Experience Wanted

The hardest part of looking for a job right now is that I’d really sort of love to try something totally new and different from what I’ve done before, but when I look into any of those jobs, they all require some kind of experience. They want either a degree in the field, or they want practical work experience.

For example, I think it could be really interesting to be a social media person. I have a great deal of personal experience with social media, and I’ve seen enough blunders that I certainly know what NOT to do from a corporate perspective. I think I’d be really great with social media. (And, truly, I’m trying to get better in my personal life and have a bigger presence to more easily network and also learn the things I never really paid much mind to–I’m looking at you, Facebook!)

But I don’t have that experience. So I need to get some, if I really want to do that.

  • I could look at entry-level jobs, which might forgive my lack of degree in favor of my decade-plus of full-time employment. Unfortunately, I don’t think I could live on an entry-level salary at this time.
  • I could go to school and get, if not a full degree, at least some class courses. But that would have to be on an audit or free course basis, as I can’t afford to pay for classes right now.
  • I could get hired to do the job! Oh…wait, that’s the issue I’m trying to fix right now.

It’s frustrating. So I’m trying to look for jobs similar to my previous one and hope that I get one that turns out so wonderful that I don’t care about not making a huge change, or hope that it pays the bills well enough to let me take some courses or something. I’ll also keep an eye on FutureLearn or other MOOCs for some courses there, too.  It’s worth a shot!

4 Comments on “Experience Wanted

  1. Hi there! Had no idea you were writing here.

    Given my work in the Staffing industry, I can try to offer a few thoughts. Standard disclaimers (consider the source – social media is not a huge category in my industry) apply.

    If entry-level jobs are out, getting started will be challenging. I would not pay to go back to school, however, because at the end without work experience you will still only be qualified for an entry level job – only now you will be out any tuition costs, etc.

    If you want to break into Social Media beyond an entry-level position, your best bet is to establish a killer professional online presence. LinkedIn, Twitter, a professional blog on a subject-specific site, with as many followers as you can manage. Then you can craft a resume detailing the number of followers, the number of hits, identify any ad revenue you’ve generated, etc., along with the work history of your current position. Show you can do the work; results are hard to argue with.

    You could also volunteer for a local charity as a Social Media consultant, which would be good experience. The hours would likely be flexible, and it would count as experience on a resume.

    Most importantly, become an active participant in online communities dedicated to social media professionals. Network – anything they have to say on the subject will be far more relevant than anything I can say, and they’re your best bet for finding actual jobs.

    • Hey! I’ve been an unsuccessful blogger for a while; I’ve just started including FB in my sharing. And it looks like it’s paid off!

      That’s really good stuff to keep in mind. I suppose the first thing I should do is get my personal blog a little more consistently updated and at least get an audience here.

      (If I’m fully honest with myself, I want to make money as a writer. Of course that’s a tough road to travel on its own.)

      Thanks for your time and thoughts! :)

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