Hi there,

Rogers Ascham said, “By experience we find a short way by a long wandering.” Welcome to another Productivity Wednesday. Building from our last week’s conversation about employers creating room to accept candidates with little to no experience and help them garner relevant experiences, we will move the conversation to gaining work experience.

As it is often said, “David needed only a stone to take down Goliath, but he needed to learn how to use other weapons when he became king and had to fight bigger battles.” As much as I emphasized on employers cutting applicants some slack, there is only so much and how far a barest minimum can take you. It is okay getting a job with little to no experience but completely out of place when you refuse to grow on the job or gain any experiences. Babies are adorable and we love them but when a baby remains a baby, it becomes a problem; same thing happens when one refuses to improve.

No matter the level you are on the career or corporate ladder, growth is inevitable. Fresh out of school, currently out of job after working for a while, currently engaged but looking for another job or seeking a promotion, experience is a major driver in what you desire. The question now is, how then can you gain experience especially as a fresh graduate or someone who wants to switch careers.

  • Take Relevant Courses: Learning never ends; when you stop learning you start dying. Take courses paid or free, virtual, or physical that will boost your knowledge in the field you are interested in or currently work. A lot of courses are available online at very affordable prices and some are totally free of charge. Take advantage of these courses to boost your potentials.
  • Volunteering: Volunteering is an intelligent and easy way to cultivate experience. Often times, we are not enthusiastic about volunteerism because most volunteering activities do not have any monetary gain attached to them but other than the monetary gain, look at the application of the knowledge you have gained from courses and glean from others who have worked in that field for a while.
  • Grow your Network: I am sure you have heard this statement, “your network is your net worth.” You are only as visible as the network you have. In running a personal SWOT analysis on yourself, some of the very important questions you should ask are, “who are my friends? what kind of conversations do you have?” and so on. This will give you a clear idea if you have the right support system or hanging out with the right people. Careers and businesses mostly survive on referrals and people would only refer people that they know and have built relationships with.
  •   Take Up The Job First: No matter the position you are offered, take it up first. Don’t go about magnifying the class of your degree and forgetting your capability in performing the job role or job type. Even if you feel it is low, there is still something to gain from that level. If you feel too big for the small stage, then you will be too small for the big stage because the small stage is supposed to serve as a rehearsal ground for the big stage.
  • Ask Your Family and Your Friends: It is not a crime not to know but it is a crime not to find out.Never feel shy to ask your friends and family, the knowledge you need for your next level might just be in the mouth of people who you are surrounded by. No one is an island nor know it all. Be open minded and creative and make the most of conversation you have with family and friends, this can go a long way in setting you up for the success you desire.

As much as we want or wish for employers to engage candidates who have potentials but have little to no work experience for some roles, there is only so much that can be said. Nobody buys a shoe because they love the shoe box; the shoe box may be an attraction point but after purchase, the owner expects to get value from the pair of shoes. Refusing to grow will lead to stagnation and once there is a window to lay off, you are the first on the list. Grow!!!

Till I come your way again, stay safe, work smart and not just hard.



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