For me, 2014 and 2015 were years of change. I was graduating university, moving to the city, enrolling in a post grad program, and now, I find myself a working business woman at a marketing and advertising agency. Although this seems like a quick summary of life events separated by a few commas; essentially a fast tracked career path, think again, it did not come easy. Despite my journey seeming straightforward, it took persistence, dedication & a lot of sacrifice.
Throughout just this past year, I’ve evolved from a media intern, trying to balance my personal life with with a demanding retail position, to a sales assistant with a notable company that works closely with bloggers connecting them to the media, and I’m only growing from there.
Like any one else in their first entry level position, I needed to seriously prove myself to peers, coworkers, and those leading the company. How might one do that? Being overworked & underpaid.
Although it might be really tempting to choose the easy route, the one where the money is good, it’s really important while you’re still young to decide if the path that you’re headed on is going to lead you in a direction that you’ll be happy with for years to come. If it’s not, you only have a matter of time before your resume is so strong in a field that you’re not passionate about that you’re stuck in it forever.
If you’re in a similar journey that I was in a year ago, I promise, this will be worth it!
Here is my justification of why Gaining Experience is More Important than Money:
This is your most valuable asset in the working world, along with your reputation. A crafted piece of paper with your greatest accomplishments and highlighted knowledge and ironically, personal income is not listed.
When you’re working in a field that doesn’t align with your long term goals, you begin to craft a resume that doesn’t have the right type of experiences on it to help you achieve your plans.
This is why it’s so important to have a laser focus on where you want to go (or at least the things that make you happy) so you know where to elaborate on your experiences.
yessupply co. tip: Working in a field outside of your goal industry? Start building your resume any way you can before you even get hired. You can grab an internship like Marlayna did, start volunteering, or even start writing and blogging about your topic of choice to get noticed!
All industries are significantly large, although with the accessibility of social media, ie. LinkedIn, any future employer can converse with your past co-workers. So make an impact. Who wouldn’t want to hire a ‘go-getter,’ ‘involved,’ and ‘invested’ individual? This is your first opportunity to build a network. A quote from the experts: “78% of recruiters say that personal referrals are the best source of quality hires” (Fast Company, 2015). Like I said, create a stellar persona.
Now it’s time to move on from entry level, to mid level. Your next employer is hiring you for what YOU know and the value you will bring to the team. At that moment, you may come at a price; a price because you have the experiential advantage over all other candidates. Quite often the job description will ask for 3+ years of experience, but if you have 1 year, a solid year with some notable accomplishments, that will fast track your career more than you can imagine!
From experience, here are my ways to get more involved at work and succeed expectations:
Always say yes
You might already have enough on your plate, but make it work. Your superior is trusting you to complete this task, now knock it out of the park & surpass their expectations.
“Can I help with anything else?”
Before you head out the door for the evening, take a second and ask. The answer will often be no but it’s the thought that counts. Aim to focus on adding extra help on areas of the business that you’re hoping to move into. The yes supply co. team can all speak to opportunities that they’ve gotten to take on their dream jobs because of going above and beyond and working on tasks that were slightly above their pay grade. This is the best way to prove to your employer that you’re capable of actually working taking on that job full time!
Find a mentor & ask for advice
You might be gravitated by their work ethic, personality, career path or job position, but this individual will be your golden ticket in the company.
Team building, team activities, company sports team, committees etc. Network with others and build your reputation. I was recently asked to become a member of my Company’s Culture Club, which has given me an opportunity to open new doors and converse with new people.
Have a voice and be remembered
Never feel that you’re below the fold. Share your opinion, thoughts, recommendations, task strategy and ask to be involved. Ultimately don’t speak to be heard, speak to add value. “Hey can I jump on this call with you?” “What’s your meeting about?” Simple, yet effective and evidently you are learning more too.
A pen & paper should be glued to your hand. You never know when that bullet point will come in handy in that deal breaking meeting, business pitch or just about any meeting. People around you will be impressed that you take every interaction important enough to keep notes on it.
Have more questions on gaining experience to get the job of your dreams? Leave them for us in the comments!
Hope these tips add a little flare to your work life and if you’re are interested in more recruitment stats check out this article from fast company on how job recruiters don’t care about your GPA or cover letter here.