Debunking the myth of required experience

“We are looking for a young graduate with a rich experience and plenty of enthusiasm” or “Dynamic company in search of a fresh graduate with two years of experience” or “If you’ve just finished school and you’ve gathered some experience, it’s time to switch to corporate” – does any of these sound familiar to you?

These, like billions of other job postings have an important common factor: employers seeking young people that boast with experience and just finished studies. This seems impossible, right? Actually, it is not, and many people fail to see the large palette of opportunities university life comes with. There are some great chances to acquire the much-appreciated experience while going through school without big fuss.

The simplest option, at hand for anyone, is to join a student organization and get involved in its activities. The Erasmus Student Network is one of the dozens associations European students can enrol in even from the first year. A door-opener, the ESN is a good starting point for important experience that can make the difference among candidates in a job hunt.

Self made man? Make the first steps during your spare hours! If you consider working on your own at some point, start trying early. There are jobs for which you can start building a portfolio early. If you dream being a web designer, an architect or a landscapist, there’s no one to stop you from starting a portfolio of (why not) imaginary projects. Later you’ll be able either to use your work in interviews, as a back-up of your CV or to sell it directly to clients that are interested in it.

Joining an NGO cannot hurt either. There are plenty organizations supported through volunteering, all you have to do is find your niche and dedicate some hours of your free time to lend a hand to a cause you believe in. Doing good is very easy, especially when you help yourself too.

Tutoring is another considerable option, not to mention it can bring you some easy-made money, while allowing you to test you teaching skills before deciding for an academic career path with your eyes closed and your hands tied. In case you don’t like it, you can just give up anytime, without any complications.

You need experience to get a job and you need a job to get experience – NO! Forget about this. Think more about the fact that your future employer wants to see certain skills and abilities in you, characteristics you can develop through the activities mentioned above. No one is so unrealistic to believe you can be both young and experienced, so test the waters of labour, learn what you’d love to do and what not and acquire that much-desired experience in the manner it best suits you.