I have a job! (and 5 reasons on how I did it)

Those of you who read this journal may remember my previous rant on the difficulties of finding a decent job with no experience and not being able to gain experience without a job in my post Catch-22.

However, I just started a new job last week in accounting with very little experience and education in accounting.  How did I do that?

1. I had connections – I had a friend who knew of an entry-level accounting position in her company.  She recommended me and I was given the first chance at the position.  Having someone recommend you is the best, especially if they’re a good employee, because the people in charge associate you with that person and their positive qualities.  However, keep in mind, if you do get a position because of a recommendation, be sure that your work ethic is up to par also because anything you do, especially at the beginning, will reflect on that person that recommended you.

2. I came in with nice, clean clothes and a big smile – the biggest thing a lot of employers look at is how well they can get along with you.  Employers would rather pick someone with little skills but they can get along great with them versus a genius that hates being with other people.  Also, the greatest tip I’ve read about dressing for a job, is that you must dress for the position that you’ll someday want to be in instead of the position you’re starting off in.

3. I had low expectations – This means that I was willing to take an entry-level job with probably low pay and little benefits in order to get my foot in the door.  Before, I had such high expectations that I applied only for jobs that were “good enough” for me when in reality, those positions were only so good because they went to people who have a lot of experience or knowledge in that field.  I actually ended up with a job with a decent entry-level salary and amazing benefits.  Another good thing to think about: benefits can actually be more important than salary so it’s good not just to look at the bottom line.

4. I had goals – One of the things my new boss mentioned to me was that he had heard from my friend about my career goals for the future and that he was excited to help me to reach them someday.  He said that he would, in addition to my regular work, throw some extra projects in that would help me gain experience in the areas that I was working towards.  This is great because not only does your employer know that you want to get better than you are right now (which can only be good for the company) but they (if they’re the right job) want to help.  This may be in additional experience or even helping to pay for more education.  Be careful to not hint that gaining experience and education may take you away from that company.  If they hear that, they may not be willing to invest in someone who will just take what they got from the company and give it to another (potentially rival) company.

5.  I’m willing to shut up and learn –  The person that interviewed me expressed happiness at fact that I didn’t have any previous experience.  This surprised me and I asked her why that was.  She said that people who have a lot of experience sometimes get too used to doing things a certain way and are not open to new ways of doing things.  She was happy that she could teach me the way the company does it without interference from previous experiences.

So, I’m excited.  Perhaps, every so often, I will update you on how I’m doing in that company.

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