Job Search Tips for ECPs: What To Do When You Lack Experience

by Brad McCorkle on January 23, 2013

Let’s face it. Finding a job - regardless of your level of experience - can be a challenging task. In this blog series, we plan to equip you with the power to land the job of your dreams with 10 helpful tips for the job-seeking ECP. Let’s get started!

Job Search Tip #8: What To Do When You Lack Experience

Experience

Searching for a job without the appropriate level of experience can not only make the job search difficult, but it can also leave you feeling trapped in a vicious cycle of rejection and frustration. With the exception of entry-level positions, almost every job opportunity on the market today is going to require at least some level of prior experience from an applicant.  In the eye care industry, many fields require special certifications or licenses from applicants - items that require a considerable amount of time and commitment - as a prerequisite for a hiring potential.  If you’re finding that your level of experience is limited, this post is designed to help you get started in the right direction and get your job search back on track.

1. Work as a Temp

When it becomes apparent that your options for full-time employment are limited, an excellent route to pursue is that of temporary employment.  Temporary jobs, in general, tend to carry more of a negative connotation than they deserve, but are actually great segues into your desired career field.  These types of positions can give you the training and insight you would need in a full-time occupation in the same setting.  They also give you the time and flexibility you could use to become certified or licensed in your occupation.  Needless to say, temporary work can offer a wider range of possibilities when it comes to your career than others may believe.  Not to mention the lingering possibility of a full-time job offer at the end of the stint.  Now that’s something you could take to the bank!

2. Volunteer

If you just can’t seem to find a paid position - full-time, part-time or temporary - then volunteering to work in your desired career field is another great way to get some valuable experience - especially if you’re in school or working and looking for a career transition.  Although volunteering isn’t a paid endeavor, it does allow for significant hands-on experience, personal interactions with staff members, and wonderful sources for references as you move forward in your job search.  Another great thing about volunteer work is that the hours are typically incredibly flexible - leaving you time to focus on school, your income-generating job, and your job search.

3. Further your Education

Another way to gain additional experience is to further your education in your desired career field.  This may ring truer for older job seekers, but everyone can benefit from adding additional education to their resume - especially if it refines what you already know in your career.  Through additional education, you could participate in work-study programs that place students in occupations similar to or in the same department as your chosen curriculum.  Programs like these not only give you hands-on experience, they also help you financially support yourself to pay for the education you are receiving.  A win-win in our book, and a great way to add some meat to your professional resume. Although advancing your education may not be the right avenue for everyone, there are added benefits to having additional qualifications in lieu of years of experience as far as your career is concerned.

4. Shadow Someone in the Field

Shadowing is one of the most flexible forms of gaining experience, since there’s not really a set standard on what to expect with career shadowing.  It’s also not as valuable, since shadowing doesn’t require any work to be performed by the shadower.  It is, however, a great way to learn more about a desired field and can oftentimes be integral to determining what career path you should settle on for the long haul.

Overall, having experience in a given career field is very important to the modern job seeker as the job market becomes increasingly competitive in the eye care industry.  With proper planning, allocated time, and a little research, getting the experience necessary to remain competitive in the job market is certainly within reach.  Of course, as in all adventures, one must be ready and willing to take the first step.

Are you ready to take the first step in getting more experience in your career field?  Start with Local Eye Site - the premier job site for eye care professionals.  We have all types of jobs in the eye care industry - close to home and nationwide.  Visit our website and apply for your dream job today!

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