There is a common paradox between work experience and getting a job; the contradiction of needing to have experience to get a job and the inability to get a job because you have no experience. This issue is so relevant that there are more than 40 memes – a humorous image, video, piece of texts, etc.; like the image below this paragraph. We'll refer to this paradox as “The Revolving Door of Un-readiness,” or lack of experience making it extremely difficult for individuals, especially aspiring young professionals, to compete for jobs; or positions on campus.
In attempts, to dismantle The Revolving Door of Un-readiness, let’s try to think about experiences and learning about ourselves in a different way, especially as we begin transitioning into our careers. How? By leveraging every day tasks, and activities towards questions of experience and self-awareness. Let’s think about 3 stages of task management that can be helpful when preparing for any interview. Here’s our scenario:
1. How do you start your task?
One of the teams I worked with had an array of leaders, and I was amazed. Teammate 1 was ready to jump-in! When we convened for our initial meeting, this individual already had ideas for marketing and imaging; before we had a plan, Teammate 1 had a vision. Another team member, Teammate 2, was focused on how the team would stay organized. As we talked and brainstormed, Teammate 2 transcribed and organized the meeting. This person even noted who took responsibility for each element of tasks we discussed during the meeting. As Teammate 3 led the conversation, focused on consistency and progression within the group’s discussion. Teammate 3 ensured that the team didn’t get too caught up on tedious details.
Now it’s your turn, what is your role at the beginning of your personal or group tasks? Are you the visionary, organizer or executer? The beauty is, you don’t have to identify with the aforementioned; you will be able to reflect on your style as you think about how you approach your daily task, like: homework assignments, cleaning schedule, convening your friends, group projects, etc. Take a moment to think about this, if you have a hard time try taking some notes.
2. How do you adjust?
A visionary, a planner, and an executer had a lot of adjusting to do when this team came together; even, when the team completed individual task they adjustedhow they worked along the way. The Visionary’s Vision had to shift as the group convened toward a concise goal, and additionally took responsibility of task to make the team’s goal and vision a reality. The Planner had to become flexible with their to-do list and notes, it was not feasible to navigate the group’s work any other way. The executer had to share leadership, each of these individuals had great ideas, and positive attributes which made fluid leadership a necessity.
Again, take some time to think about these questions, related to adjusting:
- How have you worked with adjusting your vision?
- How do you adjust your plan?
- How have you dealt with the dynamic of leading and following?
3. How do you learn from your experiences?
This scenario didn’t outline the growing pains, and transitions that were associated with this group’s success; but trust, growth and transitions were there! These individuals ended this group work with a plethora of additions to their tool belts. Whether the task you have been thinking about were completed with a group, or completed alone; I bet, you would make some different decisions. The approaches that we have grown into and out of are critical for our success, and exponentially helpful as we become comfortable talking about them. A question I constantly ask myself, "How have I evolved?"
The answers to the reflection of the three stages of task management may not get you your dream job, right away; however, piece by piece we are dismantling The Revolving Door of Un-readiness.