It seems like a maddening catch-22. Employers want you to have experience before they will hire you for a job, but you can’t get a job without experience! What’s a young person to do?
You shouldn’t give up – there are plenty of ways that you can get a great job without any previous experience. You’ll need dedication, self-confidence, and a good attitude, but soon you’ll get your foot in the door and be on your way to your dream career.
Can You Get a Job Without Experience?
The answer is a resounding “yes.” While you might start to feel frustrated, you can absolutely land a great job without any experience at all.
You might also have more experience than you think you do. Even those after school childminding jobs and small odds jobs you did in college can be worded well and placed on your CV. Your existing experience, no matter how meagre, can be spun to show off your responsibility level, work ethic, and attention to detail.
Most of all, don’t give up. There are plenty of great jobs that you can get without any experience – have a look at our list below.
Jobs You Can Get Without Experience
Here are our top jobs that you can get without experience.
- Flight Attendant – Jet setting around the world, visiting dozens of countries, and getting paid well to do so. Sound like a dream? Well, it could be your dream job as a flight attendant. Most airlines don’t require any A Levels or university credits, instead requiring a minimum of four GCSEs (A-C), including English and maths. If you speak a second language, this will be a big advantage. The salary usually starts around £20,000 per annum, but can increase to three times this amount with experience.[I] If you do follow your dreams of working as a flight attendant, be mindful that you will be responsible for the safety of hundreds of people on each flight. It is a physically and emotionally demanding career – but the benefits are well worth the effort.
- Delivery Driver – Do you enjoy driving around the city and rural areas, and providing excellent customer service? A career as a delivery driver could be the right path for you. In addition to your base pay, you might be eligible for bonuses, and some customers even tip. The lowest paid delivery driver positions are doing food and beverage delivery. If you want to move up the income ladder, make the switch to DHL, Hermes, or FedEx. Of course, to do this job you will need a valid driving license.
- Bartender – If you enjoy the high energy atmosphere of a bar or nightclub, maybe bartending is the right job for you. While you don’t need any specialised training to work as a bartender, you can attend bartending courses that will teach you the fine art of mixology. Bump your earnings up even more by taking sommelier courses to learn about wine. You’ll be able to apply for swankier cocktail bars and five-star hotels, which will result in higher wages and much better tips.
- Flooring Installers – You don’t need any formal education or previous experience to start working with an established floor installer. They’ll give you the on the job training that you’ll need to get started. If you like this sort of work, you can commit to a 4-year apprenticeship. You will need keen attention to detail, enjoy interior design, and be precise when working with tools.
- Oil & Gas Field Worker – Working offshore on an oil or gas field isn’t for the faint of heart, but the rewards can be pretty great! Working as an oil and gas field roustabout (yes, the actual name for this role) requires a fine attention to detail. You will be assembling and repairing mechanical and hydraulic equipment, and you can learn on the job. If you enjoy the work, there are opportunities for specialisation that can help you earn a lot more as your career advances.
- Plumber – If you like working with your hands, putting puzzles together, and solving problems, you might find that a career in plumbing is right for you. Becoming a plumber certainly does require experience, but it is experience that you can get while you’re on the job. For the first five years of your career, you’ll be working as an apprentice under a journeyman. You usually earn approximately 50% of a fully licensed plumber until you complete your apprenticeship. The average UK salary for a plumber is £40,000 per annum.
- Sales Representative – If you like to work with people, focus on the benefits of products, and you thrive on high-pressure targets, you might do well as a sales representative. As a sales rep, you can gain the experience that you need while you’re on the job. You’ll need passion, people skills, and a great sense of customer service. That said, the sales industry is known for its highly variable salaries that are based on commissions. If you’re good, the sky is truly the limit on your earnings. However, if your sales numbers are weak, you might have months where you earn very little.
- Lift Installer and Repairman – You may have never even considered lift installation and repair as a career option, but this oft-overlooked field is quite lucrative! You’ll need to engage in a 4-year apprenticeship under a skilled lift expert, during which time you’ll only earn 50% of your future wage. However, when your on-the-job training is complete, you’ll earn a median wage of £60,000 per year. It’s tough work, but you’re handsomely compensated. [i] https://www.totaljobs.com/advice/flight-attendant-job-description
Jobs for Graduates with No Experience
The best entry-level jobs for recent graduates are those that are in the industry in which they hope to work. You might have your dream set on a career as a high-powered CEO, but you can get your foot in the door by working as a customer service representative. Most marketing mavens started as public relations assistants, and many CFOs first worked as junior accountants.
Here are five jobs for graduates that require no experience, but will get you set on the right footing for your future career.
- Customer Service Representative – Start with a basic, entry-level customer service position and wow your management team with your skill and attitude. Work your way up to management, and then set your sights on the company’s corporate offices.
- Public Relations Assistant – PR mavens work in a glamourous and fast-paced industry, but they often worked their way up to get there. No previous experience? No problem – most PR firms want fresh young candidates who they can mould and train.
- Sales Account Representative – Do you love talking to people and helping them choose consumer goods? Work your way up from a sales account rep job to a career as a sales executive, earning the big money.
- Administrative Assistant – If you dream of one day running the company, you can start by learning the business from the inside out. An entry level administrative assistant role will give you the expertise you need to move your way up the corporate ladder.
- Legal Secretary – Detail-oriented, responsible, and a good writer. Does that sound like you? If so, you could start your career as a legal secretary and learn on the job. While some legal secretary positions require a lot of previous experience, there are many entry level positions listed on a regular basis. If you excel in this field, you’ll be well-positioned to train for a career as a paralegal.
How to Find Work Experience
There are plenty of ways that you can gain work experience before you ever get hired.
- Networking – Who you know is often more important than what you know! Reach out to your social networks and make contact with friends of friends, parents’ colleagues, and former teachers. People often love to help a motivated young person get started in the career.
- Internships – There are plenty of internships available through official and non-official channels that can help you gain the experience and connections that you need. Look for internships through your school, or search an online database for the right opportunity for your needs.
- Skill-building – The next best thing to hands-on experience is education. However, if you don’t have the time and funds to invest into a 2 or 3 year degree programme, you still have options. There are a variety of home learning courses available in just about any subject matter. Taking online courses is a great way to learn new skills and boost your existing knowledge.
- Volunteer work – Of course, another way to get valuable experience in any industry is to volunteer in the non-profit sector. Charities have accounting departments, PR people, marketing departments, and legal teams. Volunteer your time in these areas and gain valuable experience for your CV.
- Self-marketing – One of the most underrated parts of getting a job is the ability to really ‘sell yourself’ on your CV and in your cover letter. If you don’t believe in your skills and work ethic, why would a potential employer? When you are crafting your CV, you should pay special attention to marketing the best aspects of yourself.
While it may seem challenging at first, it is possible to find a fulfilling career without any previous experience or specialised education. What are you most interested in?
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Glassdoor Team (2019). 9 Surprising Jobs That Require No Experience | Glassdoor Blog. [online] Glassdoor UK. Available at: https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/blog/9-surprising-jobs-that-require-no-experience/ [Accessed 15 May 2020].
Knowles, E. (2019). How to get a job with no experience | Prospects.ac.uk. [online] www.prospects.ac.uk. Available at: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/getting-a-job/get-a-job-with-no-experience [Accessed 15 May 2020].
Quilty, D. (2011). Top 17 Jobs That Require Little or No Experience. [online] Moneycrashers.com. Available at: https://www.moneycrashers.com/jobs-require-no-experience/ [Accessed 19 Dec. 2019].
Totaljobs (2018). Flight Attendant job description | Totaljobs. [online] Totaljobs. Available at: https://www.totaljobs.com/advice/flight-attendant-job-description [Accessed 18 May 2020].
Workopolis (2015). How to get a job without experience (when no one will hire you without experience). [online] Workopolis Blog. Available at: https://careers.workopolis.com/advice/how-to-get-a-job-without-any-experience-when-no-one-will-hire-you-without-experience/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2019].