How to Get Your Years of Experience without a Formal Job

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How many times do we fail to apply for jobs after looking at the experience section of the job advertisement? In many cases, the advertiser asks for 2 years and more work experience that the average graduate does not have. Even for those that have worked for a few years after college or university it is not always straightforward. Experience is an employer’s way of saying that they do not want to baby-sit a new hire. However, there are solutions to this problem. This is how you can get your years of experience without a formal job;

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Sharpen your Skills

Entry level jobs usually major on qualifications and transferable skills. Skills required in entry level jobs are among other;

  • Communication skills
  • Customer service
  • Writing (Business English)
  • Microsoft office
  • Sales
  • Teamwork dynamics
  • Telephone and email skills
  • English (Written and Oral)
  • Organizational skills

The list above is not exhaustive. Sometimes different companies require a unique set of skills. Constantly work to improve these skills as they will give you an edge above the other applicants. Some organizations provide paid or free training workshops to sharpen such skills. Look for such training sessions and join where you can to improve your soft skills.

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Use of Technology

One of the things that the 21st Century has done is to break down the traditional workplace into a fluid zone. This fluidity has brought about work from home opportunities that are open to anyone across the globe. People who do these kinds of jobs are freelancers. A freelancer is a person that has a specific skill set such as graphic design or website creation. With these skills, they go about searching for work from sites that link contractors and those looking for work. After looking through various jobs, they pick the one they believe they can do best and pitch their services to the employer. These jobs can boost one’s work experience because – although short contracts – they give the freelancer the chance to work on real time projects that have timelines, deliverables and set objectives. These skills will be necessary in future opportunities. To explore the full potential of this strategy one should take up positions in the field of work they seek to be in. Thus on a CV the person is better placed when they write about their various short contracts performing similar tasks.

 

Explore Volunteer opportunities

A tried and tested way to gain experience is by volunteering. As a volunteer, you get a chance to be in the center of the organization without being an additional business expense. A common misconception is that volunteer opportunities should only be in large blue chip firms. This is untrue as the places that are most in need are small and medium enterprises (SME’s) and community based organizations (CBO’s). The advantages that come with working with these types of organizations is that one gains experience of a formal working environment and learns transferrable skills. Transferable skills are the essential skills that you carry with you through different jobs and even careers. They include interpersonal skills, communication, adaptability, attention to detail, creativity among others. Additionally working with a smaller group gives freedom to express one self. It is possible to find the volunteer contributing to strategy creation, problem solving and often giving creative input. In some cases volunteer opportunities end up becoming employment when the organization decides to keep you.

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Venture into Entrepreneurship

Often times this category is not relatable because one chooses either one or the other. However, it is possible to have been a business owner and later or consequently a successful employee. Especially for those in business related fields of study how better to show your ability than to have a successful business. Successful in this case does not mean a turnover of Kshs. 5,000,000, far from it. It simply means a business that can sustain itself and that allows you to gain practical skills. These can include how to write proposals, make sales, ensure customer satisfaction and deliver products/services. Designing and selling jewelry to fellow students at university demonstrates several of the mentioned skills that every employer looks for.

The one thing many people forget is that differentiation is what sets apart the eternal job seeker and the person that lands their dream job in three to six months. To be different one must think and act differently. A step towards a new direction today will result in a new result; resolve to do something different.

In Conclusion

Remember that simply because they say you might not get the job without experience, it doesn’t mean you cannot get the experience without the job. You have to be proactive. Go out there and look for internship, mentorship, short contracts and volunteering opportunities when no job opportunity is forthcoming. The more you work on your skills, the better and sharper they become.

Make connections and learn more about your industry. Connections will help you get the information you need about training workshops, industry updates, new job updates and other career-worthy information.

Regina Kinuthia
Regina is a 6 year business administrator who has worked in various industries. She has over the years gained knowledge on human resource management and the workplace. She attributes her growth to the consistent need to learn and seeks to see others grow through self development.
 

182 COMMENTS

    • Hello Julia,
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  1. Thanks for that. I have applied for thousands of jobs through your online portal but I have never recieved a feedback inspite of assuarance from you that the prospective employer is reviewing the applications and will contact me soon afterwards. Does it mean my skills and qualifications does not match thier expectations? Please help am getting frustrated.

    • Hello Denis.
      We understand your frustration.
      The list below can shed some light on the possible reasons that might have led to your current predicament;
      Do you send applications to job adverts that match your skills?
      Have you updated your CV since last year?
      Do you write a customized cover letter for each application?
      The number of job seekers has gone higher since last year, making the talent pool larger and you have to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
      Start by editing your CV to reflect all the skills and experience you have gained. subscribe for alerts that are relevant to the career you wish to pursue.
      Update your profile to over 97% to make you more visible.
      We hope all these measures will improve your chances of being considered.

      ^TM

  2. Am a truck driver am looking for a job as a truck driver in Canada how can i manage to get. Hope to hear from you. Thanks

  3. Thank you Brightermonday for your insight into job search and career development matters.
    I would like to get some assistance in getting volunteer jobs in Mombasa.

    • Hello Lillian,
      Thank you for taking time to go through our articles.
      Kindly click here to view all the latest internship opportunities in Kenya.

      ^AM

  4. very great. I ‘ve been missing job opportunities coz of lack of experience.am having diploma in communityhealth and HIV management n certificate in HTS, Where can I get a place to volunteer?

    • Hello Quinter,
      Thank you for taking time to go through our articles, we appreciate your readership and feedback.
      Kindly click here to view all the latest internship and volunteering opportunities in Kenya.

      ^AM

  5. Thank you Brightermonday for your insight into job search and career development.
    I would like to get some assistance in getting volunteer jobs in Mombasa.

    • Hello Lillian,
      Thank you for taking time to go through our articles.
      Kindly click here to view all the latest internship opportunities in Kenya.

      ^AM

  6. Thanks so much for the information above…anywhere i can get internship or volunteering please??i need to boost my experience…Thank you

    • Hello Sarah,
      Thank you for taking time to go through our article.
      Click here to get all the latest volunteering opportunities.

      ^AM

  7. Hi have been a volunteer for a while now with community service organisation can I get a firm opportunity?thank u

    • Hi Saul,
      Thanks for taking time to go through our article.
      Keep visiting our career center for more informative articles.

      ^AM

  8. i thank brighter Monday because every time i read their tips, i no longer remain the same. may the stakeholders live long.

    • Hi Wycliffe,
      Thanks for your unwavering support. Kindly keep visiting our career center for more authoritative articles.

      ^AM

  9. one challenging thing is that i have been even looking for the volunteer works where i can really grow but the chances are quite minimal and i have found none, i am ready to work anywhere because i don’t need a job but i need just a work.. kindly assist me on how to win such volunteer works and various internship program mes.. thank you

    • Hallo Wycliffe,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      We do have intern jobs but before you apply, you have to ensure that you profile is up to 98% complete and you have also subscribed to our email alerts to increase your chances of being considered.
      Here is the link for the for intern jobs
      Feel free to write back to us if you need further assistance.

      ^TM

  10. I am a social worker,been looking to volunteer for long but organisations just don’t offer or don’t want to.help

    • Hello Calvin.
      We do not offer training programs however you can go through all our articles and im sure you will get one that will direct you on how you can improve your skills but feel free to ask any questions specifically in which area you would like to be assisted.

      ^TM

  11. Thank you so much..I also need an assistant to get the opportunity to volunteer in any bank here in tanzania especially in Morogoro.

  12. Quite interesting.Have got great experience after my qualification as a clinical officer. Thus my 7th yr of experience in a Hiv/AIDS but I don’t have a descent job. Any leads? I can greatly appreciate.
    Thank you.
    Angeline Mang’ati.

    • Hello Angeline Mangati,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      We checked from our end and confirmed that you don’t have an account with us.
      To create one go to http://www.brightermonday.co.ke and click the sign up button.
      Ensure that you CV and cover letter is updated before you apply.
      Here is the link for the job that matches your talent. Kindly click and apply.

      ^TM

    • Hello Mado,
      Thank you for taking time to go through our article.
      Currently all jobs posted on Brighter Monday cover the East Africa countries only, therefore keep visiting our website to view all the job opportunities that match your qualifications.

      ^AM

  13. Thanks for the information. Can you assist me in getting a place to work as a volunteer especially in Kisumu?

    • Hello Jared,
      Thank you for taking time to go through our articles.
      Kindly click here to view all the latest internship opportunities in Kisumu.

      ^AM

    • Hello Levi,
      Thank you for the feedback.
      keep visiting our career center for more edifying articles.

      ^AM

  14. Hello thanks for the great work, would love to work online part time in accounting related job ..please may you suggest some ralated sites?

    • Hi Henry,
      Thanks for taking time to go through our articles, click here to access all the latest job opportunities in your field of profession.

      ^AM

  15. Thankyou very much for the eyeopening article. Where can i find short contracts and volunteer oppoptunities in the social work field?

  16. Ive been trying to get a job through your link but in vain for two years now being jobless,pls advice the way forward ive been desperate and left wondering what and where to go.

    • Hello Perees.
      Thank you for your readership.
      The list below can shed some light on the possible reasons that might have led to your current predicament;
      Do you send applications to job adverts that match your skills?
      Have you updated your CV since last year?
      Do you write a customized cover letter for each application?
      The number of job seekers has gone higher since last year, making the talent pool larger and you have to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
      Start by editing your CV to reflect all the skills and experience you have gained.
      We hope all these measures will improve your chances of being considered

      ^TM

  17. Thx for that information. Any opportunity related to demography and reproductive health.kindly link me.

  18. #TeamBrighterMonday you Rock. With such kind of insights on how to break down this Norm of David v Goliath “David being the Jobseekers While Goliath being the Employers and their Requirements”. Today you just hit the Target. Good work to you BrighterMonday Staffs.

    • Hi Silas
      Thanks a lot for sharing you sentiments,
      Keep it brighter Monday for more insightful articles.

      ^TM

    • Hi Madasu,
      We do post such jobs on our site now and then.
      In most cases, such jobs are usually posted on the manufacturing category as shown here
      ^EK

    • Hello Diana,
      Thanks for going through our article.
      keep it here for more informative articles.

      ^AM

  19. thank you Brighter Monday for the tips be blessed.am a graduate and did analytical chemistry with it. seriously looking for a job or an internship to sharpen my skills please help.

    • Hello Elizabeth,
      Thanks for reading our article.
      Keep visiting our career center for more informative articles.

      ^AM

  20. Am a community health volunteer and kindly need any organisation to work with to ensure health services reach the community hence improving health status.pls connect me anywhere in kenya.

  21. thanks for being helpful. For some of us, you keep our hope alive
    . please assist me get some work as a volunteer in Thika

  22. Thank you for this eye opener information. I am a BBIT graduate and looking for an internship in Nairobi kindly assist me.

    • Hi Everest,
      Thanks for reading.
      Keep visiting our career center for more informative articles.

      ^AM

  23. Hello thanks for this information, I’m requesting for any volunteer opportunities in project planning

    • Thanks for your support and readership Risper.
      For more insightful articles, kindly go to our career center.

      ^AM

  24. Hi, am Ann.This is a big help to us who dint have an opportunity in further studies but we have some skills in different fields. Please brighter monday , help me out, looking for a job in data entry, graphic designs and volunteering enumarator around thika

    • Hi Mwangi,
      Thanks for the feedback.
      Please click here for jobs which match your skill set
      We truly appreciate your audience.
      ^EK

    • Hi Tedd,
      Thanks for taking time to go through our articles, click here to view all the latest job opportunities in your field of profession.

      ^AM

  25. Hi,,very encouraging indeedd,,,has alot of iimpact on me,,,just ha ve a request,,am a first year right now ready to go for a long holyday,,please wuold you assist me get an intership or even voluntere working?..am studying geoinformation technology.,,thankyou in advance..

    • Hi Rop,
      Thanks for showing interest on our job site.
      As a team we value your time and as such please click here to find jobs matching your skill set.
      ^EK

  26. This has really given me the hope of getting ahead positively. Am a Business Admin student just completed my internship. Kindly help me get such short contracts and workshops to improve my skills. Thanks

    • Hello Collin,
      Thanks for taking time to go through our article.
      Click here to view all the latest opportunities that match with your talents.

      ^AM

  27. Thanx for the infor. what happens for a case of extensive experience say more than 10years. no job or reply from employee coming your way.pls advice.

    • Hello Muniu,
      Thanks for the feedback.
      We understand your frustration, but you should not give up.
      Just make few amendments on your profile that is ensuring its up to 98% complete and that your CV and cover letter is well updated before you apply.
      By making those few changes, we believe you’l get better chances of hearing from employers.
      Feel free to write to us if you need further assistance.

      ^TM

  28. hi brighter morning
    i am joshua wafula. i am so much impressed with the brighter morning job updates.
    how i wish to encourage my colleagues to subscribe on. i am always moved and accelerated day in day out.
    i know one day it will rain to unlock my opportunity.
    i hold a degree in business administration marketing and any help to an opportunity will be appreciate.

    regards

    • Hi John,
      Thank you for sharing your sentiments.
      Its our pleasure to assist you, the first thing you need to do is complete you profile and ensure your CV is well updated.
      To check out the latest opportunities available kindly click here and pick on the category that matches you talent, then apply.

      ^TM

  29. thanx… this is so educative and encouraging.
    i have got a wide range of experience and have been applying for several jobs with no positive feedback. I am a nurse looking for a job with Ngos…..

    • Hallo Faith,
      Thanks a lot for writing to us.
      Ensure your CV is updated before you apply and it should be immediately as soon as you get the email alert.
      Kindly check out the latest jobs in your field of profession through the link below.

      ^TM

    • Hi Jackson,
      Thank your for writing to us.
      Create an account with Brighter Monday by clicking the sign up button and go through the jobs that require minimum education qualification.
      ^TM

  30. Hi brighter monday,couldn’t get an internship/industrial attachment fitting as a student persuing Geoinformation Technology.I just have an humble request that would you connect me to any other available,will really apreciate very much.Thank you in advance as you look forwad to my request.

  31. Hi…am john looking for a job in accounting field I will be grateful upon u considering me by assisting to get one.
    Regards.

    • Hello John,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      We do have opportunities in your field of study.
      Kindly click here and apply.

      ^TM

  32. Hi brighter Monday.U people never disappoint with your article. Am Mark ogoti having done CPAtil part 3 yet to re-sit 3 papers which didn’t manage to pass am looking for a job but unsuccessful.any kind of help would be grateful.currently in msa.

    • Hallo Mark,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      We do have jobs that matches your talent.
      Kindly click here and apply.
      Also ensure you profile is up to 98% complete to increase the chances of getting response from employers.

      ^TM

  33. Hi brighter Monday, thank you for this article its very educative.
    i am an IT professional currently employed as a computer trainer but i also do a lot of freelance jobs during weekends and when am free but the problem is i don’t know how to add them in my Cv together with my current employment

  34. Hi brighter Monday
    I haven’t worked for some time now,
    Just moved to daresalaam
    Still learning the language am getting better at it.. But i want to get a job and i really don’t know where to start from…I have experience of about 2yrs and a bachelors in business administration..any advice?

    • Hello Irene,
      Thanks for showing interest in our job site.
      As a team, we value your time and as such we will ensure that you get unlimited access to all available opportunities on our website at no cost at all!
      Please use the following instructions to create a BrighterMonday job seeker account:
      – using the the URL below:
      https://www.brightermonday.co.ke/ …… click on the sign up tab to create your job seeker account.
      -Once logged in to your account, please update your profile by clicking on “My Career Profile” (a complete profile should have a 99% profile completeness percentage)
      – Ensure that you upload a fresh C.V on your profile so that employers can get a chance of viewing it.
      – You can also create job alerts by clicking on the circled icon at the top right corner of the page. Select the ‘My job alerts’ option from the menu that appears on your screen.
      Lastly check out the latest job that we have in you field of profession.
      https://www.brightermonday.co.ke/search/jobs-in-banking-financial-services

      ^TM

  35. Hi Brightermonday,
    Thanks for this article. I am an experienced Accountant with over 10 years experience. Have been applying for openings on your site but no replies from potential employers. What might be the problem. Maybe my CV or what?

    • Hallo paul
      Thank you for your readership.
      The list below can shed some light on the possible reasons that might have led to your current predicament;
      Do you send applications to job adverts that match your skills?
      Have you updated your CV since last year?
      Do you write a customized cover letter for each application?
      The number of job seekers has gone higher since last year, making the talent pool larger and you have to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
      Start by editing your CV to reflect all the skills and experience you have gained. subscribe for alerts that are relevant to the career you wish to pursue.
      Update your profile to over 97% to make you more visible.
      We hope all these measures will improve your chances of being considered.

      ^TM

  36. hello brightermonday. iam 24 years old ,CPA finalist and waiting to graduate on December .please link me to any internship or job vacancy

  37. haloo brighter Monday. I graduated with a diploma in aeronautical engineering. can you please refer to me jobs available for the course

    • Hello Karanja,
      Thank you for showing interest to our website.
      We do have jobs in your filed of study, but first you need to open an account with us so that you can be able to apply.
      Go to http://www.brightermonday.co.ke and click on sign up button and subscribe to our email alerts.
      Upload you CV and make sure its updated.
      Here is the link to the various jobs we have that is in your field of study.

      ^TM

    • Hello Oluka Julius,
      Thanks for showing interest in our job site.
      We do have jobs in your field of study but first you need to create an account with us.Follow the below procedure.
      – using the the URL below:
      https://www.brightermonday.co.ke/ …… click on the sign up tab to create your job seeker account.
      -Once logged in to your account, please update your profile by clicking on “My Career Profile” (a complete profile should have a 99% profile completeness percentage)
      – Ensure that you upload a fresh C.V on your profile so that employers can get a chance of viewing it.
      – You can also create job alerts by clicking on the circled icon at the top right corner of the page. Select the ‘My job alerts’ option from the menu that appears on your screen.
      Lastly check out the latest job that we have in your field of study
      https://www.brightermonday.co.ke/search/result?q=development+worker

      ^TM

  38. Hi Brighter Monday , Am Mubiru currently in a dead year in year 3 software engineering and looking for an intern or volunteer work to acquire experience and skills during my time off

  39. Hi Brighter Monday, I have a Diploma in Telecommunication Engineering and i have completed a Bachelor of Technology Electrical & Electronics. I have worked for a security company for 4 years now in 2 Departments- a job not related to my area of study.
    I would like to secure a job in my area of study, can i get a sample of a functional CV so that i can improve my chances of getting of a job?
    I have been using a chronological CV but so far not successful.

    Regards
    Aseline

    • Hi Aseline,
      Thanks a lot for writing to us.
      We checked and confirmed that your account doesn’t exists.
      To create an account Kindly go to http://www.brightermonday.co.ke and then click on the sign up button.
      Also ensure that you subscribe to our email alerts and before you apply make sure your CV is well updated.
      We have a template for CV writing that will assist you click here and read it through.

      ^TM

  40. Thanks So Much for the lessons. New idea, knowledge added, in most Ngos they prefer white volunteers to black volunteers.

  41. dear brighter monday i have done a degree in socalscience but fail to secure a job what can i do

    • Hi Elizabeth
      We understand your frustration.
      The list below can shed some light on the possible reasons that might have led to your current predicament;
      Do you send applications to job adverts that match your skills?
      Have you updated your CV since last year?
      Do you write a customized cover letter for each application?
      The number of job seekers has gone higher since last year, making the talent pool larger and you have to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
      Start by editing your CV to reflect all the skills and experience you have gained. subscribe for alerts that are relevant to the career you wish to pursue.
      Update your profile to over 97% to make you more visible.
      We hope all these measures will improve your chances of being considered.

      ^TM

  42. Hi Brighter Monday , Am Godwin samki currently graduated from the university of dodoma last year in Bsc in applied geology am looking for an intern or volunteer work to acquire experience and skills

    • Hello Godwin,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      We do have jobs in your field of study but you need to sign up first.
      Log in to http://www.brightermonday.co.ke and click the sign up button.
      After you have signed in subscribe to our email alerts and be getting the latest job updates.
      here is the link for intern jobs.

      ^TM

  43. This is interesting . I’m currently in my second year of study pursuing Marketing and PR and currently looking for internships and volunteer opportunities to gain experience but I can’t find any. what should i do?

    • Hallo Lesah,
      We do have intern jobs, but you need to sign up fist so that you can be able to apply.
      Kindly click the sign up button and create your account then you can view the latest jobs that we have for interns via this link

      ^TM

  44. Hi Brighter Monday I recently(2015) graduated with a degree in Economics and Finance
    my profile is 92%, my cv is sleek i always edit my cover letter before application but I got no office job
    arent banks and microfinance institutions recruiting?
    how do I get 100% from you

    • Hi benson,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      We do have exciting job opportunities in your field of interest. Kindly click on the hereto view all the latest job opportunities in your field of interest.
      Kindly respond to our customer service team via this email address customerservice@brightermonday.co.ke and we will assist you regarding your profile.

      ^TM

    • Hi benson,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      Kindly let us know specifically how we can assist you.

      ^TM

  45. I m Tanui ,have higher national diploma in HR,and a bachelors degree in education and currently pursuing MBA HR option need to gain skill in my area of study .unfortunately i have not gotten any advice.

    • Hi Julius,
      Thank you for your readership.
      The list below can shed some light on the possible reasons that might have led to your current predicament;
      Do you send applications to job adverts that match your skills?
      Have you updated your CV since last year?
      Do you write a customized cover letter for each application?
      The number of job seekers has gone higher since last year, making the talent pool larger and you have to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
      Start by editing your CV to reflect all the skills and experience you have gained. Subscribe for alerts that are relevant to the career you wish to pursue.
      Update your profile to over 97% to make you more visible.
      We hope all these measures will increase your chances of being considered.

      ^TM

  46. im mercy m juma have higher diploma in purchasing and supplies managent on university of nairobi

    • Hi Mercy
      Thank you for writing to us.
      We do have jobs in your field of interest.
      Kindly click here and apply.

      ^TM

  47. Well this really inspired me and helped me learn something I had never learnt, thank you. Be sure I’ll do one or more of these.

    • Hi Ben
      Thanks a lot for your testimonial, we highly appreciate it.
      We do hope you implement what you have learned.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more inspiring articles.
      ^TM

  48. hi ,Bett from kericho looking for opportunity in data and statistics,hold Bsc statistics and monitoring and evaluation

  49. I can never get enough of these advises!Thanks! I love volunteering since it does contribute to sharpening my skills..I shall keep at it!

  50. Am peter kamau from Thika
    i have been looking for a place where i can volunteer but still i haven’t find a place and i would like to be assisted.i have pursued diploma in electrical engineering at NYS.
    Very true about volunteering i know several who volunteered and they got employed as long you show compassion and you be good
    Thank you for sharing to us

  51. I am charles m kiugu,i am a diploma holder in purchasing and supplies management from kenya institute of management.I graduated in year 2014,since then i have been searching for a job that fit my profession but i have never secured one.This has forced me to get to other fields like marketing to earn a living.Kindly assist

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