If anyone knows me, they know that I am a bit of a perfectionist. I do not like to make mistakes, admit that I am wrong or fail for that matter. Recently I came across a blog post by John Murdock, The Young Professional (yes, I know, very close to the “tiny” professional, too funny) that I was able to connect with on multiple levels. As a recent college graduate, I am feeling the pressure and stress of finding a career in my field of study. I thought I was making the smart decision to finish up my college degree full time online while working full time, so that I could gain some real world and work experience. What I did not think about what the relevance of the field that I was working in to the degree that I was going to school for. I recently completed my Masters of Science in Human Resource Management but for the past two and a half years I have been working in the legal field. Personally, I believe that I have gained an immense amount of background within management, real estate and general law that has been a huge benefit to my human resource degree, but unfortunately employers do not seem to feel the same way.
When I apply for a position, most employers want at least 2-5 years of what they consider “relevant” experience. Although I have completed human resource internships and job shadows and have been exposed to recruiting and interviewing individuals through my current board commitments, it does not seem to be the experience employers are looking for. As Murdock mentions in his post, “many young professionals go through multiple job searches in their first few years out of school”. This is true and being a perfectionist does not help! Having already been exposed to a great job and position, makes it difficult to leave for another job that is not so appealing due to my lack of experience. Murdock brings up another good point, “even if the young professional know what job he or she truly wants, it is almost impossible to start there”. I am starting to find this statement truer and truer. No matter how much motivation and drive a young professional may have, employers still want to see the experience.
The problem? How do you gain that experience without being given a chance to prove yourself as capable of doing the job. It definitely is tough to break into the human resource field, but it is even harder to prove that you are capable of holding down a position when you might have experience in all the areas the job description covers. I look at a young graduate as the perfect candidate for a mid-level position. Why? Because:
- They are able to adapt to changing environments with ease
- They are used to doing a lot of research and writing (if there is a specific area of the job they are not so familiar with)
- They have motivation, drive and enthusiasm
- Training and development is exciting to them, and
- They are easy to mold, because they are not stuck in their ways
Is being a perfectionist and trying to find the right job wrong? What are your thoughts on employers and hiring an employee with less experience than another?
Sooner than later,
The Tiny Professional