Screw it, Let’s do it! A three step method to jump-start yourself as a Market Valued Professional
How many times have you've been rejected just because you didn't have enough experience? By the time I got to my sophomore year in college, I received an email that said "I'm sorry but you are not qualified for this position". The irony was that this was for an unpaid internship. Literally free work for a chance to learn a skill. At the time, I didn't know what I wanted to do by the time I graduated. All I knew was that in order to get a job, you needed to get some experience before you applied. Well, that was the plan until that point. What I found was a simple reality. I was not market-ready. Meaning that there was no demand for the skills that I had at the time.
Fortunately, I knew that there were a couple of tutorials in Youtube that taught you how to make WordPress sites in an hour. I can honestly say that before I start applying for Internships I didn't pay much attention to these tutorials or even bothered to finish them. But this time it was different. I had to learn a market-competitive skill in as little time as possible. So, did I get the internship I desired? Nope. But I got something better.
The ability to learn to become market-likable in the eyes of recruiters.
After creating a few sites and following some tutorials, I finally became confident and proficient in the technologies that were in high demand. Does this means that to become market-likable you have to watch a 100 tutorials? Nope. There are also other ways to become a competitive professional. But here's the best part, even though I've learned these techniques to be a Software Developer, They are applicable to any type of career.
1) Start connecting to your peers
I love meetups. Why? Let me ask you a question:
Where else would you find individuals who are interested in a topic you are interested and they are also willing to spend their free time in learning more about it.
They are the perfect place network. In these type of events you can meet from the recently introduced Newbie to the Guru. So mingle with everyone!
Also, It will be highly beneficial to find a mastermind. Usually they are a group of 5 or less individuals who are seriously committed to learn a new skill. This will highly accelerate your learning process and help you have an immediate honest opinion on your work.
One last thing is to get a mentor in the subject. These are people who have already walked the path and know what is a must and a waste. These are the Zen masters that you will definitely want to have at your side. But don't think that this is going to be an easy task. Unless you have connections, these kind of people are usually very busy and will not have much time to assist you. So you have to offer them something of value to them and show them that you are determined to learn. Do you know which tool is hot right now? If not, what you are waiting for? Start asking questions now!
2) Start working on a project that is related to your career
Do you know what's hot on you marking? If you do, the write or create a project around it.
If you are looking for knowledge that is market-ready, Why would you wait for someone to give you permission?
For example, if you are studying marketing, why not write a piece of article about the latest marketing strategies for promoting a company on Social Media. Or how the newest Facebook algorithm is going to affect the way marketers are going to work in the near future.
Here's the trick: You MUST create something of value. The more unique and more valuable it is, the better reception you will get. This is the time were you have to get your hands dirty and prove you can get the job done. Here's a warning though. Everything is going to look cryptic and weird in the beginning. Fear not, this is part of the process. Start by doing easiest pieces first. Mastery will come with practice.
Furthermore, this is the time that is good to ask questions about what you can do and what you can't do. Remember to start with a goal in mind. Anthony Robbins once said that were
“focus goes, energy flows”
So find that focus and give all the energy you can give.
3) Give back
Now, you have the skills. A big congratulations to you for your effort. You already have project that has had value and best of all: It has your name on it. Not only that, you have a network that pushes you to become better everyday. But it doesn't end there, this is only the beginning.
Now, it's the time to give back on what you have already learned. Why? Because it's time to revisit things that you haven't seen in a while and allows you to create the new generation of great people. There is a great need to share and also, it helps the community to keep being strong. Furthermore, if you are teaching the future professionals of the world, you may find one or two people who you would be glad to work with once they get skill enough to get the job done and have a sense of fulfillment in the process.
Now it's time to be great and use all of your creativity in the process.
Best of luck.