Getting ahead in today’s job market can be challenging, especially for less experienced employees. In order to overcome the inevitable career speed-bumps, you’ll need to make wise decisions. How do you make the best career decisions when you don’t have experience? Take advice from an expert! Below, CEO and entrepreneur Bob Pritchett shares his career success tips for millennials.
1. You have three guiding principles that have helped you achieve success. What are these principles and how can young professionals use them to get ahead in today’s competitive job market?
First, keep moving. It’s easy to think that your big goal is going to take a lot of time, and that waiting is a natural part of that. But the space between here and your goal is not filled with time, it is filled with changes.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Learning expands your comfort zone; if you aren’t uncomfortable you aren’t learning something new. Ignorance and incompetence are just labels for the next rung on the ladder you have to keep climbing.
2. Many millennials are having trouble finding work or getting the jobs in their chosen fields. Do you have any tips for how to get a good job as an entry-level candidate?
Every entry-level job is not the same. Choose a job that will set you on the path to your goal, or teach you something you need to learn. Invest in lots of research up-front so that you can focus on the right few opportunities instead of wasting time on dozens of applications.
Then find a way to acquire some proxy for experience, even if you haven’t done the job before: read up on the industry, interview people who work in the field for a college newspaper, or try doing what the job entails on your own, as a volunteer, or for your blog.
Entry-level candidates all look the same to employers; you aren’t expected to have a lot of experience for an entry-level position, so it’s surprising how little it can take to distinguish yourself from the other equally inexperienced candidates.
3. As a self-made entrepreneur, do you have any advice for those looking to start a business?
Start now. Start working on your business right away. Start doing whatever parts of it you can before you even officially start. Whatever business you want to start, there’s a way to do something to advance it starting tonight — even if it’s just writing a press release for your future grand opening, or a policy manual for the employees you’ll have one day. Get your mind into the business and make a habit of advancing it constantly, even if only with the tiniest steps.
Don’t quit your day job until you’re working two jobs. Starting a business is incredibly difficult; you don’t need the stress of wondering how you’ll eat or where you’ll live added on. The time to quit your day job is when your new business is making you more (or is funded enough to pay you more).
4. What other advice do you have for those entering the workforce?
Ask lots of questions. There are few roads you’ll go down that someone hasn’t been down before. Find those people and learn everything you can from them. Many experienced people would love to share their hard-won experience with someone just starting out, and that advice can make a huge difference for you, even if it does come wrapped up in some old stories and reminisces. Moreover, the world really is all about who you know — and if you know enough people who’ve been down the road long before you, you’ll find that they will open many doors and make many introductions for you over time.
Bob Pritchett is CEO and co-founder of Faithlife Corporation. He is a 2005 winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, one of Glassdoor’s Highest Rated CEOs 2015, and was included in the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Bob lives with his wife Audra in Bellingham, Washington; they have two children at college.
Bob’s first book, Fire Someone Today, And Other Surprising Tactics for Making Your Business a Success, was released in April, 2006, and has been translated into Russian and Korean. His second book, Start Next Now: How to Get the Life You’ve Always Wanted, is available now at Amazon.com and StartNextNow.com.