To gain experience, you need a job. And to get a job, you need experience. Do not let this paradox discourage you. There are numerous ways to expand your experience, build skills and confidently prove yourself in the workplace. Whether you are still looking for work or just started, you can show your mettle in the following ways, even if you have little experience:

Expand your knowledge and develop your skills

Employers increasingly realise that the number of years you are in the job market does not equal your effectiveness. Although practical experience triumphs, you can still show your new or future employer that you are quick off the mark. You must make yourself more attractive as an employee; you cannot wait for interested companies to do it for you. But how do you do it? Read a lot and keep a list of the valuable articles and books you read. Do practical online short courses or build your skills through YouTube videos. Expand your knowledge and develop your practical skills so that you will at least be able to show an employer that you want to learn and can do so.

With entry-level jobs, your little experience can even be a bonus if you are willing to learn and do things differently. The fact that you go out of your way to develop new skills will lure any employer.

Passion and curiosity

Employers often make costly mistakes by appointing employees who look good on paper and have experience but are not motivated for that position. Employers consider your passion and energy and what you know about their industry or company. Someone with passion is willing to work harder and do more and will be a better team player. In your interview, show that you are curious about the industry and that you are passionate about the company or the job.

Create your own experience

If reading books, doing online courses and passion don’t do the job, it’s time to gain in-service experience. It is better to work for free for a while at a non-profit company or to do an internship than it is to do nothing while you are looking for a job. Once you make yourself available, even for free, you have co-workers and a network of people who may be able to open doors for you. It also gives you real experience that you can put on your resume. Of course, the ideal would be to volunteer in an industry that is related to the one in which you are interested. But if it is not possible, it will still show your willingness to gain experience and opportunities will emerge!

Life experience

You may think you have little experience, but life experience certainly filters through during a job interview. If you learned important lessons during your three months in England, served on the Student Council, or even went through difficult times, share it in your interview.

Applications and online resources that can help

  • TED: A video platform with thousands of inspirational videos on arts, science and global issues
  • Udemy: An online service that offers courses on anything from guitar to web development
  • Duolingo: The easiest way to learn a new language
  • Mind Tools: An application that provides resources to develop your leadership and management skills

People who are passionate and curious and go out of their way to create experiences for themselves are people employers will be keen to employ. Little experience means you have few enough responsibilities to tackle new experiences!


This article originally appeared on the website of AfriVriendelik.

AfriForum Network is an initiative of AfriForum to help consumers find businesses in South Africa on the web.

AfriForum Network is not only meant for Afrikaans businesses, but also for English companies that also offer their services in Afrikaans. This platform is not only for the benefit of consumers and entrepreneurs, but also for the benefit of Afrikaans.

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