It’s an age-old problem: employers offering entry-level jobs at either insultingly low pay rates, or requiring an unreasonable amount of “experience” to then offer an insultingly low pay rate.
As a “wise” elder millennial approaching the end of their twenties, I encountered this same paradox when I first entered the job market, and I’m unfortunately not surprised to see that it’s still going putting up barriers for new members of the workforce.
But what if I told you there was a way to say “%$#& you” to the job market and take the secret passage way to success, rather than the bottle neck every other job hopeful is trying to squeeze through.
The ethics of what I’m about to outline are admittedly shaky, but hey … so are employers with unrealistic requirements that underpay, or that use a tough job market as an excuse to underpay.
I call it “circular experience”. While everyone and their grandma is living life on a linear trajectory, circular experience entails condensing that timeline to a fraction.
Here are the hit points that make up this theory:
- You “make your own experience”, rather than riding the resume piles for years
- All experiences and opportunities created should have the potential to make money
- Multiple experiences should be combined to augment each other
Okay, so those are pretty blue-sky, ambiguous statements, so let’s dig in. What do I mean by “creating your own experience”?
Well, rather than endlessly applying for jobs, start your own businesses and pursue your own ventures.
This accomplishes three things:
- It allows you to quickly rack up “experience” with legitimate entities serving real-world customers and solving real-world problems.
- It shows future employers versatility, flexibility, determination, and inventiveness. I’ve been on both ends of the hiring table, and when I was on the salaried side, 10 times out of 10 I’d opt for the candidate with self-employed experience rather than the one who coasted from job to job. Because I know what it takes to hustle.
- In line with the hit points above, these experiences need to have the potential to make money. So, best case scenario, you end up with gainful employment AND one or more passive incomes.
So, what are some ideas for creating circular experience? Well, it’s very much dependent on your major, and/or skillsets, and/or passions.
But here are a few general purpose ideas that require minimal upfront investment.
- Start an e-commerce drop shipping business
- Launch a blog
- Freelance through Upwork or Fiverr (this is how I started, and how I traveled the world)
- Create something (digital or physical) that can be resold
- Sell a digital service (social media management, SEO, etc.)
- Get into affiliate marketing, or find products you believe in which you’re confident in selling
- Pitch an idea to the Kickstarter or IndieGogo communities
- Produce content for YouTube or TikTok
- Become an influencer, if your social media following is of the required caliber
Again, these are general ideas, and your individual skill sets may bring other paths to light … but hopefully this list at least gets your creative juices flowing with possibilities.
Choose a few to try out, both for the variety in “experience” and to adhere to the saying, “if you throw enough $%&# at the all, something will stick”.
A few more tips to close out this post:
- Incorporating as a legal entity such as an LLC adds legitimacy, both in the eyes of future employers and potential clients/customers. There are also certain liability protections.
- Choose something that you’re passionate about. Starting an e-commerce company just because there are thousand “gurus” promoting it doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you.
- “Founder” is more impressive than “Junior” anything.
So that’s my two cents on gaming the job market. If you want to take things a step further and learn how you can leverage digital marketing to cut the line even further, stay tuned because we have a blog post in the works on just that.