Like many job seekers one of the major obstacles to acquiring a good job is lack of experience. It is a harsh reality, yet it’s something you need to consider carefully.

If I can’t get hired, how do I get experience?

Many of us have been on interviews where the hiring manager will tell us: you lack experience so we will be going with another candidate with a bit more. Nothing wrong with that–the company is assessing their needs and hiring based on experience. However, the frustrating part of it is: how can you build your experience if nobody is willing to hire you?

Well, there’s so many times you can listen to that statement. If someone gives that answer try asking them how can you acquire experience in their professional experience? You probably won’t get a good answer. Instead you need to start pulling up your bootstraps and building up your experience by connecting with local businesses!

You might not know it but you have an amazing treasure trove of experience right in your backyard in the form of local business and organizations! You can get a lot of great real world experience with these organizations whether it be profit or non-profits.

So where do you start?

First off, make a list of local organizations. Pizza joints. Tax offices. Fashion boutiques. Restaurants. Book store. Check out there websites and social media presence. Research what they are known for, their history and see how you can help them. When you have your list ready head out and meet managers/owners! One of the best things about small local business is: you have a good chance of knowing their business well (you may be a client) and it is very easy to talk to the decision maker.

How can you help them?

Do you have a business, marketing or financial degree? Tell them how you can help them with your knowledge that you garnered from your degree. Make a case for yourself! Also, sometimes you have to swallow the bitter pill and do some free work in order to build up your experience. Another good idea is while you are getting experience doing what you want to do consider having a part time or fulltime job to keep you afloat!

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