Getting a job in the UK – The paradox

You need experience to get the job but how to get experience?

You can’t get the job because you don’t have the experience but you need the experience to get a job, the classic corporate catch 22. Most entry level applicants for any job are frustrated to find that any given position requires work experience relevant to the field. According to James Citrin, this is the “permission paradox”. Citrin, Senior Director at Spencer Stuart goes on to say that,

“You are confident in your abilities if only you are given the chance. The hard part is getting the shot to show what you can do.”

Citrin maintains that the are five ways to overcome this paradox and secure that job that is going to bring you success and satisfaction even though you aren’t completely sure how to do it right now!

It looks like prospective Employers evaluate candidates that are being interviewed for a position in two ways. One being the potential results you will bring with you and the value you will add to the business and the other being your history, previous employment and any activities that are directly related to the job.

When Employers size up your potential value to their firm they are looking not only for the run of the mill things like a good attitude, enthusiasm, and a insatiable desire to learn, but if you come in prepared, already in possession of a working knowledge of what the company is about, what the position you are applying for entails and follow up with some intelligent and interesting questions to ask them, you will definitely rack up some good points in that category.

Next, you need to come up with any activities and or experience directly relevant to the job you desire and you don’t have a lot to show.

Interestingly, Robbie Waeschenfelder, Senior Director of Marketing at aims him advice at the employers and not the applicants in this case. His theory is that even though it seems like a good idea to pick candidates for a job who have extensive experience in the field, it could be more beneficial to pick one that does not.  In essence people who have extensive work experience in any given field have, by default, spent a lot of time in that kind of job. Would they be as highly motivated as, say someone who has been given a chance to learn new tricks, and prove themselves as valuable to the firm? The new guy with no experience, Mr. Waeschenfelder notes, will give it everything the he has got, mostly because he has to impress, has to learn and has to make sure he does not fail.

So if you are out to get the job you have no experience for, and you want it badly enough, it is not impossible. You need to be willing. Willing to start at the bottom, willing to learn new things, willing to go on courses or learn online, willing to go the extra mile and even, yes you can; give your time for free if necessary!