04 April 2012

How To Overcome the Dreaded Catch 22: Lack Of Work Experience

In today's competitive jobmarket relevant work experience has become ever more important. And so what happens if you have not been working due to redundancy or indeed you have been out of work for a period of time? It is a situation anyone of us could literally find ourselves in as no one is immune from redundancy, even if you run your own business! So what can you do to safeguard yourself against the impending question, what have you been doing since your last job?

First, have you wondered why people who are currently working or employed in some capacity seem to get more opportunities coming their way as oppose to those people who supposedly have more time on their hands? It goes to the heart of this blog, in that every employer wants an active person, someone who is ideally doing the job right now, someone with current experience. It is like the advert i came across recently, it was for a job with a major global technology company, and the subtext was that they wanted someone who 'eats, drinks and sleeps software'.

For this reason, when you have been out of work for a while or just been made redundant, one of the ways around this is to stay active in your field, even if you are not being paid initially. And so, i would encourage you to look for volunteering roles where you could utilise your skills or indeed if you are applying for work within the retail or service industry there are numerous charity organisations you can work for, and at least, this way you stay active, confident and positive about your future.

'Work' in its truest sense of the word does not just mean work that is rendered when you are paid. One author whose work i greatly admire and has been an inspiration to me is Charles Handy, in his international bestseller, 'The Age of Unreason (1989)' he went on to break down work as being split into two distinct types. There is paid and free work, with wage and a fee type work being both forms of paid work. And then he went on to classify free work as the following: study work, homework and gift work.

So if you are not being paid right now i.e. you are unemployed, then the next best thing is to consider 'gift work', where you give your time for work and effort that pays little if anything now but can often reap massive dividends in the future. At least, it keeps you current, enabling you to talk about your skills and experience in the present tense as oppose to the past.

Femi Yusoof


Post a Comment

<< Home