You only lack experience if they want it done the same old way.Robert Breault
“But I don’t have any experience!”
When the idea of becoming a freelance writer first popped into my head, I quickly dismissed it.
So what if I had been writing ever since I was able to hold a pen in my hand? Personal diaries, short stories I hadn’t shown anyone, and even my own beauty blog didn’t count.
This stuff was personal. I was writing it for myself, for the sheer pleasure of it.
Turning my passion for writing into a career was completely different. Who would hire me without proper experience? You know, years of slaving away at a cubicle for someone else who could put in a good word of recommendation.
I thought about getting a job at a magazine to gain the experience I needed, but don’t you need years of experience for that, too?
It’s a vicious circle. You can’t get a job without experience. But no one will give you a job to gain the experience you need.
I lost count of how many opportunities I lost, jobs I didn’t even apply for because I just didn’t have that damn experience. So frustrating!
This time was different. This dream was too important for me to just give it up. I had to find a way to make it happen – even without experience.
When I did it, it hit me: “But I don’t have enough experience!” is just another excuse you tell yourself not to do the things that scare you.
You Probably Already Have More Experience Than You Think
“You’ve been writing all your life, Giorgia,” a friend told me when I mentioned my dream of becoming a freelance writer. “You may not have experience in the traditional sense, but you’re more than qualified for the job.”
She had a point. So, why couldn’t I see it?
I blame this on society. We’re brainwashed into thinking experience means a degree at a prestigious school or a 9-5 job you hate.
But experience is simply “(the process of getting) knowledge or skill from doing, seeing, or feeling things.” You can get it in all kinds of ways.
You can get experience as a makeup artist by recreating Youtube tutorials at home.
You can get experience as an event organiser by volunteering your services for a charity.
You can get experience as a digital marketer by getting a free internship at a small business in your town.
If you’re really passionate about something, chances are you’ve already found a way to experience it in your life (see what I did there?). You know where I’m going with this…
You don’t always need more experience. Sometimes, you just need to recognise you already have enough experience – and find a way to use it to get your dream career and fulfil your life purpose.
When I created my freelance writing portfolio, I used what I had: the most popular articles on my blog and a few guests posts I had written for my friends’ blogs.
It worked. No one cared where those articles had been published or how many years I had been a “professional” writer. My clients hired me because they loved my writing. It was all the experience I needed.
But what if you’re thinking of a career in an industry in which you genuinely have no experience?
Go get it, gorgeous. Here’s how to get the experience you need:
Put Yourself Out There – Now
Don’t wait until you’ve saved enough money to take that course. Or to lose the last 10 pounds. Or for your parents to buy you a fancier camera for your birthday.
Start with what you have – right here, right now. It’s enough.
Let’s say you’re dreaming of becoming a photographer. You can buy the fanciest camera in the world, but if you have no idea how to use it, your photos won’t turn out great.
The only way to take great photos is to practice, practice, practice. Put yourself out there and tell everyone you know you’re practicing photography and would they like to pose for you?
Find a Facebook group for bloggers in your areas and offer free photoshoots in exchange for the experience and the right to put the shots in your portfolio.
Learn as much as you can about photography. Read books and blogs, listen to podcasts, take a class on Skillshare or just watch tutorials on Youtube.
The possibilities are endless.
Not Getting Enough Experience Is A Choice, Too
It’s never been easier to get experience. So what’s stopping you?
The only way to get more experience is to get out of your comfort zone and do something new.
You’ll make mistakes. You’ll fall. You’ll fail. It’s terrifying. And totally normal. No one is born knowing how to do everything.
If you don’t want to go through all this, “I don’t have any experience” becomes an excuse to stay in your comfort zone.
You’ll be safe. But will you be happy?
You can be scared or you can follow your dreams. The choice is yours.
P.S. Don’t know how to overcome your inner critic and beat the fear? Click on the image below to download the “Silence Your Inner Mean Girl” cheatsheet to turn your inner critic into your biggest supporter.
Over to you, now. Have you ever used “I don’t have any experience” as an excuse? Share your experience in the comments below.