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If every job requires 2+ years of experience, where the f*** do you start?
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Dec 19, 2007, 05:36 PM
 
I'm looking online for jobs in the area of library and information science and every job requires a masters degree (OK that's fine, go to grad school, no problem) but also several years of professional experience in a particular niche field. How the &&&& are you supposed to get a good job when all of them require experience? Where do you get the initial experience??
     
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Dec 19, 2007, 05:45 PM
 
In my case, I never get jobs I apply for. It always comes down to networking for me. The last several jobs I've had came from people I had either worked with before or was referred to by someone I had worked for before. I got my first job while I was still in school. I didn't have experience but the place was willing to hire a student.

You're right, though. It's crazy out there. Places want people who have a masters degree and many years experience in more areas than any one person could have.
     
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Dec 19, 2007, 05:47 PM
 
I'm sorry I can't provide you with any advise, but all I can say is; I feel your pain! I'm in the same situation myself (albeit within a different field). Unfortunately, it seems to be a 'Catch 22' situation. It seems to be a case of who you know, over what you know.

Good luck,
onlyone-jc.
     
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Dec 19, 2007, 06:00 PM
 
Universities are a good place to gain that sort of experience... A university/college paid job that is, not just experience from taking classes)
     
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Dec 19, 2007, 06:03 PM
 
internships while in college (i.e., during summers) are also helpful
     
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Dec 19, 2007, 06:04 PM
 
Intern, volunteer, network, and realize that sometimes those requirements are aspirational.
     
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Dec 19, 2007, 06:04 PM
 
I just started a job that required two years experience, specifically paid experience. I had the former but not the latter. Anyway, I was able to get an interview and showed them that I knew the material. I asked lots of questions and was able to demonstrate that I would be able to do the job and be able to provide the good problem-solving skills that they needed.

If you can get an interview and you know your stuff, they may decided to take you regardless of the lack of experience. If you're doing a an on-line app where there is a form that asks how may years experience, I'd put the minimum as long as you can justify it in some way.

LLF is right as well. Tons of my friends have jobs based on who they know, not what they know. I laughed at the idea of networking in college and it bit me in the ass.
     
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Dec 19, 2007, 06:07 PM
 
Just apply and see what happens. Make sure your resume has pertinent experience if not totally related to the field, like working in a library or being the treasurer of a club. Never hurts to try. A lot of companies just put standard language detailing the job, but often, that is not really what the job entails. They are just weeding out people.
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Dec 19, 2007, 06:10 PM
 
You don't get a good job with no experience — unless you have hella good connections, you get a crap job or internship and then use that to move on to an actually desirable position.

And I'm not sure how many would be willing to completely waive the experience requirement, but many places are willing to fudge a bit if you otherwise seem more competent than the next guy.
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Dec 19, 2007, 07:15 PM
 
You should pick up that experience while you're earning your bachelors/masters.
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 19, 2007, 07:57 PM
 
Work at your school's library while you're getting a degree. Also, when you graduate, apply anyway. My very first job as a computer technician at a high school was one that I applied to that I didn't even meet the minimum requirements.

However, during the interview, I showed them that I knew my stuff very well. I aced their written and practical exam (which was required by the county) and they hired me.

My stepmom has a MLS and she says that IBM and other large technology companies are great places to work. So keep that in mind, you don't have to limit yourself to school and public libraries.
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Dec 19, 2007, 07:59 PM
 
A lot of companies and govt agencies are hiring librarians for information management stuff, too.
     
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Dec 19, 2007, 08:26 PM
 
Luck seems to be the number one thing that gets you started in a career. Lord knows I had plenty of it.

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Dec 19, 2007, 10:32 PM
 
Network with people in the field you want to work in. Join their associations, attend their symposiums, subscribe to their journals. AND apply. By stating that a job requires "X" amount of experience, the potential employer is saying "we want someone who knows what they're doing." But most places want you to do things their way, so as long as you're both ready and able to be trained (and a quick study), that shouldn't make a lot of difference. Good credentials, good references, and some internships can get you a lot farther than you might think!

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Dec 19, 2007, 10:40 PM
 
Join the Army or Air Force.
     
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Dec 19, 2007, 10:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Buckaroo View Post
Join the Army or Air Force.
This thread was about getting a good job, not being tortured for weeks in boot camp and then getting your hindquarters blown off by some guy named Abdul. Most people want to do the former — some people are OK with the latter, but it's more of a niche desire.
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Dec 19, 2007, 10:58 PM
 
I agree with what Warren said, and what others have mentioned about networking: it's all about getting your foot in the door and getting the interview.

One thing you have to keep in mind as well in your hunt: job listings are worded in such a way as to describe the most perfect candidate for the job. The fact is, there is no such thing. Employers are just throwing as big of a net as possible and seeing what kind of fish they catch. So always apply for a position you want, even if you don't meet their perfect description.

Enough has already been said about networking as well, so I'll just add my own personal anecdote regarding that: myself and four of my friends who went to, and graduated from, the same program in college are now employed in the same department. Coincidence? I think not.
     
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Dec 19, 2007, 11:04 PM
 
I submitted my resume more than five times to IBM... never got in... probably was never even looked at. Fortunately I have a good friend who's brother managed the IBM mainframe helpdesk. Because of that networking I slipped in the door easy as pie.

If I did not have that friend I'd still be banging my head outside on the IBM building. It's sad but it seems nobody goes by qualifications anymore.
     
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Dec 20, 2007, 12:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tyler McAdams View Post
If I did not have that friend I'd still be banging my head outside on the IBM building. It's sad but it seems nobody goes by qualifications anymore.
I think it's more likely that IBM simply gets thousands of applications per month from people equally as qualified as you.

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Dec 20, 2007, 02:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
I think it's more likely that IBM simply gets thousands of applications per month from people equally as qualified as you.
Which is probably true... but point being I got the job where "thousands of applicants" didn't. And how? Social engineering... which does not have **** to do with a computer half the time.
     
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Dec 20, 2007, 02:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tyler McAdams View Post
Which is probably true... but point being I got the job where "thousands of applicants" didn't. And how? Social engineering... which does not have **** to do with a computer half the time.
Would a roulette wheel be more appealing to you?
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Dec 20, 2007, 03:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Would a roulette wheel be more appealing to you?
Why yes that's exactly what I'm getting at. What a brilliant deduction.
     
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Dec 20, 2007, 04:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tyler McAdams View Post
Why yes that's exactly what I'm getting at. What a brilliant deduction.
I haven't seen any better suggestion — that's what I'm getting at.
Chuck
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Dec 20, 2007, 04:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I haven't seen any better suggestion — that's what I'm getting at.
Well I can see that for sure. I was damn lucky to get the job. It might as well have been on the wheel.
     
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Dec 20, 2007, 05:14 AM
 
a) Find a company that is so bad that NO ONE wants to work there, stick out your two years and move on.

b) Apply anyway. Avoid the pitfalls that stop 95% of applications dead in their tracks, which is basically apply in NAME to the person giving the application, spell EVERY word right in your CV and make yourself sound even SLIGHTLY interesting. You should get at least some interviews. My first job required two years experience. I applied straight from college, had a great interview (mostly about racing cars) and got the job (at less than they were offering - but hey)

Once you are in a job (any job) in your field, moving on is x100 easier. Don't be picky.

And the CV thing is for real. I've had thousands sent to me and indeed 95% are irrelevant, shoddy, misspelt and otherwise sub standard. It's not a hard field to be a leader in.

Good luck
     
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Dec 20, 2007, 11:06 AM
 
I got a lucky break earlier this year. Happened to have met a guy who helps make hiring decisions. He'd ran into me in a previous job and got to see me in action. He came away impressed, and remembered me when I applied for a great opening with his company.

Just another example of networking. However, I'll add that we didn't know each other well. We'd met during a joint venture from different companies, and apparently I made a very good impression.
     
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Dec 20, 2007, 03:21 PM
 
Like others have said, it's about networking. My own little saying is that it's not what you know, or who you know, it's who knows what you know. So get out there, work your contacts, your parent's contacts, your relative's contacts, your professor's contacts, and make sure they all know exactly what you're looking for.

I got my campus rep job with Apple by knowing the right people.

I got my Account Executive job with Apple by knowing the right people.

I got my National Sales Manager job with my current company by knowing the right people.

I'm in sales, but I have a CS degree. Experience has had dick to do with it.
     
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Dec 20, 2007, 03:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by macintologist View Post
Where do you get the initial experience??
I worked all the way through college (and before) in whatever job I could get. Most of it was skilled maintenance (fix-it stuff, with power tools, hence the skill). Also worked my way up to crew leader, based on kissing lots of butt and knowing my job. Most of the time I had more than one job at a time. After undergrad, I made it known to my bidness professors that I could do spreadsheet work and that I was looking for some "professional" experience. I had several opportunities to work on projects for local businesses and some of them lasted for almost 5 years, on and off, while I got my MBA. But I knew plenty of people who wouldn't have done that (for almost no pay, by the way) just to "get experience." And yes, I could have made a lot more money working construction/supervising during that time, but no thanks.

I joined professional associations, went to meetings, did lunch whenever I could (didn't buy many though). I went to conferences, presentations and seminars. Met everyone I could. Spent some time learning about what I was doing from folks who did it, and helped out others whenever I could.

In financial economics, that's called "signalling". The idea won a Nobel prize in 2001 I think. You have to signal your worth to a potential employer, and your signal has to be costly to you or it doesn't mean anything. Hopefully, you can afford to get experience and lots of other people can't (they're not as good as you, perhaps) and that's what tells people that you're worth hiring, taking a risk on.

I have plenty of undergrad students now (and some grads, too) who just don't understand this process. At first, at least.

"Who you know" is as much of a burden as a help, in my experience. When you trade on someone else's reputation, you better know your sh*t or they're going to look like a goober too, not just you. I've known plenty of folks who had an "in" on a job (relatives, friends, etc.) and long-term it did nothing for them. Short-term, it upped the pressure. Networking will get you the job, but you better be able to perform (and have a reasonable understanding of your limitations going in) or it will burn everyone.
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Dec 20, 2007, 04:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by macmonkey View Post
I'm in sales, but I have a CS degree. Experience has had dick to do with it.
A buddy of mine has a degree in criminal law, but he's a sales manager for WebEx (Cisco.) Not surprising to me, though, since potential lawyers would seem to make good sales people.
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Dec 20, 2007, 05:09 PM
 
If you don't have experience you can research the areas and skills they are requiring experience in, then make sure you put on your res how you know how to do a, b and c etc. Also take advantage of a cover letter. Its an opportunity to express yourself, your true skills, what you want out of the job. Anything you can't say in your res say in the cover letter. Dont just have a standard cover letter you send to everyone.

really all the companies care about is that you know how to do the job, can prove you're hard worker (through references or something), and willing to stay with the company. There are other ways of doing this than having years experience.
     
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Dec 20, 2007, 11:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
This thread was about getting a good job, not being tortured for weeks in boot camp and then getting your hindquarters blown off by some guy named Abdul. Most people want to do the former — some people are OK with the latter, but it's more of a niche desire.
It's still a good way to get that experience. You could also join the Navy and get experience in that job, or the Marines and get that experience, plus a lot more. I spent 23 years in the Air Force, getting experience out the wazoo.

Of course that experience is not completely useful unless you have the education and/or certifications to go with it.

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Dec 21, 2007, 12:07 AM
 
ghporter - I have no agenda here, but did you serve on active duty? Joining the military today is quite a different proposition.
     
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Dec 21, 2007, 01:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
It's still a good way to get that experience. You could also join the Navy and get experience in that job, or the Marines and get that experience, plus a lot more. I spent 23 years in the Air Force, getting experience out the wazoo.
A family friend's kid went into the military looking to get experience like this. Know what he wound up doing? Getting shot in Afghanistan. Turns out the military currently needs cannon fodder more than it needs computer technicians. I wouldn't advise anyone to join the military right now if they don't want to go to war — which is certainly an experience, but not the kind of experience I think the OP is looking for. The military is a serious commitment, not something you should do just because you're having a little trouble finding a job.
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Dec 21, 2007, 04:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by macintologist View Post
I'm looking online for jobs in the area of library and information science and every job requires a masters degree (OK that's fine, go to grad school, no problem) but also several years of professional experience in a particular niche field. How the &&&& are you supposed to get a good job when all of them require experience? Where do you get the initial experience??
I'm also an librarian and I'm in the same situation as you - it really sucks that they are looking for people with several years of experience.

This is actually the main reason why I haven't been working as an librarian the last 4 years (well, if you don't count my part time job as an library assistant in a public library in Scotland).

Sometimes it feels like I wasted 4 years in university to get my degree...
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Dec 21, 2007, 10:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
A family friend's kid went into the military looking to get experience like this. Know what he wound up doing? Getting shot in Afghanistan. Turns out the military currently needs cannon fodder more than it needs computer technicians. I wouldn't advise anyone to join the military right now if they don't want to go to war — which is certainly an experience, but not the kind of experience I think the OP is looking for. The military is a serious commitment, not something you should do just because you're having a little trouble finding a job.
"The Military" is NOT JUST THE ARMY. Joining the Air Force or the Navy is not only appropriate but an excellent opportunity to learn a lot more than just how to wear a uniform and say "sir" and "ma'am." Recruiters are salesmen. That is precisely and totally what they are. Listening to a recruiter-with no other data-is like buying a car from a guy in white shoes
named "honest John." The Army would love for people to just walk in and sign up. But the Army isn't anywhere near the best place to get work experience. Let me explain why.

In the Army, they train thousands of people to do all the same job together. Infantry soldier is a good example, but let's look at one of the 94-series MOSs: Air Traffic Control Equipment Repairer. They have a bunch of these guys in a shop, and they work on everything from radios to control systems to NAVAIDS. In addition to being Soldiers, that is. In spite of being trained to do up to module-level repair on some really important and sophisticated equipment, each Soldier is a Soldier-and often gets sent off to push a rifle instead of doing what he/she's trained for. Soldiers apply teamwork in a uni-disciplinary context, with everybody doing the same thing together, and no opportunity for expressing potentially better ways of doing things. It's by the book or not done.

Now look at the Air Force. An Airman is an Airman first, but unless he/she's got a very non-technical job, he/she does what he or she is trained for. So you have a person with a 2E1X2 (METNAV) or 2E1X3 (Ground Radio) specialty, who does JUST THAT WORK. They do NOT push a rifle except in the direst of circumstances (I had a hard time getting the Air Force to give me weapons training when I thought I should have it), and they DO get tons of experience. There are a number of people in a shop, but they work cooperatively rather than en mass, and they apply "teamwork" in a multidisciplinary context. Finding a new and better way of doing something is encouraged and rewarded. Building cross-specialty teams is encouraged. Becoming more than just a cog is not just allowed but the expectation. Not at all like working in the Army. The Navy is similar, but there are significant differences. Their "Electronics Technician" rating encompasses just about everything electronic from the bilge to the top of the mast. The only time an ET does anything other than their trained specialty is in a fire or other emergency. No pushing rifles (or being on boarding parties for that matter).

So before you disparage "the military" as being nothing but the Army (or the Marines, for that matter), please do a little research. It's not at all like everyone in the Armed Forces is a Soldier. I have a ton of respect for those guys, but I don't have the ability to simply turn off my own thought processes and let someone else do all my thinking for me, even in a very difficult situation. Soldiers need to do that. Airmen don't-they MUST not.

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Dec 21, 2007, 10:57 AM
 
I always used to get a kick out of when the Navy used to call me and tell me they had a place for me, then asked what I was majoring in to give me an example.

Me: "Art."
Recruiter: "Uhhhhh..."
     
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Dec 21, 2007, 11:07 AM
 
The crap I am running into when I apply for process tech jobs is I have experience(25 years in wafer fabs), working towards my AA, and I get passed over for someone that has that has no college and has been with the company for less that 5 years.
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Dec 21, 2007, 11:11 AM
 
Real world experience is going to trump having a diploma a lot of time. School only teaches you so much.
     
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Dec 21, 2007, 02:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
The crap I am running into when I apply for process tech jobs is I have experience(25 years in wafer fabs), working towards my AA, and I get passed over for someone that has that has no college and has been with the company for less that 5 years.
Is it because they think you're "stale" or something? I can't imagine that. On the other hand, I can imagine age discrimination (which is illegal, by the way). Something to look into, I think.

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Dec 21, 2007, 03:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Is it because they think you're "stale" or something? I can't imagine that. On the other hand, I can imagine age discrimination (which is illegal, by the way). Something to look into, I think.
It's the trap of being a "reliable, efficient, and competent" manufacturing associate AKA The Dilbert Principle
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Dec 21, 2007, 03:37 PM
 
They probably feel that they can't control you like a new person also. They'll actually have to think with you which we all know is not what management wants to do.
     
   
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