Job landing secrets from the best job lander I know — Part 2

To land your job of choice, you've got to be open to trying something new!

My friend and client Kathy Bristow shares more strategies that have enabled her to land jobs time and again—with little or no direct experience in her chosen field.  (Read part 1 here.)

4.  Don’t go back to school.

I love being a student more than anything else — it’s so tempting to sign up for a program (convenient, online!) that promises a shiny new set of qualifications and guaranteed employability.  However, unless you are just starting out or are absolutely sure your next job requires some sort of license (e.g. law, medicine, teaching)—if  you already have a degree(in any field), you are vastly better off gaining some sort of relevant work experience.

Take ONE class at a community college or university extension.  If you love it, take another – take multiple classes before committing funds to a full-time program.  You are much better off taking a class or two in the field that interests you and doing 10 hours a week of volunteer work in that field, gaining real work experience.

Which leads me to my next guideline…

 5.  Volunteer!

The woman I saw at the holiday party that led to my current job had never worked with me.  We were just “mom” acquaintances.  But she knew I showed up for school activities, that I volunteered and could get things done.  It was enough for her to feel she could recommend me for a job.

Volunteering for the PTA may have nothing to do with your job, but you expand your network exponentially when you volunteer, and you showcase your skills to a whole new audience.  Plus, it feels good!

6.  Do something, anything in the field you want to work in.

At the time that I went to that party, I had recently done some consulting work, helping the CEO of a non-profit medical association.  The way I got that consulting work a year prior was by seeing a listing on Monster for an administrative assistant for a medical association in my city.

I’m not an administrative assistant, so there was no reason to pursue that job.  However, I knew I needed some experience in my chosen next field.  I called the office the next day because the posting mentioned they were setting up a new office near my house.  I asked if there was something I could help with temporarily.

I ended up talking to the CEO, and she gave me some contract work which involved interacting directly with their physician members.  The work was not what I wanted long term – but it gave me great insight into medical practice.  That particular experience was highly valued by my current employer.

Once again, thank you Kathy for contributing to the Global Career blog.  To make sure you hear about our future postings, sign up for our “Crucial Career Tips” email at the top right of this page.