One frustrating dilemma that job seekers face is the needing to have experience to get a job. However, the primary way to gain experience is through having a job in the first place. This dilemma poses a barrier, especially for recent college graduates looking for a place to start their career, those who are looking to switch careers, and anyone trying to climb the ladder of success in their current company.
Your experience gained through earning a degree is not guaranteed to land you a job right out of the gate either. Sometimes going this route can land you in student loan debt while coming up empty on the job search front. To make your job hunt more pressing, you may have these troubles while trying to support your family, or attending school or working in another position.
So, how can you show that you are qualified not only for the position you desire, but also demonstrate that you are capable of that management position even though you don’t have the experience on paper?
There are a variety of other ways for you to sidestep the experience dilemma — with little to no schooling — to land that high-paying job.
1. Gain the Experience and Skills Needed for the Job
If you aren’t getting the experience you need through your current schooling or job, you will have to obtain it elsewhere. It will fall upon you to equip yourself with the necessary tools that your resume needs to get that management position. There are many avenues you can take besides relying on your current job to acquire valuable skills to make your resume stand out.
Many people can bypass needing to have a degree or experience by volunteering, applying for an internship, or turn to online learning.
Volunteering for an organization may not come to pay, but it will give you the opportunity to develop the skills you need to ready yourself for job search. For example, an application for a management position may list “must have experience in leadership, decision-making, and organizational skills.”
A volunteer position is your chance to expand on all of these skills — and many more. Many nonprofit organizations are looking for help and volunteering for these charities will allow you to showcase and develop the managerial skills to land that management job. Volunteering also offers flexible hours so you can develop these skills in your own time.
An internship may also come with little to no pay, but you will learn valuable skills, and it can present you with the professional experience employers are looking to hire for the management or a similar position.
An internship is usually a fixed-term work position, and therefore a little more formal than volunteering, you typically take an internship alongside your degree — however, you don’t have to. Internships can provide you with real workplace experience while not being too demanding, giving you time to focus on your family, school, or your current job.
In certain instances, you might have to turn to school to gain the experience that employers are looking for. However, in our digital age, online learning is available as a flexible option for busy individuals looking to bulk up their resume with the skills necessary to start their career.
Many online programs offer specialized degrees, providing quality classes and programs you can take at home while balancing your career and family time. Take some courses toward a management degree at home without sacrificing any time for your existing job or family.
Additionally, you can work on your degree while climbing the ranks within your company or industry. For example, you can begin your supply chain management career while working in the warehouse. Keep your eye on the prize when you are working on the factory floor while taking online classes to become a supply chain manager.
The convenience of online courses is worth noting, and shouldn’t be passed up due to misconceptions that it is expensive and time-consuming.
2. Find Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree
It is becoming increasingly clear that tuition costs in a traditional college setting are, for some, just too much of an expense. A degree may increase your earning potential and chances in the job market. However, it is not a sure thing.
Many high-paying jobs do not require a four-year degree, and you can start a lucrative career, earning more without a degree than what some make with one.
Sometimes, a company will even train you up into a supervisory role. For instance, a postal service job helps employees “start their career as an hourly worker, and then take advantage of the training programs offered to them.”
The United States Postal Service offers career development training, a supervisor training program, as well as advanced, managerial, and executive leadership programs. Take advantage of these programs to develop yourself into an administrative role, getting the training you need while keeping your current job. Sometimes, it is just a matter of climbing the career ladder; you have to capitalize on training such as the USPS programs.
Often on the job market, you’ll find that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. For instance, two applicants with the same qualifications might both be in the running with an employer. Frequently, it is the applicant who knows someone in the company, has had conversations in the social media circles of the industry, and has had their name and face pop up that will get the job over the person who hasn’t taken the time to network.
Networking is essential to your job search. Other than getting to know industry leaders and employers, you can keep up with the trends and learn what skills these people are looking for in an employee. Follow some industry leaders, companies, and their employees stay up to date to be a proactive job seeker.
You may even get the jump on newly opened positions, as some companies post on social media looking for new hires. Using social media for networking may be the difference between you getting the job versus another identically qualified applicant.
Landing a job with little to no experience can be hard. Without a degree, your job search may become even more difficult.
Take the information above to increase your chances in a competitive job market to be able to showcase the skills needed for a high-paying position. Build yourself a resume that will impress any employer, showing them that you are the one for the job.