The bane of college-age kids these days seems to be finding jobs, and not just summer types but post-college real jobs. For my two boys who’ve struggle with this throughout their college years, it’s been the same lament: can’t get a job without experience, and can’t get experience without a job.
The same vicious circle exists in the business world for those starting out or trying to branch into something new: you can’t become proficient at a skill if you don’t have a project to work it on, and you can’t…well, you know how it finishes.
As Ashton Kutcher said in his now-viral awards speech, opportunity comes dressed as hard work, and each job provides and opportunity that leads you to where you’re supposed to be next. The present builds on the past to get you to the future.
If you can’t find a real job, volunteer. If you can’t find a chance to work your new skill on a paid project, do one pro-bono for a local charity. Opportunity doesn’t know, or care, whether you’re paid to learn, just expects you to learn and gain experience…and be ready when it knocks.