Sunday, July 29, 2012

Gaining Experience (Part II)

In part I you found how to use networking as an ongoing strategy to find and reveal opportunities to gain experience. In this second part, you’ll find descriptions of some the opportunities that can come from branded networking. You’ll also find perspective on how traditional opportunities can be of value while you build your career. By implementing a dynamic gaining experience strategy, you will maximize your opportunities and set yourself up for success.

Temp Agencies
Agencies are typically free to join and because they do all the work for you, you can carry out other element of your gaining experience strategy (that you may love, but bring you no income) while paid opportunities are being found for you! Being a temp agency client is a smart move for any gaining experience strategy.

Volunteer opportunities are everywhere, even in a slow job market you will be able to find opportunities to volunteer. Volunteering gives you legitimate experience while allowing you to explore different work roles and occupations with limited commitment. You can also use volunteer jobs as a way to harness or build new skills. Prevent gaps in your employment history by volunteering while you’re employed; it also shows potential employers that you have initiative to do something constructive during your free time.

Freelancing allows you to make money while doing something of your choosing; usually a service and always something you’re good at if not at least competent in doing. Choose something you love then sell yourself to a market of people who would benefit from your services. Easier said than done, but if you’ve branded yourself well then half the challenge is already over.

Blogging not only gives you marketing and writing experience, but it is also a great way to build your network and add value to your branding strategy (if you blog on a topic relevant to your brand). Clickhere to read about blogging from the point of view of student fashion blogger,Stephanie Ukpere.

Direct Sales
The business of direct selling is horrible!...if heard from the point of view of someone who has been bothered by friends, family, or colleagues, but from the perspective of a careerist, direct sales companies offer great opportunities for professional development while gaining experience; and they're always hiring. Through the training and development programs that many direct sales companies offer, a consultant can learn and gain experience in business management and sales. Note: Direct sales companies all come with different policies, commissions, and start up fees (no risk, no reward) —so do your research before making the leap.
Some comapnies now offer special training programs to students

Even with all the options and approaches to gaining experience available to you, you may still struggle to find available opportunities; if you find yourself in this situation, my philosophy is this: if you can’t find an opportunity, create one! With that said, try finding ways you can help a local charity or small business in exchange for a letter of recommendation, referrals, or even a JOB. Create your own project proposals or help with an existing one.

What strategies and options have you used during your efforts to gain experience? Share in the comments below!

#ShesaBoss and #theGB blog

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