Maybe you’re a recent graduate or maybe you just switched careers, you’ve learnt a new skill and it’s time to get yourself a job but every employer you cross paths with says ‘no’ because you’re not experienced enough. Must suck, right? Well, yes. except that no employer wants to risk their business by placing it in the hands of ‘newbies’ so excuse African employers for asking for years of experience before handing a person the chance to run their business to the ground, you’d probably do the same. So the next time you think to blame the system, think about what you can do to beat the system, gain work experience outside of ‘work’ and get back in the game.
Job shadowing means that you accompany an expert or someone who’s already doing what you want to do and learn what they do, how they do it and when they do it in their professional environment (which really could mean their home now lol). So, yes you didn’t exactly do it yourself, but you watched an expert do it and if you want the most of it, you’ll get involved too. Depending on how committed you are, your short job shadowing period may grow into long-term mentorship. Apart from the experience you stand to gain, job shadowing allows you the opportunity to really decide if that’s the path you want to follow.
Some companies or professionals may be open to allowing you to shadow them if you write to them. One strategy is to shadow them from afar. Follow them on LinkedIn and other social networks and learn what they do and what they like. After you have learnt as much as you can, write to them and don’t forget to mention how you may be of value.
Teaching other people what you already know is a foolproof way to get experience, learn and become an expert yourself. In addition, tutoring is an icing on the cake in your resume. It assures your employer that you not only know enough to teach others but that you’re also willing to share your knowledge with the rest of the team.
There are a bunch and one people looking to learn what you think is common knowledge. Find them and teach them. If you can’t find them, position yourself appropriately on socials and show your work, they’ll find you. Watch our IGlive with Salem to learn how to Show Your Work. You can take it a step further by making people pay for your classes, it’s a win-win-win.
If you’ve learnt a skill, chances are that you have had some ideas on how to use your skill to solve a problem. Go ahead and work on it like someone is paying you to do so. If you haven’t thought of an idea yet, then you must have at least seen an expert in your field do something you’re impressed by. Start from scratch, do it again like it was your idea, improve upon it. Input the time and dedication you normally would if you were being paid. This will not only pass as work experience and proof of work for you, it’d also help you become better at what you already know. After all, practice makes perfect.
PARTICIPATE IN GROUP PROJECTS
Participate in online and offline events and projects that help you utilize your skills. Hackathons, contests, challenges, etc. will improve your skill and even better, look good on your resume if you win. The projects that you embark on will also be great additions to your portfolio.
In addition, these projects are a great way to meet and network with people who may work for companies that you’d like to work for, people who know what you know, people who want to know what you know and people who know much more.
WORK FOR VALUE
If you are willing, work for a cause, a person or a company that gives you the skillsets or any other value you need to be successful in your career. This experience can give your resume the boost it needs to land you a well deserved paying job. Some people call it paying your dues, some people call it working for free, whatever it is that is called, if a job gives you value that you need and will work for you later, take it.
A combination of these tips would help improve your resume and prepare you for your next job. Go forth and conquer. Good luck