Why Entry Level Employment
Is Passing You By...
Is Passing You By...
And How To Stop It!
Entry level tech jobs. Entry level finance jobs. Entry level employment.
You'd think that after recently earning a college degree in computers or accounting from a well-recognized university, you should be qualified enough to make the grade also for one of those many entry level computer jobs or entry level accounting jobs that you see posted in Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com day after day since you graduated, right?
I mean, what can be so difficult to understand about the words entry level?
You're just getting started in life. You've spent most of it in school, studying, learning and getting good grades. You've done some part-time work here and there to pay for expenses and trips.
That was kind of your entry level employment years. But your main job was to get done with school.
And now you're done.
The Search For Entry Level Employment Begins...Here you are a graduate and your training is over. You've got your professional entry level resume ready and you're out there knocking on doors. You got student loans to pay. You got a career to get started. Why then are these businesses now requiring 1 to 2 years of related work experience just to consider you for entry level jobs?
Why is the following story becoming so typical today?
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finding an entry level job that you want
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He has a B.A. degree in Computer Science and is working part-time at a local tutoring center. He wants to pursue a career in software development.
He knows nothing about marketing or sales. But he knows he needs entry level employment. One of his friends has been looking for work for 10 months. She has a degree in Communications, and graduated the same year that the tech major looking for entry level tech jobs did.
She is also looking for entry level employment. In this case, she took courses in marketing and knows a little bit about inside sales, because she worked one summer at a call center doing telemarketing. She knows how to use Photoshop, so she is looking for entry level graphic design jobs. It's not what she really wants to do. But 10 months is a long time to be unemployed.
So the computer guy has been fortunate enough to have had 15 interviews in the last 4 months. Unfortunately enough, he has also been turned down all 15 times. It's brutal. His confidence and optimism are on the floor. So many chances, so little reward.
We could argue that maybe he doesn't know how to market himself. But he did everything that he knew to do to try to get himself some entry level employment, by...
- Setting up RSS feeds from job search websites to his Google Reader account
- Using an article spinning software service to create variations on his resume to apply to all these posted jobs
- Memorizing tons of interview questions to prepare for all 15 calls and follow-up meetings
- Sending out thank-you letters, follow-up questions and recommendations, etc.
He was systematic in his entry level employment search. But in the end he kept hearing "We need specialists in Java or .NET development, banking IT or business intelligence for CRM in telco and 1 to 2 years of entry level experience."
He's still unemployed.
What Would You Do If This Was Your Story?Meanwhile, his more marketing savvy friend has had 1 interview for a promising entry level account manager job at an online wireless company that sells brand new cell phones for a discount.
The position seemed a good fit for her, since it required 0 to 3 years of experience. The interview itself went really well. However, nearly 2 months after she interviewed and 2 more follow-up letters later, the company hired another candidate for that position with several years of wireless experience.
When she emails the HR manager to ask why she wasn't hired, the manager tells her that even though she had met every requirement for the position, the company decided to hire someone else with wireless experience instead.
So, let's understand this.
One technical guy, who is using his technical knowledge to get lots of interviews, can't get 1 job because he has to use those skills for up to 2 years someplace, maybe like India or China where much of software development has been outsourced.
Then the experienced non-technical gal, who is using her non-technical knowledge to get entry level employment in a position that doesn't require experience, can't get the job because someone else who they favored for industry-related experience got it.
Would you know what to do at this point?
Maybe you've already been turned down after an interview for entry level employment, even though you may have had several part-time jobs during college and felt that you had sufficient experience to get any entry level job, if available.
It's an employer's market right now, however. And companies can afford to hire more experienced candidates now-a-days, because there are many experienced individuals unemployed and taking reductions in their wages to regain employment quickly. That is why even entry level jobs now require 2-3 years of experience.
This fact of entry level employment morass for the inexperienced is enough to frustrate and depress any school graduate today. It will feel like you have exhausted every option that you have to get full-time employment. It will feel like your life is on hold.
You want to be independent. You want to take care of yourself and move out to be on your own in your own place. But now, not only are you not sure whether you're ever going to be independent, but you're unsure that you'll ever get full-time work, especially if it seems to you that employers hold to an impression that you are too inexperienced and unproven in the work force even to get entry level employment.
Do you want a suggestion on how to address this conundrum at this point?
What Can You Do If You're Failing At Getting Entry Level Employment?There are 10 steps that you can follow to win at the entry level employment game. But let's begin with what doesn't work. Falling into the temptation to take a "brief hiatus" from the job search to concentrate on looking for a part-time job right now is not a workable option.
It's because part-time work is not really entry level employment. It's distracting. You need to concentrate all your energies on a single point of focus and manage yourself down a critical trajectory toward the single objective for which you've developed a work search project. That objective is getting purposive work done.
If you begin to think about doing work that has purpose (and getting money for working is NOT the purpose that I'm talking about), then you'll be calibrating yourself for effective action. You'll start thinking like an entrepreneur.
So, in short, when looking for work, quit thinking and behaving like a wage slave. Act like an entrepreneur. Act like you're about to open own business. That's your work search project.
- Imagine you had five mouths to feed. If you talk like you're independent but you live like a dependent, you're already a loser without even trying in this game.
- Cut your expenses to the bone, by defining your most essential needs and abstaining from spending on your wants. Make your current resources last!
- Decide the chief purpose of your life and what talents and tools you're now ready to apply to fulfill that purpose. Give yourself 1 week at most to define this. You've lived long enough. You should know by now what you're here on earth to do.
- Identify 10 teams that you really want to become involved with, because they're working in the direction of your life's purpose. The key word here is 'teams'.
- Identify 2 people in each team who you wish to connect with to discuss how well their activities are going, based on what you've learned about these teams elsewhere. This is what social media tools are for. If you're not going to use Facebook and LinkedIn this way, then quit messing with them otherwise!
- Design a proposal that focuses on the positive impact that you can make to each team, if they were willing to let you demonstrate it once you make them an offer.
- Deliver these benefit-laden offers through one of your 2 contacts to the heads of these teams, making it too costly for them to refuse you.
- Be flexible with your expectations, being willing to relocate or start at a compensation different than what you wish for. Take what the market can bear.
- Dedicate yourself full-time to this process of proposal writing and business interaction. That's your entry level job for now.
- Negotiate for contract work first and foremost to complete a specific project and then repeat the process until a project is so big that your required stay with a team needs to be long-term with any one team.
Do this and your entry level employment will be varied, dynamic and purposive. You will be someone to contend with, standing head and shoulders above your competition and even giving people with more years of experience than you a run for their money.
This is how I started my own career. I had to. I had mouths to feed. My entry level employment consisted of hard knocks. But I also had learned some good lessons from my dad during childhood, even starting my own business as a teenager and receiving good advice from several mentors in school and elsewhere. So now I share the same thoughts with you.
If you need more specific help regarding entry level employment or how starting your own business can lead to a full-time job in the career field that you want, then just fill out the form below to drop me a line. That's what I'm here for.
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What Experience Have You Had Getting Entry Level Employment Without Work Experience?
Have you seen entry level job postings requiring 1-3 years of experience? Do you think those are really entry level opportunities?
How are you handling tactics designed to weed out too many applicants for few jobs?
For example, a company announces an opening for an entry level position and 500 resumes show up for it. So the criteria then becomes adding 1-2 years work experience to weed out the fresh college grads who have little or none of it.
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