The Vicious Cycle: “No experience, no job; no job, no experience”
This is a most frustrating and extremely common conundrum. Don’t let your numerical lack of experience in years dissuade you from trying to get a good job.
This is what you should know:
1) The cruel reality: If you are more than two years below the required number of years of experience, unless you are already recognized as “the next best thing” in your field, you won’t qualify, and you’d better look for an opportunity elsewhere.
2) Working as a volunteer in a “good” organization or for a good cause outside of or in addition to your regular job or studies, can be regarded as an accountable experience; i.e. it is not double-counting. However, once you are a true professional and over the “student-internship period” of your life, don’t look for or accept unpaid work in a for-profit organization. Also, think about creating and leading your own “selfless” project or organization. This shows your leadership and entrepreneurial spirit, two very well regarded traits.
3) MultiPOD Mentoring will give you credit for your time in the program, as your own investment in your professional career. An effective mentoring session may translate into two (or even more) weeks of “real world” experience. Your Mentor is not only transferring time-proven knowledge and sharing her/his work and life experiences with you; she/he is giving you tips and “secrets of the trade” that you can’t get from a book and may take years to acquire by yourself. Mentoring will make you a better health professional now and in the future. Count your mentoring experience as real experience outside your work and studies. And don’t be shy.
4) In summary: In “years of experience,” time in years is relative (to a certain point – see 1). What counts is “experience” because that’s what employers want. You must be truthful but creative. Mentoring is “quality time” invested in accelerating your career. This has real value, and a well-written recommendation letter by your Mentor will provide a compelling argument to strengthen your application. Remember that the main point of your application is to get to the next round and ideally, to have an opportunity to be interviewed for the job.
5) And finally, here’s the recipe to break the Vicious Cycle of “no experience, no job; no job, no experience”: You must build a Virtuous Cycle of “good (accountable) experience, leading to a good job; and a good job leading to more experience” (and a better job). And so on…and so on…and so on…until you become “the next best thing” in your field. Nothing less will do.
Thank you for reading this; comment, if you wish, DZ