Whether you’re launching your career or trying to change its direction, you can get around the Catch-22 issue (“You can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job.”) with humility.
The solution is to get some humility because today’s shifting job market requires everyone incuding young job seekers and older workers with years of experience to continously reinvent their careers in order to stay marketable in a competitive global economy.
The lesson is that careers, skills and workplace environments will continute to transition and there is nothing we can do about that because what is marketable and in-demand today may not be wanted tomorrow.
However, we can succeed if we learn how to transition our skills or careers with humility.
In an interesting post on Harvard Business Review, Larry Stybel (co-founder of the global career management firm Stybel Peabody Lincolnshire and Executive in Residence at the Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University) writes on how staying humble helped him transition his career and become a business consultant.
In reading about Larry’s career transition, you will see that he did not just:
Keep sending resumes out hoping that he will get lucky
Ignore or hope to beat the requirement for experience
Larry, offered his skills for nothing in exchange for getting the required hands-on experience in his industry.
He humbly offered his skills for nothing by working two days a week for two months, in exchange for experience.
His advice: “You’re too proud to offer your services at no charge? Get over it. If you choose the right opportunity, you’ll gain industry or functional experience that has immeasurable value – and will ultimately lead to a real paycheck.”
After reading the post, here are some exercises that will help you overcome the Catch 22 Dilemna
List companies that have good ideas in your industry and need help with executing them
List how much personal time you can invest on helping others achieve their goals
List the skills that you will offer to executives, companies or employers in excange for hands-on experience
Take action by approaching the companies or executives that you listed and offering your time for paid or non-paid work in exchange for hands-on experience