While having a formal education is certainly a good way to break into some industries, don’t fret if you didn’t earn a college degree. There’s still hope! Let’s look at three qualities you must possess in order to get the job you want without a degree.
Soft Skills: These are skills not obtained by getting a degree. Some of these skills deemed most important by employers include the following:
Ability to get along well with others
Professional appearance and mannerism
Genuine interest in the job at hand
Making Connections: Great jobs are handed out every day to so-and-so’s cousin or the head honcho’s friend’s grandson. If you want to meet with the same success, you will have to make and tap your connections effectively.
When you’re trying to make connections, you have to step outside of your comfort zone and come to life when you meet others. Sometimes you simply have to strike up conversations in coffee shops or grocery store lines. Make a proactive effort to find out a little more about the people who
surround you in your daily life. You never know who might be standing next to you in line for a movie or sitting next to you on a train!
And don’t neglect those contacts you already have. Take the time to analyze people you know and whom you have recently met. Who can potentially help you in your job goal search? Who have you forgotten to ask about job opportunities? If you feel at all embarrassed about networking, remember that it’s never begging if you go in to speak to someone full of confidence, high energy, and optimism. In fact, you may be doing them a favor if they can put you in touch with somebody who actually ends up hiring you—this makes your friend look good! The bottom line is that you’ll never know whether your connections can work for you until you try.
Market Research: Employers appreciate applicants who “do their homework.” Market research can also help clear up any confusion. When you discover how the industry you’re interested in works with other industries, you may find that some of unlikeliest contacts are the ones who can help you the most. So don’t wait around for a job to find you. Go out and do you research, talk to your contacts, and bring the job to you!
Your ability to successfully tap and utilize the three qualities above depends on how well developed your job market skills are over all. So start off by analyzing your competency level by taking this FREE Job Market Performance Assessment.