It’s important to keep learning from diverse groups and individuals within the company. You’ll get different perspectives about the organization and others may be able to help you succeed in your role.

What types of relationships do you need to build? Why are you building this relationship?

Here are some examples of workplace relationships:

  • Immediate Manager. He/she controls your work assignments. The work can shape the success of your career.
  • Mentors. These are people who are knowledgeable about their field and the company. They are willing to share their experiences with you to help you navigate the workplace and even your career.
  • Direct Reports. Your staff can influence how successful you are at meeting your goals.
  • Mentees. They are another resource to help you keep informed about the organization and your opportunity to develop others.

Other workplace relationships include team members, stakeholders, or strategic partners/sponsors that will advocate for your work.

Learn more in this article: 10 Ways to Build Positive And Effective Work Relationships

9. Keep in Touch With Those in Your Existing Network

“Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” – Michelle Obama

You are part of an ecosystem that has gotten you to where you are today. Every single person and each moment that you have encountered with someone has shaped who you are – both positive and negative.

Here’s How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life.

Make sure you continue to nurture the relationships that you value and show gratitude to those who have helped you achieve your goals.

Summing It Up

There are many aspects of your career that you are in control of. Observe, listen, and make informed decisions. Career success depends on your actions.

Remember to not assume that your new work environment will be similar to previous ones.

Here are the 9 tips for starting a new job and succeeding in your career:

  1. Your Work Starts Before Your 1st Day
  2. Know Your Role and the Organization
  3. Learn the Unwritten Rules at Work
  4. Be Mindful of Your Assumptions
  5. Ask Questions and Seek Clarification
  6. Set Clear Expectations to Develop Your Personal Brand
  7. Manage Up, Down, and Across
  8. Build Relationships Throughout the Company
  9. Keep in Touch With Those in Your Existing Network

Celebrate, enjoy your new role, and take good care of yourself!

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Featured photo credit: Frank Romero via unsplash.com

Reference

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