If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for a temporary job or trying to jumpstart a lifelong career. Either way, you may or may not have any prior experience. Fear not — I am here to help! First thing is first: be confident in yourself, embrace your strengths (and weaknesses), and be nifty.
The term “noob” is slang derived from “newbie” so the definition is pretty evident. If you’re still not sure or convinced, it is used to describe beginner players — basically sitting at Level 0. However, we can now use the term with a little more flexibility which doesn’t discriminate against being a new student, parent, or employee. For many of us, we’ll have many first days on the job before finding “the one”. It’s very much like dating, you’re figuring out what you like and what is right for you. Hence, at some point, we were once (or are) noobs.
Now, obviously we’re not talking about gaming in this tangent—so let’s just dive right into it! I want to discuss and force emphasis on the highs-and-lows of finding a permanent full-time position. This is about joining whatever workforce because you’re great, you’re determined, but you’re undermined because you didn’t come from a background of post-secondary education or have a thousand years of experience working in a office or firm.
For creatives, like myself, it’s getting increasingly difficult (but not like level 9000 difficult) to land work. Not for the lack of amazing talent out there, but because almost every company seems to require you to have 3+ years of experience at a design or advertising firm. Uh, hello? The reason I have applied to the “Junior Graphic Designer” position is because I want to gain experience in a firm— not because I already have experience.
That being said though, I do understand that companies need talent with experiences because for them it’s easier to grasp the high-intensity jobs; they understand the aerodynamics of brand identity, packaging, and etc.; and there’s obviously less training involved because they already know the low-down. They are already marching soldiers — and we’re just not marching, yet.
A few years ago, I had a friend of a friend who was looking for a hospitality job — primarily the service industry. He apparently sent his application out to many restaurants and bars across the city but very few contacted him for an interview. A one particular interview, he was asked, “Why should we hire you oppose to those with considerably more experience?” He pondered for a bit and replied, “Well, because you can shape and mould me into whatever you want me to be. Therefore, I could be your strongest — or weakest — link.”
I always figured that this story would come in handy one day. If it wasn’t obvious, the company hired him because they loved that answer. Why? Because it’s mostly true: a person without any previous experience is easier to train, shape and mould. And that would become the ideal candidate. It’s also a great story that I feel companies, firms, and start-ups should keep in mind. A person without experience may not be the worst hire because they can be much more capable if they were nurtured, given some guidance, and allowed room to experiment and mature.
On the other hand, some people love to freelance — and I’m not judging. Part of being human, we are all curious by nature. I want to be able to explore my options before I find my comfort-zone and then probably never leave. I’ll admit it — it’s tough out there. Especially if you live in a big city that’s fuelled by rapidly increasing abundance of technology! And keeping up with popular feeds (RSS, Instagram, or Twitter trends) is only the half of it.