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Stuck in the Circle: Needing a Job to Get a Job

Around and around, the Catch-22 circle goes, picking up students, recent graduates, or those wanting to change career paths. It’s the snowball that won’t stop rolling and won’t stop growing. Employers want experience. You have no experience. You’ve just started — why do they expect so much?

I’ll let you in on a little secret: a lot of those job posts that ask for “10+ years in developing marketing copy” or “25+ years in developing narratives” say these things to weed out those too afraid to take the plunge and put themselves out there.

It’s intimidating. It’s beyond intimidating. These floating, abstract entities with logos designed by graphic gods seem so out of reach, so above and beyond you and your capabilities. I’m here to tell you: that’s simply not the case.

You’ve got to demonstrate your drive and your grit. And you’ve got to do this right off the bat. Recruiters often don’t know how to effectively put into words what their company wants and what the role involves. You can use this vagueness, this inherent leeway, as an opportunity to genuinely show what you are capable of.

How? By already doing the job you’re applying for. I do not mean trying to gain a position at another company then leveraging that as ‘experience’. You must show your dedication. You must show your skills — the practical side of the business world is everything. 

If the position is for copywriting blog articles for a sustainable fashion magazine: write a 500-word blog post on sustainable fashion in that company’s tone of voice. Yes — it’s a lot more work. You may even question whether this company will run off with your work and never contact you. That’s unlikely, but the eternal, recurring fear is always there. I’ve had that countless times.

However. Think about it this way: the recruiter wants proof you can do what the job says. You have now provided the proof. This outclasses any need for decades worth of experience they may have requested. Your initiative has proven you not just as an employee but as a dedicated human being.

Besides, at worst, you’ve written up a sample blog for your portfolio. That’s experience in itself.

Every job opening is an opportunity to learn, to build, and to forge yourself into the employee you have always dreamed of being. Don’t fall victim to the imposter syndrome: outsmart it. 

Now is the time to run rings around that circle that has kept us all trapped for so long. Let’s break free, together.


27 Mar 2021

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