CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV. 15, 2014
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How to Take Advantage of Your Inexperience

The average office or entrepreneur often views inexperience as a liability when it should actually be considered as an important asset. Being inexperienced may have some disadvantages, but similar to guerilla warfare: your biggest weakness can turn out to be your largest advantage. 

We are regularly informed that workplaces seek out experienced workers, which is why millennials are often the victims of a high unemployment rate, because they haven’t worked at many other places of employment before. Instead of spending a large sum of money and time on training someone to do a job, a company who is required to pay an employee a minimum wage would rather have the person in question know how to perform the tasks of the job. 

At the same time, an inexperienced worker may feel that they won’t be able to attain a job because they lack the proper credentials and work experience to land any employment opportunity. Only for the small minded and status quo business is inexperience a red flag during the hiring process. 

Here is what billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson wrote about his own lack of experience: 

"From the first days of my career as an entrepreneur, I have always used my own and my team’s lack of experience to our advantage. In fact, at our first venture, Student magazine, we used our newcomer status to secure great interviews and generate publicity -- people were excited about our new project and wanted to get involved. Our inexperience fed our restless enthusiasm for trying new things, which became part of our core mission." 

If a company is honest with itself, they should actually maintain a balanced workforce comprised primarily of experienced staff members and inexperienced personnel. Think about it: an inexperienced professional is easier to train; they’re moldable and more likely to be excited about the opportunity. 

For those inexperienced people out there, here are five ways to take advantage of your paucity of experience: 

1. Wage 

Let’s face it: you have very little experience with skills that haven’t been applied yet, so you’re not going to demand a higher-than-normal market wage. This means that you’re a bargain, and in today’s ultra-competitive business landscape, companies will be looking at their bottom line. If you’re eager to learn and work at a fair wage then you’ll be a great fit for the private firm. 

2. Innovation 

When you work in an industry for so long, it can be quite easy to fall into an era of status quo and relying on what worked in the past to move ahead. Unfortunately, this isn’t how the market operates. This means that an inexperienced individual who hasn’t been in the field for too long can come up with fresh and bold ideas that can translate into greater sales and adapt to today’s market. 

3. Work Ethic 

An inexperienced professional understands that they’re very fortunate to land a position in their current state. As soon as they gain the job then they will work harder than anyone else because they want to prove their worth, show to management that they hired a tremendous worker and highlight their eagerness to learn. Productivity is key, and an inexperienced professional will provide this to the company. 

4. Excitement 

After years of performing the exact same tasks day in and day out, the office team may be fatigued and disinterested in the project. A new and inexperienced person may feel the opposite because this would be the first time they’re contributing to such an endeavor. The office morale may very well need a boost, and an inexperienced person can give the team a shot in the arm. 

5. Moldable 

Every business has their own way of completing assignments and tackling matters at hand. An experienced professional may also have their own method of performing their job, which could also clash with other enterprises. An inexperienced person, on the other hand, is viewed as someone who could be molded, trained and adaptive to what the company wants and needs, which is surely a positive. 

Being inexperienced doesn’t have to be a handicap to your personal career success. As long as you showcase yourself in a positive light during the interview and highlight your strengths as well as your weaknesses, then you could very well propel yourself to a brand new career and make your parents proud. 

It may be an expensive endeavor training a newcomer initially, but over time you will prove your self-worth. A thousand-mile journey begins with the first step. 

 

Image: iStock

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