Category Archives: Work Experience

What’s Holding You Back? – Skills and Experience

Hi Everyone

Now that we have settled into the new year, you will probably have noticed a lot of posts about goal setting and how you need to take action in order to move forward with your life. These posts are an invaluable source of information and inspiration and they are absolutely right, if you want to achieve your desired outcome, you need to take the steps to get there by setting goals and then acting on them but in the next few posts I want us to take a look at what may be holding you back from setting goals in the first place.

Sometimes in order for you to move forward you must reflect on the past and assess the present to see what changes need to be made. If you keep doing the same thing then you will always get the same result. If you are not happy with the result then you need to change what you are doing and there is no time like the present, so what are you waiting for?

Let’s consider some of the things that may be holding you back.

Not having the right skills or experience

There is no easy way to say this, if you haven’t got the right skills and experience for the job role that you desire, in these difficult economic times, you need to either obtain them or learn to convert previous experience and learnt skills into transferable experience and skills and if you can’t do that then you probably won’t get a look in because the competition is so tough.

Do not be fooled by a job advert that states: “Previous experience is not essential as full training will be given for the right candidate.”

If the interviewer can get a person with previous experience who has the correct basic skills, the right attitude for the job and is the right fit for the team, then they will go with them instead of someone with little or no experience. When I was a retail manager I recruited my own staff  and I advertised for the experience and skills that I required and yes I still got applicants applying with little or no relevant experience and as time is money in business, usually I would sift theses applications out on first look as I had a large number of applicants. Of the applicants that were sifted out there may have been some that had the right attitude or were a good fit for the team but because I didn’t put them through to the interview stage I would never know this, so having the right skills and experience is essential.

When I wasn’t working, on the odd occasion I would apply for a job that was out of my sector and one that I had little or no relevant skills or experience in, just as I thought, I would get a reject letter or worse, nothing at all. Upon analysis, the reason I got a rejection letter was because I appeared on paper to have some of the skills and experience that were relative to the job and some transferable skills but obviously not as good a offering as someone who blatantly had the skills and experience in that sector and therefore I wasn’t surprised I was rejected and took it on the chin. When I received no reply whatsoever, it was because on paper there were barely any skills and experience relevant to the role for which I had applied, so why should the employer bother to reply to me when it looked like I had randomly decided to ‘give it a go’. An employer wouldn’t like this attitude and to be honest neither do I and when I became a manager I understood that and if I were to apply for a job now I would always tailor my CV and Cover Letter to the Job specification and that’s why I get responses when a lot of other people don’t, so if you are struggling to get responses, now you know the secret, why not try it for yourself?

If you want to gain the skills and experience to get a job you desire, you need to do voluntary work, work experience and you may need to take a course as well.

To read about what else may be holding you back be sure to read the next post, until then, whatever you do, stay positive.

Sandra Bellamy

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