I have a 23 year old son. My living room is often filled with the ambitious, the lost, the determined and the clueless ages 19 – 26. Some already have a Masters degree. Some are still trying out the minimum wage route. All of them feel burdened by the "need experience to get a job; need a job to get experience" conundrum.
There is a middle ground; it's your personal brand. Mentors help you develop it. Sponsors promote it. And only the brand holder can define it.
At a very basic level:
1. What 3 words do you wish folks would use to describe you in a job?
2. What have you done this week to demonstrate those attributes to others?
3. What do you have planned to do?
If you're a coffee pourer and want folks to know you're "creative, intelligent & people-savvy" (for example), what can you do in your workplace (and outside of it) to showcase the best of yourself?
· Volunteer opportunities
· Work committees
· Extra assignment /offer of help to someone
· Conversation with your manager to ask for any of the above
· Build your network to ask other people how they've managed the transition
Just a few ideas that show how you can demonstrate ability before getting paid experience. Demonstrating the very skills for which you hope to be hired can be very powerful in getting you the paid opportunities.